9 April 2011

Voltaire and the Unenlightened Frédéric Lefebvre

The French are far from noted for their Philistinism, but business minister Frédéric Lefebvre would take some beating in that department. When asked which book had made the most impression on him, he replied 'Zadig et Voltaire': he of course meant Zadig by Voltaire, but the business world got in the way and he confused it with the French clothing firm Zadig & Voltaire. French 'internautes' wouldn't let him get away with this, obviously, and came up with such imaginary literary-business bastardizations as 'Capital by Marx and Spencer', 'Alpha Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare', 'Swatch's Way by Marcel Proust', 'The World According to Gap by John Irving', '1664 by George Orwell', etc.

My contribution? Shopping and FCUKing by Mark Ravenhill.

The blogosphere is merciless. Fortunately.

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