Perhaps the one thing more extraordinary than the presence of Chomsky in this small town of 8,000 people is that he sold out within days of the announcement, leaving Jill and I gutted that we missed out, but somehow proud that we live in a region which flocks to see a left-wing intellectual speak in a foreign language.
It is true that the French, unlike the British who have apparently just honoured Bruce Forsyth with a knighthood, reserve a special place in their hearts and their public life for intellectuals. Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus are the notable examples. And it is also true that Uzes has hosted Racine and Gide during its history: Racine has a pavilion named after him, and Gide an underground car park. (Really!)
But there is another side to Uzes, and it is this other side that appealed to Racine back in the '60s - the 1660s, that is.
"Our nights are more beautiful than your days" he wrote to his Parisian friends, relishing and revelling in the fact that Uzes was a town in which "a thousand traiteurs prosper while one bookseller starves".
This hedonistic side of Uzes is still very much in evidence, and I intend to participate at lunchtime today after fighting my way around the market. I haven't counted the number of bars, cafes and restaurants required to support the 8,000 people but it is pretty substantial.
In fact, the two sides are not mutually exclusive. The Suisse d'Alger is not Les Deux Magots but there is something of a moveable feast about Uzes cafe society. The customers (or many of them) will be artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, academics. The conversations (or many of them) will be of books, of politics, of ideas. We will hear the name Chomsky often at lunchtime today, I suspect. And amongst the charcuterie stalls, the fruit stalls, the spice stalls, the wine stalls, the cheese stalls will be book stalls to supplement the excellent bouquinerie which prompted a friend of ours, a Canadian academic, to buy a house here. "I want to live in a town that reads books like this" she said.
So do I.
Today's listening: Quicksilver Messenger Service, Happy Trails. Prompted by the excellent Rick Hough who posted some sensational footage of the band (John Cippolina, Gary Duncan, Nicky Hopkins et al) performing Who do you love/Mona. Thanks, Rick.