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    #1

    to be on terms of

    Dear Teachers,

    I read these from True Pleasures by Lucinda Holdforth:

    1.
    "The famous French 'Salon', the best school of talk and of ideas that the modern world has known, was based on the belief that the most stimulating conversation in the world is between intelligent men and women who see each other often enough to be on terms of rank and easy friendship."

    What does "to be on terms of rank" mean?

    2.
    "When an Australian tells you you're a Francophile, it's generally less an observation, more an accusation. ... Pointless to say: but I don't love France, I only love Paris. This only increases the crime, suggesting an atrocious refinement of decadence."

    What is "an atrocious refinement of decadence"?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: to be on terms of

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    I read these from True Pleasures by Lucinda Holdforth:

    1.
    "The famous French 'Salon', the best school of talk and of ideas that the modern world has known, was based on the belief that the most stimulating conversation in the world is between intelligent men and women who see each other often enough to be on terms of rank and easy friendship."

    What does "to be on terms of rank" mean? You have equal social standing.

    2.
    "When an Australian tells you you're a Francophile, it's generally less an observation, more an accusation. ... Pointless to say: but I don't love France, I only love Paris. This only increases the crime, suggesting an atrocious refinement of decadence."

    What is "an atrocious refinement of decadence"? A rather rude suggestion that the Australians regard refined culture as decadent [ie - they are concerned primarily with non-intellectual matters]
    .

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 514
    #3

    Re: to be on terms of

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    .
    Thanks a lot! But I'm still quite confused about the second one. Why is it a suggestion that the Australians are concerned primarily with non-intellectual matters when an Australian says "I don't love France, I only love Paris" ?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: to be on terms of

    "When an Australian tells you you're a Francophile, it's generally less an observation, more an accusation. ... Pointless to say: but I don't love France, I only love Paris. This only increases the crime, suggesting an atrocious refinement of decadence."

    If you note, the start of the quote makes it clear that Australians do not regard culture - as shown by a love of [a]France and [b] Paris - with any great enthusiasm, in fact regarding it as decadent. So to express a love of Paris in particular is a sure sign of decadence

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