From Rabelais, Rousseau, Romanticism and the Renaissance to Hugo, Dumas, foie gras and Roquefort cheese, culture in France is as varied and versatile as anyone could want or imagine. Food, literature, cinema, fine art and architecture have always been highly evolved and France has been considered the centre of the world for many cultural elements.
French philosophers such as Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Julia Kristeva have had significant impact on world thought and literature. Prominent writers include André Breton, the militant surrealist, proponents of existentialism such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Simone de Beauvoir who also authored the ground-breaking The Second Sex. Asterix, the popular comic strip also originates in France.
Film-makers such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Louis Malle as well as Jean-Jacques Beineix, who made Amelie, are renowned world over. The French are also obsessed with spectator sports such as soccer, rugby, basketball and cycling. The Tour de France is especially notable.