Tiberge: "French literature today does not exist, nor does poetry"

Noted blogger Lawrence Auster Tiberge on the decline of French, December 03, 2005:

As for the French language, of course it was richer, clearer and more full-bodied (if I may compare it to wine) in the centuries of the monarchy and into the nineteenth century. Learning to read French literature was one of the joys of my life, and I was so impressed precisely by that “clarté” you speak of. The language has declined terribly in the latter half of the 20th century. Reading these French websites is often an agony. The slang, the acronyms, the horrible spelling, and the tendency to get entangled in specious “raisonnements” are all indicators of the collapse of their culture. French literature today does not exist, nor does poetry. And those who do attempt to write well are under the spell of political correctness, so they speak without saying anything. French magazines and newspapers are boring and often written in short elliptical phrases for those who can’t stand long sentences.
I believe the rise of totalitarian ideologies in the 19th century had something to do with all this. French writers and philosophers were suddenly dealing with terrifying ideas that had dreadful consequences and they could not cope. They tried to be more intelligent, more piercing than they were capable of and the result is boring and contradictory garbage that young people loved and quoted as if it were Gospel. I tried to read Sartre and couldn’t follow it. But he’s clear compared to others. The mutation of their culture meant the end of their language as well. Without great writers, you won’t have a great language.

Also, they are in such fierce competition with us that they twist whatever they say to ensure it does not sound too much like what an American would say. Recently on CNN Dominique de Villepin said that the riots were not real riots because nobody was killed, unlike American riots where people were killed (in 1992). He said the rioters were between the ages of 12 and 20, so it was a completely different type of event. What he was saying was that France’s riots are superior to America’s riots. When you think like this, how can you speak clearly?

Actually, Auster Tiberge could have pointed out that people did die in the 2005 French riots. So did one native Frenchman make the mistake of going out of the building he lived in to try and do some damage control when he was beaten up by youth and subsequently died of his injuries. All such incidents were initially reported, yet French and liberal media were not too keen to call the French government on its lie when it later claimed in interviews with foreign media that what it called "civil unrests" didn't cause any fatalities.
Don't believe me? Here you are, courtesy of the Beeb 

Ten policemen were injured by shots and stones when they confronted 200 rioters in the Paris suburb of Grigny, with two policemen seriously hurt.

President Jacques Chirac has said restoring order is his top priority.

Meanwhile a man who fell into a coma after being beaten last week is thought to be the first fatality of the unrest.

Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec, 61, was reportedly struck by a hooded man in the street after he and a neighbour went to inspect damage to bins near their apartment block in the town of Stains, in the Seine-Saint-Denis region outside Paris.

In the New York Times:

France's growing urban unrest claimed its first life today and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin later indicated on French television that the government was near a decision to allow local officials to impose curfews.

The dead man, Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec, 61, had been in a coma since he was attacked by a hooded youth last week while talking with a neighbor about their cars near a working-class housing development in the Parisian suburb of Stains.


tiberge said...


What a surprise to receive an e-mail from Lawrence Auster telling me you had printed my comment, erroneously attributing it to him. (That is fine with me - to be identified with Lawrence whom I admire is an honor. Although I don't know how he feels!)

Back then, before I had my own blog, I used to send him items dealing with France that I thought he might be interested in. In February 2006, I started my own blog - GalliaWatch - that deals with the current political and cultural situation in France today - a very troubling and even terrifying situation, since traditional France is slowly losing its fight for survival.

At the time Lawrence posted the comment you quote he probably didn't know about the deaths of Le Chenadec and the others. I did eventually report those deaths - the French patriots were very upset with the misrepresentation by both media and politicians of the events, and the way they ignored the violence done to their compatriots, preferring to concentrate on the needs and wishes of the rioters and the vandals.

If you have a chance you might be interested in GalliaWatch:


I will check out your site in greater detail ASAP.

Some of my articles appear at The Brussels Journal:


Unfrench Frenchman said...

Dear Tiberge,

Thank you for correcting me. I have updated this entry accordingly.