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Arcadia Table talks (commercial translation)

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 154


21st July 1942, at dinner

It is characteristic of the French that every well-to-do citizen—be he business man, officer, famous artist or prominent politician—always buys himself, generally in the village or district of his origin, a little house with a neat garden. The result is that in almost every French village you find among the mass of nondescript cottages one or more handsome villas, belonging to an advocate, a painter, a cotton-spinner or the like.

The French upper classes usually spend two or three months in the country and thus acquire an affection for the land, the political importance of which must not be overlooked. Gradually they get to know each individual villager and thus very quickly become associated with all the joys and sorrows, great and small, of the simplest, and at the same time most solid, class of the population.

There is, in State affairs, no finer way of binding the upper classes to the interests of the country.

One reply on “Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 154”

Americans move around too much to develop a sense of place. Americans are too preoccupied with their property values more than anything else. First chance to sell the house, make a profit, move on, most Americans will.

As far as gardens are concerned, most Americans are not very interested in gardens. Most Americans have what I call “Home Depot” gardens. Even wealthy Americans who could afford to spend money on a beautiful garden, even they go cheap, go banal and boring. Good gardening requires one have a sense of place, a sense of continuity, a sense of things that transcends monetary considerations. Most gardens in America are “Home Depot” gardens. Very boring. Very uninspiring.

[ Black Americans are even worse. They put plastic flowers in their front yards, LOL ].

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