The Philosopher’s Demise:

Learning to Speak French

Softcover sale price: $9.50 (Regularly $15.95)

A wry, witty memoir of a desperate middle-age foreign language learner.

Richard Watson was invited to deliver a paper on Rene Descartes—in French, a language Watson could read but couldn’t speak. A private crash course and lessons at the Alliance Française only served to prove how difficult it can be to learn any foreign language, especially later in life. Throughout are digressions on the contrasts between France and America, on the mysteries of French engineering, and on eccentric French spelunkers. This book is for anyone who has done battle with another language.

Richard Watson is a recognized and pre-eminent Cartesian scholar and until his retirement was a professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis. He now lives in Missoula, Montana.