Thursday, 23 June 2011

Les Anglais aiment les Français parce qu'ils sont Français

For the past five weeks Monsieur Espley has been at MelenStudios on work experience from Toulouse, well près d'Albi!  Matt has been both useful and a joy to have around, Alistair Peck and I have helped with his English language skills and learning new photography skills.  I know M. Espley has been most impressed with my Franglais, something i picked up at school twenty years ago injected with some words and phrases of my own.
Matthieu Espley will write a short piece here soon on his time with us but we still have a few projects for him to do and then on the last day we are at Henley Regatta to photograph the event, a day before my birthday!
So why do the English love the French, is it because they are so French?
An article from a French perspective
Great joke from the text
 "While the English have always pretended not reflect the intelligence," said Charles Hargrove, who was for nearly twenty years the chief correspondent of The Times in Paris and could never bring himself to leave France .Tropism that the English have little understanding, which earned them the French joke: "Why has God given the rain the English? To give them something to talk about.
En Français
"Tandis que les Anglais ont toujours affecté de ne pas tenir compte de l'intelligence, ajoute Charles Hargrove, qui fut pendant près de vingt ans le correspondant en chef du Times à Paris et n'a jamais pu se résoudre à quitter la France. Un tropisme que les Anglais ne comprennent guère, ce qui leur vaut cette blague française" : "Pourquoi Dieu a-t-il offert de la pluie aux Anglais ? Pour leur donner un sujet de conversation."
EMILIE Lanez

The English hate the French. That make them well. The case is not new, Cicero mentions in his "De amicitia." Thousand years of close, distant at best, at worst bloody, fueled this strong enmity. In "Henry V", Shakespeare describes the French as "arrogant and excessively lascivious," taunted their skills to "flipped". The portraits that we present to each other are as follows: a concentrate of prejudice against a backdrop of ancient hatred. The French consider the English as arrogant island, eating boiled lamb with mint and not knowing how to seduce. While the English judge us talkative, arrogant, dirty, smelling of garlic and sweat, fickle, fraudsters and corrupt.

The English hate us. Their aversion is not confined to pub conversations, it is not reserved for football editorials in the popular press (see box). It surfaces in some official speeches. Thus, when it was decided to dig the Channel tunnel, the straight face that a Conservative MP demanded a study on the risks of importation of our prostitutes, mostly transvestites, too. When the front of the Embassy of France on the Albert Gate, London, asked for some work of restoration, the House of Lords called to the Foreign Office on this "vanity filthy" that deals with the support of Londoners "peels paint pending on walls unclean. " Francophobia permeates popular wisdom. Malcolm Scott, a professor of French literature at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, remembers that when her mother was reluctant to make a household ungrateful, it used to say: "Since I must do, j 'then go away to France."

So saying, Ms. Scott gave perhaps the heart to work, but she was mistaken. For if his countrymen continue to condemn us a cordial detestation, they rush over - or under - the Channel to come to our country. Eleven million British tourists a year, the largest foreign contingent after the Germans. In most cases, they are only passing through. But increasingly, they decide to put their suitcases and buy houses, colonizing the Dordogne, Provence, the Bay of Somme (see article page 48). The most audacious even venturing to invest in our vineyards (see page 49). This is the strange relationship between our relationship, shaped by geography, imposed by history: the British love France but not French. One third of the English went to France. 2% of the British say they appreciate the French.

Why so much hatred? First, because of history. Until the late nineteenth century, the French and the English have fought. Conflict that occupied a thousand years of neighborhood. In very brief, remember 1066 and the victory at Hastings to William of Normandy against the Saxon King Harold. William is at the end of the year crowned king of England at Westminster.

There followed the Hundred Years War with the British victory at Agincourt and martyrdom of Joan of Arc, the Seven Years War, the Thirty Years Napoleonic battles, from Trafalgar to Waterloo ... Until de Gaulle's refusal to see the English, who had welcomed him into exile, join the Common Market. In vain, since it acceded in 1973.

Latin regicide against Saxon

Thousand years, so, during which "France and England go together at the head of the human race, now it is France who is the head of the column, sometimes it is England who advances to the first rank ", writes Stephen Cabet in 1830 in his newspaper Le Populaire. A rivalry between the two European nations that the British ambassador in Paris, Sir Michael Jay, more cautiously now called "mutual recognition of their greatness."

History explain it even today our enmity? Despite the Allied victory, the liberation of Europe and even in spite of the peace? "I do not believe that an Englishman who had arrived in Calais in mind the Hundred Years War" surprised John Ardagh, distinguished Francophile. So, the reasons lie elsewhere. In British insularity, among others. Obvious geographical summarizes Julian Barnes, the most Francophile of British writers, author of a delightful collection of short stories, "the Channel" (published by Denoël), where he sketched the adventures of his compatriots lost in our country. "The British Isles are surrounded by French and seals. The English, when they wanted out, had before them the choice. "The French is therefore alien status par excellence, which makes him take on all that the island may experience xenophobia. A feeling that we are not free, but we can divide both sides of our borders.

The stranger par excellence, then. Against Anglican Catholic, Latin and regicide against Saxon, viscerally attached to a liberal philosophy and its monarchy. L'Etranger, which the English became acquainted with poor opportunities. "The British people in the mass of the French became aware for the first time in the Great War, says Malcolm Scott, where our soldiers have reported stories of lice and rats, house without bathroom, a France rather disgusting images that the people have swallowed without the part of the state of war and not understanding the differences between urban civilization that was already in England in 1914 and that the country was still rural France. "

Third point of misunderstanding incurable mind. Or, more precisely, its use by the French. Theodore Zeldin, described by Time magazine as "the largest global authority on the French character," is the core point of our disagreement. "The British humor is irony and paradox, incomprehensible to the French, who book the little jokes for home use. In addition, the taste of the French intellectual jousting for dark frightens the British love of pragmatism. "The author of" History of French Passions "landed in Paris at age 22 and found a home" in an apartment in Passy, where two old ladies lived Petain. " He then discovers "the French art of conversation, this will reflect on life, discuss, create problems." "While the English have always pretended not reflect the intelligence," said Charles Hargrove, who was for nearly twenty years the chief correspondent of The Times in Paris and could never bring himself to leave France . Tropism that the English have little understanding, which earned them the French joke: "Why has God given the rain the English? To give them something to talk about. "

Another misunderstanding citizenship. "The British company is more organized, more civilized, more vibrant civic responsibility and respect for the public good that French society. This high regard for the state but not the next, while the English unless the state meets but the individual, "says Charles Hargrove.

The trifecta

If the English do not like us, they love our country, the core of which they rush willingly. The time has come when 'British cars are waved when they crossed the French countryside, "as remembered, touched, Julian Barnes. What do they like so much in France? A trio agreed: 51% of the British come for our food - although Barnes continues to consider it a crime to season the tomatoes with vinaigrette - 32% are looking forward to our wines and 12% would go to France to enjoy of our museums. "The English are coming and travelers in search of sun, easy living, in search of a campaign that no longer exists in England, whose population density is much higher in an area half as big," Analysis Alain Woodrow, former journalist for Le Monde and author of a delightful book, "Everything you ever wanted to know about the English but were afraid to ask" (editions of the Feline). The English love the exotic bucolic, is a landscape of deserted villages and silence against a backdrop of trees. A postcard that spoil the locals by their presence.

A certain idea of France. "Everyone knew that in the French villages, the butcher shop has to close for four hours to sleep with the wife of the baker, the baker for four hours as to sleep with the owner of the hardware, and so on," writes Julian Barnes in "the Channel". Explanation cleverly frivolous office hours, but correspond to the France of today? "The English living in France Impressionist does not exist", asserts Theodore Zeldin. They love the province. Like the French, however, who do it. But do not tell the English, it would ruin their vacation.