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Old Dec 5th 2017, 1:51 pm   #1
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Default Jean d'Ormesson

Those who have listened to the news on radio or tv in France today, are probably already aware that France is mourning the passing of Jean d'Ormesson. An incredible personality. He was a brilliant scholar, novelist, philosopher and long time member of l’Académie française.
When I first became aware of this amazing character, and especially could understand him in the many tv interviews and other appearances, it became obvious that this was a person for whom the words, fascinating, humour, carisma and humble could have been tailor-made.
All those who met him are unanimous, his personality was infectious. Académie members commented that each time he walked in, it was like a ray of light piercing through the Académie. Another great comment I heard today was, "He was as ever pleasant as champagne - effervescent!"
I've searched in vain in an attempt to find an interview with him in English. Great pity, as I'm certain that others here not so familiar with the French language would also greatly appreciate Jean d'O.
During an interview last year he was asked what were his feelings about death. I've just made a brief translation of his answer, as it was brilliant in it's simplicity.
"I really enjoyed growing old. Oh yes! This is the only way not to die. I will not hate to die either. It's like work. It's a curse, it's annoying. But there is worse than work, it is not to have any. Well, death, do you think it's nice? It's a curse, but the worst thing would be not to die."
Décès de Jean d’Ormesson � 92 ans - Le Parisien
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"I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret." - Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Dec 5th 2017 at 1:55 pm.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 2:09 pm   #2
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Default Re: Jean d'Ormesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
Those who have listened to the news on radio or tv in France today, are probably already aware that France is mourning the passing of Jean d'Ormesson. An incredible personality. He was a brilliant scholar, novelist, philosopher and long time member of l’Académie française.
When I first became aware of this amazing character, and especially could understand him in the many tv interviews and other appearances, it became obvious that this was a person for whom the words, fascinating, humour, carisma and humble could have been tailor-made.
All those who met him are unanimous, his personality was infectious. Académie members commented that each time he walked in, it was like a ray of light piercing through the Académie. Another great comment I heard today was, "He was as ever pleasant as champagne - effervescent!"
I've searched in vain in an attempt to find an interview with him in English. Great pity, as I'm certain that others here not so familiar with the French language would also greatly appreciate Jean d'O.
During an interview last year he was asked what were his feelings about death. I've just made a brief translation of his answer, as it was brilliant in it's simplicity.
"I really enjoyed growing old. Oh yes! This is the only way not to die. I will not hate to die either. It's like work. It's a curse, it's annoying. But there is worse than work, it is not to have any. Well, death, do you think it's nice? It's a curse, but the worst thing would be not to die."
Décès de Jean d’Ormesson � 92 ans - Le Parisien
I commented on his passing in the Hallowe'en thread, but suspect that "malicious" is a faux-ami. I should have said roguish. Sorry!
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 2:15 pm   #3
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Default Re: Jean d'Ormesson

@Dmu,
As you're obviously familiar with him, you (and hopefully others) may be interested in this excellent interview.
Whether one appreciated him or no, he left very few indifferent. His humility is remarkable.
Spoiler:
__________________
.....Sent from my Sinclair ZX81.....
"I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret." - Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers
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