Such a Pretty Month of May

The demonstrations of May 1968, fifty years ago this month, brought a moral metamorphosis such as France had not known since the Romantic era.

Fifty years ago in Paris, the weather was beautiful. Everyone who participated in what has since been called "the events" at least has this memory in common. Evenings were particularly mild and seemingly endless on the cafe terraces. I was completing my studies at the time, which could not have been more boring, at the ENA (National School of Administration, one of the Grandes Ecoles), in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. This part of the city, which has since become a kind of shopping mall for clothing and tourists’ junk food, was then the heart of student life, with inexpensive bistros and nearby smoky cinemas. It was here that everything was about to begin, in just a few days. The boredom was oppressive. The spirit of the times had been grasped with prophetic insight by an editorialist of the newspaper Le Monde, which was then our Bible. The title was: "


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