Best 465 quotes in «france quotes» category

  • By Anonym

    I know of no other place that is so fascinating yet so frustrating, so aware of the world and its own place within it but at the same time utterly insular. A country touched by nostalgia, with a past so great - so marked by brilliance and achievement - that French people today seem both enriched and burdened by it. France is like a maddening, moody lover who inspires emotional highs and lows. One minute it fills you with a rush of passion, the next you're full of fury, itching to smack the mouth of some sneering shopkeeper or smug civil servant. Yes, it's a love-hate relationship.

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    I know the meaning of humility. It is not self-disparagement. It is the motive power of action. If, intending to absolve myself, I plead fate as the excuse for my misfortunes, I subject myself to fate. If I plead treason as their excuse, I subject myself to treason. But if I accept responsibility, I affirm my strength as a man. I am able to influence that of which I form part. I declare myself a constituent part of the community of mankind.

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    I'm never afraid, I'm just preparing for pain.

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    I'll pretty much try any cheese, but I have found that I prefer young goats and old cows. I don't like gray areas.

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    In France, Paul explained, good cooking was regarded as a combination of national sport and high art, and wine was always served with lunch and dinner. "The trick is moderation," he said.

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    Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.

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    I observed on most collected stones the imprints of innumerable plant fragments which were so different from those which are growing in the Lyonnais, in the nearby provinces, and even in the rest of France, that I felt like collecting plants in a new world... The number of these leaves, the way they separated easily, and the great variety of plants whose imprints I saw, appeared to me just as many volumes of botany representing in the same quarry the oldest library of the world.

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    I regard anti-Semitism as ineradicable and as one element of the toxin with which religion has infected us. Perhaps partly for this reason, I have never been able to see Zionism as a cure for it. American and British and French Jews have told me with perfect sincerity that they are always prepared for the day when 'it happens again' and the Jew-baiters take over. (And I don't pretend not to know what they are talking about: I have actually seen the rabid phenomenon at work in modern and sunny Argentina and am unable to forget it.) So then, they seem to think, they will take refuge in the Law of Return, and in Haifa, or for all I know in Hebron. Never mind for now that if all of world Jewry did settle in Palestine, this would actually necessitate further Israeli expansion, expulsion, and colonization, and that their departure under these apocalyptic conditions would leave the new brownshirts and blackshirts in possession of the French and British and American nuclear arsenals. This is ghetto thinking, hardly even fractionally updated to take into account what has changed. The important but delayed realization will have to come: Israeli Jews are a part of the diaspora, not a group that has escaped from it. Why else does Israel daily beseech the often-flourishing Jews of other lands, urging them to help the most endangered Jews of all: the ones who rule Palestine by force of arms? Why else, having supposedly escaped from the need to rely on Gentile goodwill, has Israel come to depend more and more upon it? On this reckoning, Zionism must constitute one of the greatest potential non sequiturs in human history.

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    I said, “Je parle français.” Indira gave me a weird look. Or a look that said I was weird. Whichever. The point is, I don’t really speak French, but it’s a useful phrase for confusing people you don’t wish to speak with. However, it’s apparently more useful in Europe, where no one enjoys speaking to the French.

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    Majestatis naturæ by ingenium (Genius equal to the majesty of nature.) [Inscribed ordered by King Louis XV for the base of a statue of Buffon placed at Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris.]

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    In French culture, the best way of buying time or getting off the hook entirely in a thorny personal situation is to claim that it’s complicated. The French did not invent love, but they did invent romance, so they’ve had more time than any other culture on earth to refine the nuances of its language.

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    ...it has always been my temperament to prefer a tiny amount of the excellent to a plenitude of the mediocre...

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    I thought of the fifteen years I lived 'sans papiers' in France and how Paris had belonged to me. I was like a king in France. And now that suddenly I was French, Paris was gone for me. I had abdicated the throne the French people had given to me. All those people were gone. The whole city had changed. I left for five years: three spent wandering in Europe, while two years I spent living in Muslim Morocco; and now Paris had changed and there was no going back.

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    It’s a great city, Paris, a beautiful city––and––it was very good for me.

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    It's about more than us, now, can't you see? I love you, of course I do, but some things...some things just have to be done.

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    It seemed that in Paris you could discuss classic literature or architecture or great music with everyone from the garbage collector to the mayor.

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    It was all there, in short - it was what he wanted: it was Tremont Street, it was France, it was Lambinet. Moreover, he was freely walking about in it.

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    It was hard to live through the early 1940s in France and not have the war be the center from which the rest of your life spiraled.

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    It wasn’t playing both sides of the fence – it was betting against yourself but still playing to win – and it encapsulated everything absurd and paradoxical that I loved about the French.

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    It looks like a funeral parlour in here. Am I dead?

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    It was then I thought of Corsica, the place we had discovered together. I craved the wind, the sun and salt, the simplicity of the island.

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    Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.

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    I Will Follow Anyone And Ask Everyone To Stand Together As One Civilisation Against Terrorism

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    Monsieur Alfred Backert, a resident of Bischoffsheim, lived near the village center. He recalled the war years in Alsace-Lorraine and remembered the women from Mannheim who were sent to Bischoffsheim, ostensibly for their safety by the Nazi Regime. He later served in the French army and was stationed in Germany for a number of years. Frau Heinchen, the elderly woman with her dog, who talked to me on the windy hillside overlooking Überlingen on Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2002. She recalled the Polish and Russian prisoners, whom she called Cossacks, and vividly remembered the hanging of the Russian soldier, described in this book. According to her, it was the farmer’s wife Clarissa who was raped by the Russian soldier and later, bore his child. She remembered the lager (warehouse) that was used to house the prisoners, saying that it was located on a field near the municipal hospital. She also told us the location of where the one room schoolhouse had been. For the limited time that we talked, she glowed and became twenty-one years young again.

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    Muchos de los oficiales que habían tomado parte en la Gran Guerra habían ido ascendiendo automáticamente sin que hubiesen vuelto a preocuparse de las evoluciones que el arte militar hubiese podido experimentar en los últimos veinte años.

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    I've got one thing to say: I killed a lot of germans, and I'm only sorry I didn't kill more.

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    Man is a bad animal....

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    My part is not a heroic one, but I shall play my part.

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    Most of [her ashes] fell into the river in a long gray curtain. But some was caught by the wind and blown upward toward the blue spring sky where it swirled a moment in the air, before dissolving into sunlight.

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    My motto? Don’t trust someone who is just as cagey as yourself." "What kind of detective are you?” “A lousy one and proud of it. I write, remember?” She looked down at her hand & laughed. “Berretta doesn’t make lighters.” "Why I was a writer! My life revolved around fiction. I could make something up" "She looked down at her hand & laughed. “Berretta doesn’t make lighters.” "So they're not Tolstoy, they're a little shorter...Okay, okay a lot. Go ahead, read my mystery series anyway." "A detective has their boundaries especially me. So mine shifted occasionally...okay a lot" “Beat it, Buster. My temper and this mace have a hair trigger.” “Interference could be lethal.” I got right up in his face, hissing, “Don’t push me, I’m hormonal.” I'm not really a lousy detective, just rough around the edges.

  • By Anonym

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  • By Anonym

    Napoleon's aides broadcast the news to the people that the Emperor had covered the 1,000 kilometres from Dresden in only four days. In other words, he had broken the world retreating record, vive l'Empereur.

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    Nec pluribus impar (não inferior a outros) - Louis XIV, King of France

    • france quotes
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    Ne pleure jamais pour quelqu'un qui ne mérite pas t'es larmes rappelle toi la vie est jolie tout comme toi.

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    New Year's Day: Eat lentils to bring riches.

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    New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?

  • By Anonym

    Nikolai growled, "The French lost Strasbourg, they lost Alsace, they lost Lorraine, which they pretended was sacred to them because of their saint, though they are deeply infidel. A republican people deserves to lose all, must lose all." "But," objected Laura, "when France lost Strasbourg and Alsace-Lorraine, France wasn't a republican, it was ruled by the Emperor." "No matter," said Nikolai, "the French were a people who once had it in them to make France a republican country, and had it in them to make it one again.

    • france quotes
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    No matter how well I could pronounce words or expressions, there was no terroir in my vocabulary. Words all meant the same to me—almost like those black and white letter magnets you stick to a refrigerator. Table, 
Chaise, Connard, Pute, Vélo, Merde were all interchangeable and non-denominational, standing next to each other in my brain like a bad 
haiku.

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    Not all pioneers went west.

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    Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed, we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile verbs and participles.

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    Of course, my Christmas is (so much more) gorgeous and romantic (than Germany's)!! And unlike the rest of the world, we leave wine behind for Santa Claus!" "So Santa-san is delivering gifts to children while driving under the influence . . . ?

  • By Anonym

    Oh! do look at Miss Oriel's bonnet the next time you see her. I cannot understand why it should be so, but I am sure of this—no English fingers could put together such a bonnet as that; and I am nearly sure that no French fingers could do it in England.

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    ohonhonhonhon~

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    On a trip to Paris one day, little Sophie Met a giant lady lighting up the night sky "What's your name, you magical monster?" "My many visitors call me the Eiffel Tower." "In all your attire, don't your sometimes tire Of being seen only as a humdrum tower? You, a dragon, a fairy watching over Paris, An Olympic torch held aloft in grey skies?" "How you flatter me! So few poets these days Ever sing the praises of my Parisian soul, As did Cocteau, Aragon, Cendrars, Trénet and Apollinaire... Since you're so good At seeing beneath the surface, you could -If you like, when you're back from France- Take up your pen and write down Why you like me -it would be nice and fun!" "You can count on me! There's so much to say! I'll write twenty lines... but who will read them?" "Well, I know a man who'll read your verse." "Really? Who?" "The President of France

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    On the morning after the daring theft of a priceless James Ensor painting from the Grand Palais in Paris, I was allowed to leave the Les Halles Police Station after only a few hours of questioning.

    • france quotes
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    Our values were under attacks, in Paris Tell them: We stand UNITED We'll defend our values We'll NOT be DIVIDED

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    Out of the corner of his eye, he saw another woman sitting over in a wing chair, a pleasantly attractive lady wearing the tasteful clothes of a senior redactrice, or senior civil servant, the stylish black skirt, the dark stockings, the black pumps, and the starched white linen blouse of her caste. The dark hair was swept up in a chignon, elegant and functional, dark eyes glistened as she smiled at him in a professional manner. He could see that she was a woman who met men in a highly assured way—serene, and expert at creating a proper distance.

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    Par la même cause s’expliquent les succès de Mahomet. A la tête d’armées fanatiques, le chamelier de la Mecque se présente à l’Arabe ignorant et corrompu; puis, le sabre d’une main, la coupe des plaisirs de l’autre, lui dit: Crois ou meurs. Dans la foi qu’il demande pendant la vie, est l’autorisation de piller, de tuer, de réduire en esclavage tout ce qui n’est pas croyant; après la mort, le gage de tous les plaisirs sensuels dans un paradis de voluptés. On conçoit encore qu’en flattant les passions, le mahométisme a pu se faire d’innombrables partisans. Pour obtenir un pareil résultat, il ne faut être ni dieu, ni thaumaturge, ni saint, ni prophète. Il en est ainsi de toutes les prétendues religions qui ont paru dans le monde. Pas une seule qui n’ait dû son origine, ses progrès et sa durée à l’émancipation de l’une des trois concupiscences du cœur humain: l’orgueil, la cupidité, la volupté. Moins opposée est la lumière aux ténèbres, que le Christianisme à toutes ces fausses religions. Seul il ne pactise avec aucune faiblesse; seul il attaque de front tous les vices et tous les penchants corrompus; seul il prêche toutes les vertus et ordonne tous les genres de sacrifices

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    Reform or no reform, he never ceased to promote the interests of St. Denis and the Royal House of France with the same naive, and in his case not entirely unjustified, conviction of their identity with those of the nation and with the Will of God as a modern oil or steel magnate may promote legislation favorable to his company and to his bank as something beneficial to the welfare of this country and to the progress of mankind.

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    Sandrine opened her eyes to the soft gray light of early dawn. Recollections of sensual pleasure seemed to caress her body, bringing a smile to her lips. She lay back in the pillow and listened to the breathing of Philippe beside her. She lingered in the memory of the previous night, a memory that was like a warm and tender embrace, an evening of small intimate harmonies. As it should be.