French academic Jean-Francois Revel dies

2nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 30, 2006 (AFP) - French philosopher, journalist, writer and academic Jean-François Revel, who died in hospital near Paris on Saturday night, was a brilliant nonconformist and bête noire of the French left.

PARIS, April 30, 2006 (AFP) - French philosopher, journalist, writer and academic Jean-François Revel, who died in hospital near Paris on Saturday night, was a brilliant nonconformist and bête noire of the French left.

Revel, whose real name was Ricard, was born in Marseilles on January 19, 1924, and began his long and varied career as a teacher of philosophy in Tlemcen, Algeria.

He led a nomadic early life, teaching in Mexico, Florence, Lille and Paris before abandoning academia to devote himself to literature and journalism.

Between 1960 and 1963 Revel edited the books pages of France Observateur, working at the same time as a literary advisor to French book publisher Julliard. He later became advisor to publisher Robert Laffont, then founded and ran his own collection, Liberties, with publisher Jean-Jacques Pauvert.

In 1957 Revel published his first book, Why Philosophers, a joyful critique of marxism, Heidegger and Lacan. Later works included essays on subjects as varied as Proust, Italy and cooking, many of them major successes.

Revel's other passion was journalism and he worked for many years as a leader writer on L'Express, becoming director of the weekly magazine in 1978.

He led the magazine for three years, but resigned in 1981 in a show of solidarity with editor-in-chief Olivier Todd, who was fired by then owner James Goldsmith. Revel left to join rival weekly magazine Le Point as a columnist.

Throughout the 1990s Revel contributed to French radio stations Europe 1 and RTL, and in June 1997 he was elected a member of the Académie Française, France's most prestigious cultural institution.

He was married to the writer Claude Sarraute, daughter of author Nathalie Sarraute, and had several children including Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who collaborated with his father on the successful book 'The Monk and the Philosopher', published in 1997.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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