Answers to the “What Notable French Person Said it?” Quiz

French playwright Moliere

You wanted ’em, so here they are: answers to the quiz. If it felt a bit difficult, not to worry: even I may not have been able to answer many of these correctly, and I have an MA in French literature and history.

1. “In life, you don’t do what you want– but you’re responsible for what you are. ” — Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialist philosopher, novelist, playwright, and owner of questionable glasses

2. “Love doesn’t mean looking at one another, but looking together in the same direction.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) and other works

3. “We must find the strength to live,  and reason to act, by [gaining] knowledge of the authentic conditions of our lives.” — Simone de Beauvoir, philosopher, writer and author of The Second Sex and other works

4. “Whether you’re writing a novel or a screenplay, you create encounters, you live with the characters: it’s the same pleasure and the same work; you intensify life.” —Francois Truffaut, French filmmaker and director of “The 400 Blows”, “Jules and Jim” and other classic movies

5. “One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say. “– Voltaire

6. “Existing and ceasing to exist are imaginary solutions. Existence lies elsewhere.” –André Breton, surrealist poet and artist

7. “Expecting something pleasurable is often more anxiety-inducing than experiencing pain.” –Colette, 19th-century writer of works including Gigi

8. “How can you expect to be able to govern a country that counts 258 varieties of cheese?” — Charles de Gaulle, former French President and leader of the “Free France” resistance movement during World War II

9. “Grand acts are born from the silence of laws.” –The Marquis de Sade, controversial 18th-century writer and libertine

10. “Critique is easier than practice.” –George Sand, 19th-century Romantic writer and gender-defying proto-feminist

11. “The memory of a certain image is merely nostalgia for a certain instant.” — Marcel Proust, author of In Search of Lost Time and other works

12. “Happiness is sometimes hidden in the unknown.” — Victor Hugo, author and human-rights activist, author of Les Misérables and other works

13. “Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty, but of vulgarity.” –– Coco Chanel, fashion designer and casual Nazi collaborationist

14. “That which is possible deserves to be given a chance.” –Albert Camus, author, philosopher and activist, and author of The Stranger and other works

15. “The best way to keep one’s word is to never give it.” — Napoléon Bonaparte, first Emperor of France

16. “Man is born without teeth, without hair and without illusions– and he dies the same, without hair, without teeth and without illusions.” –Alexandre Dumas, writer and playwright; author of The Count of Monte Cristo and other works

Feel like another Francophile quiz? Take this one to test whether your personality is more right-bank or left-bank Paris.