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Offline Südenbauer

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The Death of French Culture
« Online: 07 de Dezembro de 2007, 11:32:02 »
The Death of French Culture

The days grow short. A cold wind stirs the fallen leaves, and some mornings the vineyards are daubed with frost. Yet all across France, life has begun anew: the 2007 harvest is in. And what a harvest it has been. At least 727 new novels, up from 683 for last autumn's literary rentrée. Hundreds of new music albums and dozens of new films. Blockbuster art exhibitions at all the big museums. Fresh programs of concerts, operas and plays in the elegant halls and salles that grace French cities. Autumn means many things in many countries, but in France it signals the dawn of a new cultural year.

And nobody takes culture more seriously than the French. They subsidize it generously; they cosset it with quotas and tax breaks. French media give it vast amounts of airtime and column inches. Even fashion magazines carry serious book reviews, and the Nov. 5 announcement of the Prix Goncourt — one of more than 900 French literary prizes — was front-page news across the country. (It went to Gilles Leroy's novel Alabama Song.) Every French town of any size has its annual opera or theater festival, nearly every church its weekend organ or chamber-music recital.

There is one problem. All of these mighty oaks being felled in France's cultural forest make barely a sound in the wider world. Once admired for the dominating excellence of its writers, artists and musicians, France today is a wilting power in the global cultural marketplace. That is an especially sensitive issue right now, as a forceful new President, Nicolas Sarkozy, sets out to restore French standing in the world. When it comes to culture, he will have his work cut out for him.

Only a handful of the season's new novels will find a publisher outside France. Fewer than a dozen make it to the U.S. in a typical year, while about 30% of all fiction sold in France is translated from English. That's about the same percentage as in Germany, but there the total number of English translations has nearly halved in the past decade, while it's still growing in France. Earlier generations of French writers — from Molière, Hugo, Balzac and Flaubert to Proust, Sartre, Camus and Malraux — did not lack for an audience abroad. Indeed, France claims a dozen Nobel literature laureates — more than any other country — though the last one, Gao Xingjian in 2000, writes in Chinese.

France's movie industry, the world's largest a century ago, has yet to recapture its New Wave eminence of the 1960s, when directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard were rewriting cinematic rules. France still churns out about 200 films a year, more than any other country in Europe. But most French films are amiable, low-budget trifles for the domestic market. American films account for nearly half the tickets sold in French cinemas. Though homegrown films have been catching up in recent years, the only vaguely French film to win U.S. box-office glory this year was the animated Ratatouille — oops, that was made in the U.S. by Pixar.

The Paris art scene, birthplace of Impressionism, Surrealism and other major -isms, has been supplanted, at least in commercial terms, by New York City and London. Auction houses in France today account for only about 8% of all public sales of contemporary art, calculates Alain Quemin, a researcher at France's University of Marne-La-Vallée, compared with 50% in the U.S. and 30% in Britain. In an annual calculation by the German magazine Capital, the U.S. and Germany each have four of the world's 10 most widely exposed artists; France has none. An ArtPrice study of the 2006 contemporary-art market found that works by the leading European figure — Britain's Damien Hirst — sold for an average of $180,000. The top French artist on the list, Robert Combas, commanded $7,500 per work.

France does have composers and conductors of international repute, but no equivalents of such 20th century giants as Debussy, Satie, Ravel and Milhaud. In popular music, French chanteurs and chanteuses such as Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf were once heard the world over. Today, Americans and Brits dominate the pop scene. Though the French music industry sold $1.7 billion worth of recordings and downloads last year, few performers are famous outside the country. Quick: name a French pop star who isn't Johnny Hallyday.

France's diminished cultural profile would be just another interesting national crotchet — like Italy's low birthrate, or Russia's fondness for vodka — if France weren't France. This is a country where promoting cultural influence has been national policy for centuries, where controversial philosophers and showy new museums are symbols of pride and patriotism. Moreover, France has led the charge for a "cultural exception" that would allow governments to keep out foreign entertainment products while subsidizing their own. French officials, who believe such protectionism is essential for saving cultural diversity from the Hollywood juggernaut, once condemned Steven Spielberg's 1993 Jurassic Park as a "threat to French identity." They succeeded in enshrining the "cultural exception" concept in a 2005 UNESCO agreement, and regularly fight for it in international trade negotiations.

More in:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1686532,00.html

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #1 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 01:51:07 »
The french cultural production is amazing indeed. The problem is that french is not the world's most economically powerful nation right now and that is what determines the world's cultural exportation leader. As the U.S. dominates, the whole world is trying to learn english, therefore its culture becomes the most influent, leading the other into oblivion of the mainstream. It is not a easy-to-change situation at all. The only partial solution I see is translating the country's cultural content, but still, that wouldn't change much. It will be be humongously hard to reverse this situation.

Offline Rodion

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #2 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 02:40:11 »
perhaps the problem is with state subsidized culture ...
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #3 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 02:45:57 »
What country are you refering to?

(hahaha gostei dessa sessao, muito comedia um bando de brasileiros conversando em ingles)

Offline Rodion

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #4 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 02:58:33 »
not to one in particular, several have the same problem...
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #5 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 13:10:11 »
So what is your solution exactly for the improvement of distribuilting of the french culture?

Offline Andre

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #6 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 16:43:43 »
not to one in particular, several have the same problem...
Ours is one or them. Lot of money goes to 'artistic' projects we'll never see. Instead, there should be a sponsoship of private companies that would be more interested in see if their money is being well spent.
Se Jesus era judeu, então por que ele tinha um nome porto-riquenho?

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #7 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 16:50:04 »
not to one in particular, several have the same problem...
Ours is one or them. Lot of money goes to 'artistic' projects we'll never see. Instead, there should be a sponsoship of private companies that would be more interested in see if their money is being well spent.

The problem is in what the masses want to see. In general terms, no one give a damn about real art. Very little people are seriously interrested in decent artistic works. Just look what is in our mainstream...
Mainly in music, really, most of it has really poor quality.

Again, the solution is in educating the population, this way, they will be interrested in what has significant content.

Offline Rodion

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #8 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 17:06:25 »
So what is your solution exactly for the improvement of distribuilting of the french culture?

why should its distribution be improved?
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline Andre

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #9 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 18:25:34 »
not to one in particular, several have the same problem...
Ours is one or them. Lot of money goes to 'artistic' projects we'll never see. Instead, there should be a sponsoship of private companies that would be more interested in see if their money is being well spent.

The problem is in what the masses want to see. In general terms, no one give a damn about real art. Very little people are seriously interrested in decent artistic works. Just look what is in our mainstream...
Mainly in music, really, most of it has really poor quality.

Again, the solution is in educating the population, this way, they will be interrested in what has significant content.
That's not the only problem. There are projects receiving public money that will never be shown to the culturally interested people, nor to the masses.
Se Jesus era judeu, então por que ele tinha um nome porto-riquenho?

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #10 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 18:26:54 »
not to one in particular, several have the same problem...
Ours is one or them. Lot of money goes to 'artistic' projects we'll never see. Instead, there should be a sponsoship of private companies that would be more interested in see if their money is being well spent.

The problem is in what the masses want to see. In general terms, no one give a damn about real art. Very little people are seriously interrested in decent artistic works. Just look what is in our mainstream...
Mainly in music, really, most of it has really poor quality.

Again, the solution is in educating the population, this way, they will be interrested in what has significant content.
That's not the only problem. There are projects receiving public money that will never be shown to the culturally interested people, nor to the masses.

Stating a problem we already know doesn't help at all.
Can you show us some solutions?

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #11 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 18:27:35 »
So what is your solution exactly for the improvement of distribuilting of the french culture?

why should its distribution be improved?

If you didn't notice that's the theme of the topic.

Offline Andre

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #12 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 19:05:46 »
You said that the problem is in the taste of the masses, I disagreed and said that even the people that are interested in 'better' culture won't see a great part of this artistic projects because they'll never be completed. It has nothing to do with educational problemes.

And I've already said what I think is a solution, private sponsorship. That's how things work in Hollywood, if you have a great idea (or a name with some reputation), show it to some companies and see if they sponsor your movie/festival/whatever.
Se Jesus era judeu, então por que ele tinha um nome porto-riquenho?

Offline Rodion

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #13 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 19:08:08 »
So what is your solution exactly for the improvement of distribuilting of the french culture?

why should its distribution be improved?

If you didn't notice that's the theme of the topic.

actually the leading news only say that french culture is losing influence. it might have been only you who saw a need for augmenting it's influence.
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline Luis Dantas

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #14 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 23:10:04 »
I, for one, certainly do not see such a need.

Then again, I tend to suspect any claim that relies upon the idea of "preserving the value" of a specific nation, for nations are rather fictional constructs indeed; if people do not see the need for maintaining them, odds are that they are not needed any longer.

The idea of artificially inflating the relevance of a culture sounds odd to me.  More so when said culture, despite all its complaning, was the cultural center of the world not too long ago and is still by any reasonable measure among the most influential in existence.

If France needs to be "protected", then what sort of care is warranted to, say, the various indigenous people all over the world?  THEY often face a very real threat of literal extinction, yet we are supposed to feel sorry because France is not the mover and shaker it was just about yesterday?

Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, really.
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The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the word

Em 18 de janeiro de 2010, ainda não vejo motivo para postar aqui. Estou nos fóruns Ateus do Brasil, Realidade, RV.  Se a Moderação reconquistar meu respeito, eu volto.  Questão de coerência.

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #15 Online: 10 de Dezembro de 2007, 23:30:07 »
Peopleeeees.

How come you say the french cultur is dying when there's the war on Iraq? :lol:

It seems to me the article's referring to a very specific concept of culture. Films and "chansons" are cultural PRODUCTS, not culture itself. If there's ONE THING we can say it's FRENCH is the idea of promoting civilisation, liberty, equality, fraternity yadda yadda to every nation in the world and that, for sure, is alive and well.

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #16 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 01:40:56 »
Peopleeeees.

How come you say the french cultur is dying when there's the war on Iraq? :lol:

LOL!
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr.Dantas made a very good point. I should shut the fuck up for now.

Offline Rodion

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #17 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 01:49:14 »
well. no one told the french people to make lousy films and bad music. their loss.
i heard some french rock and roll the other day and nearly threw up.
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #18 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 02:03:14 »
well. no one told the french people to make lousy films and bad music. their loss.
i heard some french rock and roll the other day and nearly threw up.

LOL

How can they make decent songs if they lenguage sounds like a polite fart?

Offline Luis Dantas

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #19 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 05:02:29 »
i heard some french rock and roll the other day and nearly threw up.

Come on now, Rodion... WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST THE FRENCH CULTURE?!

I mean, sure, go ahead and HEAR some French Rock'n'Roll.  Never mind the warnings.  Go ahead.  Just don't blame us.  And definitely don't blame French Culture.  It's not like _it_ recognizes the existence of such a mishappen beast, after all... :)
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The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the word

Em 18 de janeiro de 2010, ainda não vejo motivo para postar aqui. Estou nos fóruns Ateus do Brasil, Realidade, RV.  Se a Moderação reconquistar meu respeito, eu volto.  Questão de coerência.

Offline Andre

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #20 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 09:38:21 »
And how many bands have you listened to? You can't judge all a genre because some bands.

Imagine, say you don't like American Rock because of Simple Plan :biglol:
Se Jesus era judeu, então por que ele tinha um nome porto-riquenho?

Offline Twinning Hook

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #21 Online: 11 de Dezembro de 2007, 14:04:29 »
And how many bands have you listened to? You can't judge all a genre because some bands.

Imagine, say you don't like American Rock because of Simple Plan :biglol:

Don't even say something as bizarre as that. :)

Offline Gaúcho

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Re: The Death of French Culture
« Resposta #22 Online: 22 de Fevereiro de 2008, 17:46:21 »
I don't like french rock'n roll just because I'dont know any

And simple plan is a pop band for goodness sake!

PS: Yes, I didn't read the article...
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