French Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 594 quotes )
French intellectual life has, in my opinion, been turned into something cheap and meretricious by the 'star' system. It is like Hollywood. Thus we go from one absurdity to another - Stalinism, existentialism. Lacan, Derrida - some of them obscene ( Stalinism), some simply infantile and ridiculous ( Lacan, Derrida). What is striking, however, is the pomposity and self-importance, at each stage.
I cut the ribbon in Paris, and everyone in Paris speaks French? maybe you knew that. But I'm from Tennessee, and Tennessee girls don't speak French. So suddenly I'm stuck onstage with Minnie and Mickey and everyone is yelling at me in French? I guess they're telling me to get off the stage, but I didn't know what they were saying at the time, so I start dancing with Minnie and Mickey like on the show and finally my aunt comes and gets me off.
Antananarivo is pronounced Tananarive, and for much of this century has been spelt that way as well. When the French took over Madagascar at the end of the last century (colonised is probably too kind a word for moving in on a country that was doing perfectly well for itself but which the French simply took a fancy to), they were impatient with the curious Malagasy habit of not bothering to pronounce the first and last syllables of place names. They decided, in their rational Gallic way, that if that was how the names were pronounced then they could damn well be spelt that way too. It would be rather as if someone had taken over England and told us that from now on we would be spelling Leicester 'Lester' and liking it. We might be forced to spell it that way, but we wouldn't like it, and neither did the Malagasy. As soon as they managed to divest themselves of French rule, in 1960, they promptly reinstated all the old spellings and just kept the cooking and the bureaucracy.
It's a common mistake for vacationing Americans to assume that everyone around them is French and therefore speaks no English whatsoever. [...] An experienced traveler could have told by looking at my shoes that I wasn't French. And even if I were French, it's not as if English is some mysterious tribal dialect spoken only by anthropologists and a small population of cannibals.
Ask him about the cemeteries, Dean!"In 1966 upon being told that President Charles DeGaulle had taken France out of NATO and that all U. S. troops must be evacuated off of French soil President Lyndon Johnson mentioned to Secretary of State Dean Rusk that he should ask DeGaulle about the Americans buried in France. Dean implied in his answer that that DeGaulle should not really be asked that in the meeting at which point President Johnson then told Secretary of State Dean Rusk:"Ask him about the cemeteries Dean!"That made it into a Presidential Order so he had to ask President DeGaulle. So at end of the meeting Dean did ask DeGaulle if his order to remove all U. S. troops from French soil also included the 60,000+ soldiers buried in France from World War I and World War II. DeGaulle, embarrassed, got up and left and never answered.
Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true. She lived through the war. In 1959 she came to America. She now lives in a condo in Miami, a tiny French woman with white hair, with a daughter and a grand-daughter. She keeps herself to herself and smiles rarely, as if the weight of memory keeps her from finding joy. Or that's a lie. Actually the Gestapo picked her up during a border crossing in 1943, and they left her in a meadow. First she dug her own grave, then a single bullet to the back of the skull. Her last thought, before that bullet, was that she was four months' pregnant, and that if we do not fight to create a future there will be no future for any of us. There is an old woman in Miami who wakes, confused, from a dream of the wind blowing the wildflowers in a meadow. There are bones untouched beneath the warm French earth which dream of a daughter's wedding. Good wine is drunk. The only tears shed are happy ones.
A big, sandy-haired man held his daughter on his shoulders, showing her the Statue of Liberty. I would never know what this statue meant to others, she had always been an ugly joke for me. And the American flag was flying from the top of the ship, above my head. I had seen the French flag drive the French into the most unspeakable frenzies, I had seen the flag which was nominally mine used to dignify the vilest purposes: now I would never, as long as I lived, know what other saw when they saw a flag.
There is no English equivalent for the French word flneur. Cassell's dictionary defines flneur as a stroller, saunterer, drifter but none of these terms seems quite accurate. There is no English equivalent for the term, just as there is no Anglo-Saxon counterpart of that essentially Gallic individual, the deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency, who, being French and therefore frugal, wastes nothing, including his time which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city.
They walked across 15th Street to the Madison Hotel's Montpelier Room, an opulent French restaurant. Bradlee asked for a corner table, and began the conversation. 'You'd better bring me up to date because...' He turned to order lunch in perfect French, and then turned back to Woodward. '...our cocks are on the chopping block now and I just want to know a little bit more about this.