Still making up the mind about Lucy Wadham, an English expat in France some 30 years. She employs some remarkable turns of phrase I’d like to believe are hers but they so often follow a concluded quote by one of the literary greats that it’s not easy to tell.
And yet it’s an important point because on p78 of The Secret Life of France, Faber and Faber, 2009, she refers to why the French want you to speak French to them – it makes them feel warm inside but will then massacre your own language five minutes later in order to spare their own ears from hearing any more of your French.
She says French is not an efficient language:
There are too few nouns for it to be properly useful.It is a language given to digression and subordinate clauses – the language of diplomacy, the language of noncommitment.
And it is that very noncommitment which spills over into the sphere of sexual relations, upon which she is quite prudish.…