Quotations About / On:
The production of obscurity in Paris compares to the production of motor cars in Detroit in the great period of American industry.
(Ernest Gellner (b. 1925), British anthropologist, philosopher. "The Late Show," October 15, 1992, BBC2 television broadcast. Quoted in Observer Review (London, October 18, 1992).)
To have one's mother-in-law in the country when one lives in Paris, and vice versa, is one of those strokes of luck that one encounters only too rarely.
(Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850), French novelist. Meditation Number XII, Canel (1829).
Balzac's generalizations about mothers-in-law.)
Totem poles and wooden masks no longer suggest tribal villages but fashionable drawing rooms in New York and Paris.
(Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, New York (1984).)
Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness.
(Willa Cather (1876-1947), U.S. novelist. Willa Cather in Europe, ch. 11 (1956).
Written on September 3, 1902.)
I am savage enough to prefer the woods, the wilds, and the independence of Monticello, to all the brilliant pleasures of this gay capital [Paris].
(Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, September 6, 1785, to Geismar. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 8, p. 500, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).)
The American arrives in Paris with a few French phrases he has culled from a conversational guide or picked up from a friend who owns a beret.
(Fred Allen (1894-1957), U.S. radio comic. Quoted in Paris After Dark, introduction, Art Buchwald (1954).)
... in the movies Paris is designed as a backdrop for only three thingslove, fashion shows, and revolution.
(Jeanine Basinger (b. 1936), U.S. movie and social historian. A Woman's View, ch. 7 (1993).)
I'd like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.
(Mae West, U.S. screenwriter, W.C. Fields, and Edward Cline. Cuthbert Twillie (W.C. Fields), My Little Chickadee, response to the hangman who asks if Twillie has any last wish (1940).
In a 1925 Vanity Fair article, Fields suggested his epitaph should read: "Here lies W.C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.")
[Paris] is dirty. It has pigeons and black yards. The people have white skin.
(Albert Camus (1913-1960), French-Algerian novelist, dramatist, philosopher. Meursault describes Paris to his fiancee, in The Stranger, p. 65, Gallimard (1942).)
Love, that is all I asked, a little love, daily, twice daily, fifty years of twice daily love like a Paris horse-butcher's regular, what normal woman wants affection?
(Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Mrs. Rooney, in "All That Fall," reprinted in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 37, Grove Press (1960).)