Saturday, 22 March 2014

Inspirational Quotes 53 (about the French)

La belle France
From Lucy Wadham's revelatory The Secret Life of France.

I wonder if some of the sexual paralysis afflicting my English male contemporaries was brought on by post-feminist guilt, which only seemed to compound the puritan tendencies inherent in our culture… The dead hand of guilt falls far more heavily on us Protestants… My Protestant mistrust for the cult of appearances is deeply entrenched.

Lotissements – each region possessing its own… parody of the vernacular. (She's talking about urban sprawl.)

Good clean fun is not feasible in today’s Britain.

The French have not been affected by the tyranny of Cool.

The habit of embarrassment is quintessentially English.

The deep-seated resentment that seems to infect gender relations in Britain.

On French songs or chansons: They are firmly rooted in an easy melodic tradition and there are plenty of words… the French are quite happy to listen to some tone-deaf actress with a breathy voice sing Serge Gainsbourg’s compositions. (Somebody's said it at last.)

French is a language given to digression and subordinate clauses… with all its wonderful imprecision, it is a perfect vehicle for abstraction. (I.e. don't worry if you can't understand Deleuze and Guattari.)

In most aspects of French life, there is a huge gap between the idea and the reality. (She points out that they have an Academie that patrols the language and forbids neologisms, but meanwhile all young people speak an incomprehensible argot that changes every few weeks.)

More here, and links to the rest.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book: very amusing and insightful.