I would eventually leave the business in 1999 to work full-time as a writer, but during the previous decade, I would advise French businessmen on how to succeed in Germany; tell Americans what to do in Eastern Europe; show the Spanish how to become more like the Americans. I spent one particularly haunting year advising bankers in Mexico.
Only peril can bring the French together. One can’t impose unity out of the blue on a country that has 265 different kinds of cheese.
I don’t feel guilty about expressing myself in French; nor do I feel that I am continuing the work of the colonizers.
I have often said that just as the French revolution, for instance, understood itself through antiquity, I think our time can be understood through the French revolution. It is quite a natural process to use other times to understand your own time.
Before the Second World War, L’Oreal in France was an active supporter of the French fascists. The cosmetic group’s founder Eugene Schueller was an active member of the ‘Cagoule’ group, committed to the violent overthrow of the Third Republic, and hosted meetings at Oreal headquarters.
During my last voyage to America, I enjoyed the happiness of seeing that revolution completed, and, thinking of the one that would probably occur in France, I said in a speech to Congress, published everywhere except in the ‘French Gazette,’ ‘May this revolution serve as a lesson to oppressors and as an example to the oppressed!’
I don’t know why you use a fancy French word like detente when there’s a good English phrase for it – cold war.
The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.
How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?
Like a French poem is life; being only perfect in structure when with the masculine rhymes mingled the feminine are.