3 Answers

  1. But I don't agree with the other responders. More precisely, I partially disagree. Namely, until the twentieth century, the political influence of France and the previously mentioned “gallomania” really played a big role here (at least French texts were read outside of France due to the spread of the French language), but in the twentieth century, other factors also play a role. Modern France is really proud of its traditions in the humanities and actively promotes them, unlike many other countries that focus on technical and natural sciences.�

    I will tell you about philosophy, because I can say more about it than about literature. Let's start with one small fact: the French president is a philosopher by training and has worked in academic philosophy. In French high schools, philosophy is a mandatory subject (in some lyceums, philosophy takes up to 8 hours per week); you will also take it if you want to study for a bachelor's degree in any specialty at any university [see: 1, 2]. And this practice has existed in France since 1809.

    Of course, in Russia, too, there is, for example, a mandatory philosophy course at the university. But this is a completely different story. In Russia, it appeared there as an ideological subject during the Soviet era, since the Soviet era it has not really been transformed into anything and has not been rebuilt, and it still finds its place in university education with difficulty. Moreover, on the one hand, Soviet-trained teachers in non-graduating departments of non-core universities still teach students Marxism-Leninism, and on the other hand, the older generation of teachers from graduating departments of the same universities who attended the course in Soviet times has a fixed idea of it as a useless ideological obligation, which they broadcast to students. The situation is changing, of course, but very slowly.

    In France, it was completely different. Figures like Sartre and Foucault were the heroes of political speeches in the 1960s and 1970s, and the request for humanitarian topics came from “below”, not”above”. Therefore, no one had questions like ” why do we need philosophy?” Everyone already knew this perfectly well, and philosophers were active and influential participants in political life. If you are interested, read, for example, the article of the Media Zone “Michel Foucault and his ” trade union of hooligans” “ to understand the atmosphere in France in the 1970s.

    That's where I think it all grows from. There are traditions of mass humanitarian education, respect for one's own humanitarian heritage is maintained, and the humanities are actively integrated into the practice of social life, and do not remain a pure theory. Here, I think, are the three whales that made them successful in France.

  2. In fact, the listed categories of cultural figures were also enough in neighboring large countries-Spain, Italy, and Germany (the fact that there were not unified national states everywhere is not very important).�

    Just at different times, different countries were at the forefront, and led the cultural life of Europe. You have a picture for the question (the one that is now; moderators can change it) from the XVII century. Well, in the XVII-XVIII centuries, France was a regional superpower, and spread its influence everywhere. Therefore, scientists/cultural figures from this country were visible.

  3. It seems to me that the question is not entirely correct.It's not about the number of, ahem, let's just say,” media personalities ” in France-there are a lot of them in a variety of countries-up to India.
    It's just that old France was much better organized in the field of book printing to a much greater extent. Yes, and in our country, French authors are better known because of the long-term gallomania that is common in aristocratic(reading)schools.circles of the Russian Empire.

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