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). 

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

Lost Illusions

The Corruptions of Paris

November 3, 2021 | By Nick Hammond | Film

Adapting the sprawling novels of Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) for the screen is never a simple process, and from all accounts director Xavier Giannoli has been working on the screenplay for Illusions Perdues (Lost Illusions) for a number of years. … Read More