What’s happening today often takes the form of an enigma: confronted with the violence of completely unpredictable events, we are tempted either to cling to the past (the faintest controversy provokes a “It’s the 1930s all over again!”) or to project ourselves into the future because we long for a fresh start. In fact, there is nothing harder than experiencing the present, and following Péguy’s demanding advice: “Running early, running late, it’s so inexact. Being on time, the only exactitude.”
Alain Finkielkraut takes on the challenge. With his rigorous thinking and presentation, he tackles the key political, social, philosophical and media events of the last two years, draws on the ideas of great thinkers (Arendt, Camus, Kundera, Alain), explores what’s at stake and looks at the wider picture to deliver an accurate analysis.
This book looks at the shocking Charlie Hebdo attack, the spirit of penitence that has reached obsessive proportions in France, the excessive influence of powers and counter-powers, a left wing that knows its days are numbered… and reveals a problem: how can thinking correct the constant imbalance imposed by the present?
Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut is the author of L’identité malheureuse (2013), Et si l’amour durait (2011), Un cœur intelligent (2009, translated into 12 languages); he has been presenting the weekly radio show « Répliques » on France Culture.