Paul Jorion

Understanding Our Times Publication date : March 6, 2014

Paul Jorion is an anthropologist and a sociologist. He became known to a wide readership with his book on the global financial crisis: La Crise: des subprimes au séisme financier et planétaire (2008). A columnist for the French daily Le Monde, and a blogger, he is known for his iconoclastic views.

‘In February 2007 when the world entered the crisis that has since held us in its claws, it rapidly became clear to me that the narrative and the analysis of financial and economic events would not suffice to explain the world we live in. The scrutiny of news events, alone, would not do the trick: it would have to be bolstered by “non-news” considerations, disconnected from the hubbub of events in the rough […].
‘In order to classify the short pieces, from aphorisms to “points of view”, that I had written from day to day, two categories imposed themselves: a serious one reserved for “fundamental issues” and a light one for “daily life”.
‘Curiously, when I had finished one of the pieces that you will read in the present collection, I often hesitated, not sure which rubric I should slot it into, because for everyone, men, women and children, what is serious is sometimes light, and, more often than not, what seems light-hearted is deadly serious. And so, when you read these innocent texts, you will smile, laugh or weep, because living is enough to make you laugh and cry, and doubtless more so today than in the past,’ writes Paul Jorion.

• Known for his wide-ranging interests, Paul Jorion cultivates his love of paradoxes and the bizarre.