Saturday, September 15, 2012

Plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel

I never go to the Champs-Élysées, so I suppose I have no right to mourn its demise, chronicled today by Steven Erlanger:
André Malraux, the novelist and minister of culture under Charles de Gaulle, told a French-American journalist in the 1960s that the Champs-Élysées — then considered the most beautiful avenue in the world — had “an American basement.” Today, American business and its brands are prominently aboveground on a Champs-Élysées that has largely lost its distinctive character and has become far less French.

The subject line is from Baudelaire's Le Cygne:

Le vieux Paris n'est plus (la forme d'une ville
Change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel)

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