Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond, Professor in French at Cambridge University, regularly writes reviews for "The Times Literary Supplement" and is a former member of the Birmingham Symphony Chorus under the baton of Simon Rattle. His books include "The Cambridge History of French Literature" (Cambridge University Press, 2011, as co-editor), "Gossip, Sexuality and Scandal in France 1610-1715" (Peter Lang, 2011), and "The Powers of Sound and Song in Early Modern Paris" (Penn State UP, 2019). 

La Nuit du 12

A Caring Copper

July 20, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Film

As crazy as it might seem to be going to the movies in the middle of a heatwave in Paris, over two hours spent in an air-conditioned cinema afforded a much-needed respite from temperatures that have been edging above 40 … Read More

Parsifal

A Knightly Cult

June 1, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Music

I must admit to approaching British director Richard Jones’s production at the Opéra Bastille of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal with some trepidation. Jones’s previous productions of Wagner’s other works, especially the Ring Cycle, have had a tendency to trivialize the most … Read More

Elektra

Hard-Hitting Production of Dark Tale

May 18, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Richard Strauss’s one-act opera Elektra, the first of his many collaborations with librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is unrelentingly hard-hitting throughout its one hour and 45 minutes. No room or time is given for light relief as the heroine singlemindedly pursues … Read More

Molière

To Laugh or To Cry?

February 2, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Books

Note to readers: To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of the great French playwright Molière, we are republishing this commentary on his work, which first came out in Paris Update on November 18, 2020. A recorded version is … Read More

Paris-Briançon

Night Train

January 26, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Books

When we are informed at the beginning of Philippe Besson’s new novel, set on the overnight train from Paris to Briançon, that there will be deaths by the time dawn breaks, it would not be a complete surprise to find … Read More

Premier Sang

Diplomatic Training

January 19, 2022 | By Nick Hammond | Books

Even though Amélie Nothomb’s new book, Premier Sang, is not the first openly autobiographical novel she has written – Le Sabotage Amoureux (1993), Stupeur et Tremblement (1999), Métaphysique des Tubes (2000) and Biographie de la Faim (2004) all draw inspiration … Read More