European dyslexia

Article published on Oct. 4, 2006
Article published on Oct. 4, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Is there a difference between left and right? Europe, yet again, has become ironically embroiled in these confusing times. The sceptical Poles remember how the king of the city of Targowica was betrayed by his vassals in the XVIII century. They conclude that 'Prawica, Lewica, wszystko Targowica': both left and right led to betrayal: they are the same thing!

With a rather Iberian twist, left-wing Spaniards dig at right-wing sympathisers, attack them: ‘Although you may be on the right, you've got red blood in your veins and your heart on the left!’. The French, with icy pragmatism, say that their heart is on the left, but their wallet on the right (avoir le coeur à gauche et le portefeuille à droite). However, it is the Germans who most skilfully add fuel to this debate, reminding us that ‘the left hand is the one with the thumb on the right’ (Links ist wo der Daumen rechts ist).