Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Friday, June 8, 2012

BOB AND SUE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

Tomorrow at dawn, Susie and I leave for Amherst, MA, and then for Paris.  We shall return on July 15th.  I will of course continue to blog from Paris, where I will arrive just in time for the second round of parliamentary elections.  I know that Europe's socialist parties long ago gave up the dream of socialism, but it is still comforting in my dotage to spend time in a country whose new president actually calls himself a "socialist."

 One of the lovelier ideas of Paris' openly gay socialist mayor is fete de la musique, an event that occurs on the first night of Summer.  Everyone in Paris comes out into the streets and amateur soloists, duos, trios, combos, and quartets play music in every square and on every side street of the central city.  Place Maubert, our little square, is home to three or more duelling rock bands, each with a full set of amps.  Place des Vosges, the very ritzy and lovely old square in the 4th arrondissement, last year saw performances by everyone from Paris' gay men's choir to a quartet playing late Beethoven quite creditably.  Down by the Seine, one can hang over the railing of a bridge and watch the upper crust, attired in formal dress, assemble on a river boat for a dinner-dancing cruise.

Several years ago the mayor decided that those Parisians who could not afford an August trip to the Riviera nevertheless deserved a beach, so he trucked in sand, got some beach umbrellas, and turned the banks of the Seine into beachfront.  The attitude of the French to public spaces seems to be the polar opposite to that of Americans.  Two years ago, a number of "vertical gardens" sprang up around Paris.  These are lovely botanical displays of growing plants, not cut flowers, that rise up the side of a wall rather than spreading out horizontally.  Susie and I went here and there to see some of them, guided by an article in the 5th Arrondissement newsletter.

My gig at Bennett College is developing nicely, and in a few days, I hope to be able to tell you about it in more detail.  Now back to a few last minute packing chores.

5 comments:

formerly a wage slave said...

Forgive me, but the devil in me has gotten stirred up by your remark: " The attitude of the French to public spaces seems to be the polar opposite to that of Americans."
Can you briefly say what the attitude of Americans to public spaces is?

(Of course, I have ideas of my own, but I wonder how you would describe it.....)

((Myself, living where I currently do, a public space seems to be an asphalt pavement filled with trucks burning in the hot sun as they rev their motors at a traffic light....or else a shopping mall, about which I refuse to speak OR else the one tiny bit of green in one neighborhood which is overfilled with people joylessly but determinedly moving their bodies outside (when the blinding sun has somewhat abated....)))

PS: Please don't get me wrong. If you are power-walking, I am all for your efforts. But I think I can imagine a world where our physical needs were given more respect at every level..... (Getting rid of self-steered vehicles of climate destruction would, of course, be the first step.)

GTChristie said...

Happy Bastille Day.

NotHobbes said...

Safe and pleasant trip Professor
Will you be going to Paris Jazz Festival? Kicks off on Tuesday, I believe :-)

Unknown said...

Aha--willy nilly you will be exposed to rock music. Analytic talents are as useful with such modern classics as well as with older forms. I hope you learn to enjoy it.

P. J. Grath said...

I was in Paris for the first Fete de la Musique. It was also billed as “Faites de la musique,” i.e., MAKE music! This festival supplants the older St. John’s Eve bonfires and music, which I also loved. Please enjoy yourself doubly, since I can’t be there myself :)