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Kuffer, Jean-Louis

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

24 heures - Switzerland | 06/11/2007

How are literary prizes awarded in France ?

The 2007 Goncourt prize for literature was awarded on November 5th to Gilles Leroy for 'Alabama Song' and the Renaudot prize to Daniel Pennac for 'Chagrin d'Ecole'. Jean-Louis Kuffer wonders what criteria these choices depend on. "That's what you call the best of current French literature ? This is the question an attentive reader would be inclined to ask the respective juries of the Académie Goncourt and the Prix Renaudot ... . Rather than Gilles Leory and Daniel Pennac, is it not simply the Gallimard publishing house that you have awarded twice, given that Mercure de France, the Goncourt prize's publisher is in fact a subsidiary of the powerful Gallimard which already triumphed last year with Jonathan Littell's 'Les Bienveillantes' ? ... This is not to say that the 2007 Goncourt and Renaudot prize winners are of no interest and doomed to failure. On the contrary. But what to make of a 'race' which apparently favours contestants according to whose T-shirt they are wearing ?"

24 heures - Switzerland | 09/01/2007

The comforting success of 'Measuring the World'

Jean-Louis Kuffer rejoices in the Swiss publication of the book 'Measuring the World'. "There is a belief, as wide-spread as it is silly, that best sellers adhere to standard criteria, whereas nothing is less sure than a great publishing success that unites quality with popularity. Further proof of this has been given by 'Measuring the World' written by the young German writer Daniel Kehlmann, which has been a great hit in Germany with over 1 million copies sold and the rights purchased for about thirty translations. And yet the least we can say is that there is nothing really catchy about the theme of the novel, which is neither violence nor sex, but the alternated story of the misfortunes of two illustrious and learned men of late 18th century Germany: the naturalist-explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the brilliant mathematician Carl Frederich Gauss, owing more to fanciful imaginings than to faithful reconstitution, the novel confronts two ways of exploring the world that are at once opposed and complimentary ... and two attitudes to science".

24 heures - Switzerland | 30/11/2006

French literature has lost its international lustre

"This autumn's four most prestigious prizes [in France] were awarded to the American Jonathan Littell (Prix Goncourt and the Académie Française's Grand Prix du Roman ), to the French-Canadian Nancy Huston (Prix Femina) and the French-Congolese Alain Mabanckou (Prix Renaudot), represents a significant moment in a literary France that is losing it's momentum", writes Jean-Louis Kuffer. "The tenors of current world literature are not French, but most frequently from countries where big clashes provoke strong works. ... This does not mean that contemporary literary France is of no interest, far from it, there is a thriving community of quality writers there. But there are no longer voices of 'universal' reach, comparable to the first half of the 20th century's extraordinary number of masters, from Proust to Bernanos, through Céline, Gide, Malraux, Camus and so many others."

24 heures - Switzerland | 10/08/2006

Swiss film in good shape

"The Swiss movie is back," ventures leader writer Jean-Louis Kuffer. "Before 3,000 spectators at Locarno Andrea Staka ... presented 'Das Fräulein', the only Swiss film in the international section. Not a quite a masterpiece, but almost. With its tightly written poetic script, three outstanding actresses all from ex-Yugoslavia, like the film's director, and its accurate, unsentimental description of the solitude and distress of an immigrant in Switzerland, the movie illustrates the new reality of our country with exceptional artistic sweep. In a more jolly vein and more choppy form, Jean-Stéphane Bron's 'Mon frère se marie' [My brother get married] also captures the turbulent reality of the lives we lead. Divorce, culture clashes, the comedy of life lived, masks worn and masks torn are stuff of cinema today - in phase with the lives we live."

24 heures - Switzerland | 11/05/2006

Jean-Luc Godard's 'Trips to Utopia'

The exhibition 'Trips to Utopia, Jean-Luc Godard (1946-2006)' officially opens this Thursday, May 11 in Paris. The initial idea was to commission Godard to create nine video documents combining images of current events and film clips. But the project, begun three years ago, ran into major problems and in the end just a single video document is on offer. "In a collage of striking density ..., Jean-Luc Godard revisits the 'immortal' scenes of cinema, from Fritz Lang to Bresson, or from the Western to the Italy of Scorsese, in order to convey the particular reality of cinema," explains Jean-Louis Kuffer. "People mistake him for a gratuitous provocateur: he is, on the contrary, a delicate poet, a moralist who loves beauty, a pamphleteer driven by hatred of hate. With his airs of some whacko visual artist or a writer of images, Godard has none of the smugness associated with this trendy art genre."

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