Voltaire, Rousseau & Camus: An Intellectual History of Paris' Latin Quarter with Samuél Lopez-Barrante

Voltaire, Rousseau & Camus: An Intellectual History of Paris' Latin Quarter with Samuél Lopez-Barrante

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The history of Paris is the history of ideas. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson came to the Latin Quarter's first coffee shop, Le Procope, to drink a strange new elixir, meet French revolutionaries, and imagine a new form of government. Two centuries after the guillotine was invented, Americans Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein arrived with wisdom from Asia in search of a chaotically simple idea: "make it new." Just a few years later, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre began questioning the very nature of existence on the sun-drenched terrace of the Cafe de Flore.

In this conversation that combines history, literature, and intellectual history, author and literature professor Samuél Lopez-Barrantes will discuss the story about the people and the ideas that define one of the world's most important neighborhoods.

Many of us might know the names that define the Latin Quarter - Rousseau and Voltaire, Stein and Hemingway, Camus, and Sartre̐but to recognize the names is not the same as to understand them. Focusing on three major intellectual movements that helped define modern civilization - the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, Modernism, and Existentialism - Samuél provides a practical approach to understanding these movements through the stories that make the Latin Quarter what it is today. From a controversial bathtub assassination to a flamboyant Nazi whose nickname was Dr. Jazz, we will leave this conversation with a better understanding of why the Latin Quarter has attracted so many artists and thinkers and why it continues to inspire to this day.

Samuél Lopez-Barrantes is a novelist and musician who has lived in Paris since 2010. He holds an M.A. in European Society from University College London and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Samuél teaches literature and creative writing at Paris' Sorbonne. He is also in an American folk-rock trio, Slim & The Beast, whose self-titled EP has already caught the attention of Rolling Stone France.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.