More Francophone condemnations of the US

Abdou Diouf, “Secretary-General of la Francophonie and former President of Senegal”, responding to Chirac in the former organisation’s first meeting outside France, in a Ceausescu palace in Bucharest:

the notion of culture from a US standpoint is understood to mean entertainment rather than the expression of peoples’ souls and identities.

I’ve read quite a lot of twentieth century French and American fiction, and I’d make the fairly obvious point that, in general, where the latter scored was in making the expression of peoples’ souls and identities an entertaining business. Reading Jorge Semprun’s laborious thrashing through of the legitimacy of terrorism in a democratic society, Netchaïev est de retour, last week was yet another dreadful experience. It’s difficult to imagine an English edition even recouping the translation costs.

Some C19th Romanian poetry written in French is, on the other hand, rather good.

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