Where I live I have not encountered in recent memory an American who knows, or wants to know, French. Roger Cohen’s encomium to the language and culture is touching. It’s poignant to share French love with another outsider.
To be a Francophile is a life sentence… a slightly illicit gift of ever-renewed pleasures… Paris has been important to me… It’s where I began to see that writing is not a choice but a need…
Style, as Flaubert observed, is “the discharge from a deeper wound.” … Paris reassures me. It is a repository of our fantasies, a redoubt of hope, a source of courage.
(Roger Cohen, “The Lessons of Paris and the Violence of Hope,” NYTimes, 5-31-19)
(c) 2019 JMN