Posted by: Sk | February 14, 2009

6 What is France?

It’s true that irreversibly you finish confronting yourself to questions which to a certain extent do go far beyond your natural capacity in the possibility of finding a reassuring answer.

Dimitra asked in Greece: why did you study in France? Well, I answer, I’ve got nation none. German tradition says the national character is transmitted by the mother, and Spanish tradition, it is transmitted by the father. Of German father and Spanish mother, I’m a Spaniard for the German and … a German for the Spaniards. Consequently I staid in the middle.Perhaps it is true that at that time already France’s identity was as lost as mine and thus, some paths of communication explained my almost complete fusion with the French. The difference appeared clearly though in this that I still hoped I could find some place where my identity’d be defined in a proper general frame and refused the assimilation of the lack of identity to void, as proned in France at that time. Turkey and Greece seemed more proper territories for my refusal to give up hope.The path taken by France which I intimately know is condemned to some kind of national suicide. Instead of defining an identity in a proper way (adequate to general structures of understanding) all sorts of flashy and attractive elements from an enormous diversity of cultures and nations is integrated into a whole without consistence. The resulting pêle mêle (some kind of disordered patch work) furthers a deep and almost frozen nationalism without perspective. French does not even develop proper nationalistic structures; I think ironically, it’s just hatred and imposition.Not that I haven’t reasons to leave things as they are. Deepest reminders taking roots in history do always and frequently talk about French misbehaviors around Spain, were it Napoleon, were it the support of ETA through the tolerance shown to escaping terrorists to the French parts of the Basque territory, and many other. But what do they have? I ask myself, won’t they not leave people living in peace and build their own way.It seems an impossible task. It’s true, that as in the case of the English, I tend to build up a nation’s notion on the, for me, most positive elements, and thus, a horribly beautiful France taking roots in Celtic love stories, gothic churches with smiling angels, Jeanne’ d’Arcs and many adventurous stories as Arsène Lupin (Maurice Leblanc) and Mallet, the three Mousquetaires and related, along with Piaf and three songs of Belgian Brel, are wrapped in glamorous silk dresses and fed with foie gras and camembert, and allow even thinking a glorious ‘resistence’ in lights less ambiguous than the one left by the discovery Miterrand’d have played a double game as he shew the German military award to some friends of his.The French shows though an extraordinary lack of humor and answer usually to ironical comments on one or the other national feature almost aggressively and with cold despite. There’s no Trafalgar in France and this means a certain wound in the incapacity of dealing properly with weaknesses and different outer worlds. On top of that, they’ve neither logic nor organization but just a strange tendency to believe they’re the centre of the world and everything but really everything resulting of their ingeniosity even yes, even if it has actually nothing to do with anything.5 years in France do not help. I’ve two advantages they simply can’t integrate: German’s abstract thought and Spanish common sense. The first may be the result of sheer madness cumulated through history and blood mixture, obliging to make reality disappear behind frozen metallic logics that do then build up beautiful armies and develops strategies of war. The second is a definition of reason that takes its source in the understanding of the common and organizes itself around very serious and impressive ministries, symbolizing the need of the private to organize itself around a common structure. France has neither the one, neither the other. Keeping my own identity in the balanced exploitation of the most positive aspects of my intellectual inheritance, I see deepest frictions appear after a while. Some are copying my very impressive style (for them) that smashes in French Prussian abstract concepts. Without wanting to say too much, my reaction is in fact full of despite. This is not yours, I answer, even if said in French.Even that is missing. The foreigner is not understood as approaching the nearest environment through different structures, where a language which subtly says itself differently does indicate the foreign origin, but his worked is appropriated through the language causing a dangerous fusion of structures. Myself, I detest a certain flock of people around me trying to imitate things whose understanding is not yet properly defined. I’m searching for what fascinates me personally, the expression of the real French, and although I can see glimpses in history I see only the reminder of the same in some somewhere flowy lines left through fashion on the unconscious. Which explains my deepest devotion and admiration for Betty Catroux although of quite diffuse origins, too (whether Brazilian, Irish, American, and somewhere with French blood she seems at least to make the effort to behave French in France.) Languages are though so different, that sitting just in front at 5o cm having lunch at the Balzar I have the feeling that thousands and thousands of kilometers do separate my conceptual absolutism (for them) from the silent allure transmitting unknown messages. “You don’t get bored?” I ask in the same silent language imagining myself at the edges of suicide if compelled to live such a life. The silent answers with a surprised something that seems to indicate that she wouldn’t have asked herself the question, takes it though into consideration and finishes by answering: “not from a certain point of view.” Enigmatic answer I will need years to understand.Strangely I’m France’s death, as I will understand much later. Both logical structures I move in are determining in identity, while France’s isn’t. While my very large concepts do though admit other possibilities I may integrate into my personal compound, France takes mine, its own death, for belonging to it and signs some definite condemnation to death, while I go away in the research of a more proper French reality allowing the existence of baguettes and cheap wine bottle in a comfortable concept.I will spend indefinite hours, days and months and years in a deep and long conversation with Marianne while saving Jeanne D’Arc from fire when I understand the British did never kill her but let her escape. My Marianne is something like a Betty Catroux who listens to sharp dry voices coming from Lassègues and similar people and are all but really all the time trying to make the boys understand what they have to do.Something I can’t understand. It escapes to my ability of determining in identity and having already constructed marvelous Japans and Chinas and Russias, Greeces, Turkeys, Us, Israels and Pakistans, I continue staring at this peculiar country without getting a clue of what they actually want as I don’t understand who they are. Finally I decide to separate countries into two types. Those who determine their reality more on psychic interactions (Africa, South America, Greece, Islam, other Asian countries) and those who determine their reality through understanding, in two types, through concept (Europe, Us, Israel, Australia, Canada), or through notion (Russia, China, Japan). Although quite diffuse in its appearance, France shows reminders of female interrelative logics in quite aggressive surroundings (Germany, Spain, Italy), while England has an extremely soft identity, more similar to Russia or China than to German’s brutal imposition of identity. At least England is on an island and may thus justify their difference.Finally I root France’s identity on the mythology around King Arthur (first appearing in France although from original English origins) brought to France by returning Celtic populations fleeing Norman’s pressure. The French come thus back to the French enrichened by some mysterious Irish rain bows. This determination of principle for a national identity does justify itself all over history: love stories are the matter of interest for a French and allows even women to appear in literature as Eleanor d’Aquitaine or Marguerite of Navarre (?). Love stories are though neither the foundation of war nor of economy. It allows making up gothic churches as architectural representation of the association of spiritual love to higher realms and the kind. This identity is constantly under the attack of highly moralizing currents that want to use of erotic impulses in order to build strong national characters (Spain). The constant imposition of absolute truths deriving of no where, condemning love to hell and eternal punishment do finally just say one thing: Be French, be bad.The French, incapable of giving a rational answer to these aggressions as love is no foundation for reason as such, do simply become aggressive and pick financial structures along with others, from surrounding England, Spain and Germany or Italy in a confused organization whose principle of organization is simply … esthetical. With time, a hard core radical nationalism in its absolute refusal of accepting differences develops itself out of this quite unjust and unbalanced situation.In a desperate attempt of constructing an adequate notion for the French I do make reason slide to affective realms. Identity is not ‘it is’ but the determined consequence of a view on something in the perspective of love. Very proud of myself I irrupt in French territories in 2003. Where I have myself already forbidden all possibility of realization of my highly sophisticated concept of the French as my influence at that time having conquered territory enough so as to have actually destroyed French identity in a different perspective. On top of that, the language is not adequate. I continue talking a highly rational language based on law and logics and definitions. Perplex, I search for an adequate language, which develops itself through the strict adequation of word or image to reminders of the French as kept. This is how the Fressange hypothesis was born. Ah, what did I want to say? I, as myself, did allow other ways of being, saying and expressing, but you; you understood what I said as an absolute truth as this is what you wanted for yourself. The proof? Yourself. To maintain my own identity as such in the understanding of its temporal development does certainly not imply an imposition, nor the will all to be the same. On the contrary, it is the only position that does show tolerance to the other as not being afraid of the loss of itself by the confrontation with the different.Mind, Madame Inès de la Fressange, a Spanish wine?

 

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