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This article aims to show the significance of the l’Autre Francophonie (the Other French-Speaking World) for European culture. This concerns a space that is simultaneously French and Central-European; a space that, since the end of the Second World War, has seen a flowering of a European way of thinking in the work of literary authors, philosophers and essayists. Their work contributes to the renewal of a certain form of universalist humanism, which often relies on French intellectual traditions while drawing on the cultures of their respective countries. This is possible because of the existence of French cultural continuities, which make this universe familiar and attractive to those whom we have come to call the thinkers of the “Other Francophonie.” No one in East-Central Europe has forgotten that France has retained a certain ability to keep its culture safe, by considering that it belongs, first and foremost, to the life of the mind, rather than being a mere leisure item or consumer good. The opposition between an aestheticizing way of thinking and a more pragmatic or even utilitarian perspective on culture is a particularity of French and Latin culture, and it is familiar to and appreciated by East-Central European elites.


  • the Other French-Speaking World
  • l’Autre Francophonie
  • Latin-ness
  • aestheticizing way of thinking
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