Opening Riff

Un chalereux salut de Paris and a warm welcome to Continental Riffs 2023. I like to imagine it as a bar on one of those side streets, name you can’t remember, long counter, maybe a little dark, discrete, the place you find when you need it. You’re here. I hope you’ll find Paris, and Europe, as impossible and irresistible as I do.

Place d’italie, Gilets Jaunes demo 2019.

No matter what the event there must be witness.

What exactly is Europe ? A conglomeration of countries ? And France, can you get to know it ? Can Europe be written about in such a way as to interest Americans, who make up the majority of visitors to Substack ? For many in the angloparlante world, there is a second France, a cloud France, that exists alongside the real thing. Is it possible that writing from Europe might make things clearer, more vital ?     

The Wheelhouse

 You can find my articles and fiction on Medium, Counterpunch, The Baffler, as well as other, more obscure corners of the internet. My comic anti-detective novel, Volte-Face Paris is looking for a home. Drop a line when you stop by.

For anyone interested, I published twelve books of translations from Spanish, wrote for magazines small, medium and large in the U.S. and published my own revues, literary and otherwise;  articles on Medium, Counterpunch, as well as other, more obscure corners of the internet.

Passing Acquaintances, which I run when I get the chance, offers profiles of writers and artists. Paid subscription is a steal at 30 a year. You can cancel at any time.

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Europe Present Tense


James Graham

Paris-based, Euro-reporting writer and raconteur. Plenty of words and plenty of trouble. Recent stories on Baffler, Conjunctions, Counterpunch, KGB bar lit. Plouc de Paris is the novel you want to read.