An Intellectual History of Paris's Latin Quarter: From Voltaire to Baldwin

Discover the neighborhood that inspired the Enlightenment, Modernism, and Existentialism
Preview Lecture
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1 hour
Product Type
  • Sorbonne
  • Le Procope Restaurant
Lecture Details
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Lecture Description
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 Café de Flore. This lecture combines history, literature, and intellectual history, and will discuss the story about the people and the ideas that define one of the world's most important neighborhoods.
Meet Your Expert

Samuél is a published novelist and musician who has lived in Paris since 2008. He holds an M.A. in European Society from University College London & an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Samuél teaches creative writing at the Sorbonne, hosts the Paris Writers' Salon with a local literary legend John Baxter, and is also a singer/songwriter. Samuél's first novel, "Slim and The Beast (Inkshares, 2015) is a coming of age story set in North Carolina. His second novel, "The Requisitions" (Kingdom Anywhere, 2024) is a historical metafiction about history, memory, and the Nazi Occupation of Poland.

Many of us might know the names that define the Latin Quarter - Rousseau and Voltaire, Stein and Hemingway, Camus and Sartre. 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, you will leave this lecture 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.
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(4.93) 30 Reviews

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I loved this lecture! It made me think and understand these different periods of intellectualism. It helped me understand what is France.
Thank you for working out a complicated reservation! Great customer service, and great programming!
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