French singer and actor Juliette Greco performs in Paris, in 1968. She was the muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the link between often impenetrable intellectuals and popular song. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Saint-Germain-des-Prés must have felt like the centre of the universe in the aftermath of the second World War. After years of deprivation, French you(...)

French journalist Fabrice Nicolino, who survived the Charlie Hebdo shooting, is seen at the Paris courthouse in Paris, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

The wounded survivors of the Charlie Hebdo massacre testified on Wednesday, on the sixth day of the trial in Paris of the killers’ accused accomplices(...)

Existentialist philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre enjoy the freedom of the beach in Rio in 1960. Photograph: STF/AFP/Getty

Our movements have been restricted by the Covid-19 lockdown, but there’s nothing to stop our minds from running free. In that spirit, Unthinkable this(...)

Ms Ann has never had it so good. Or so acquaintances believe. She insists on being addressed as Ann without the “e”, that most popular letter in the E(...)

Jean Vanier abused women who came to him for spiritual direction, an egregious crime.

When the news about Jean Vanier’s manipulative sexual abuse of at least six women broke, it was profoundly depressing. Decades ago, I witnessed him ar(...)

‘What Christmas means is that, in our own bizarrely human way, we are caught up in an outbreak of mattering.’ Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

It’s not just French intellectuals sipping coffee in Parisian cafes who agonise over life’s meaning. While commonly associated with Jean-Paul Sartre a(...)

Byredo Slow Dance, Timothy Han/Edition She Came to Stay, Chanel Gabrielle and Jo Malone Poppy & Barley Cologne

Fragrance is highly aspirational. You buy fragrance not for the person you are but for the person you want to be. The person I am, left to her o(...)

Nadir Dendoune and his mother, Messaouda. Figs in April, an hour-long profile of  Messaouda,   is being shown this summer in festivals, prisons and public parks. Photograph: Camille Millerand

As you pass the Porte de Châtillon on the Paris ring road, you might catch a glimpse of a giant wall painting. “Chibani”, it says, next to a portrait(...)

Siri Hustvedt: Philosopher or novelist? Photograph:  Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

There are philosophers who have written novels, and novelists who imbue their work with philosophical ideas. Iris Murdoch and Albert Camus might be se(...)

When we meet in London, Sheila O’Donnell has just won Woman Architect of the Year at the Royal Institute of British Architects awards. Earlier th(...)

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