Monday, 9 November 2009

L'esprit de l'escalier

Continuing my 'stairs' theme I came across this quotation - 'L'esprit de l'escalier' by Denis Diderot(1713 - 1784) and the loose translation that followed - 'Staircase wit' - meaning that the appropriate riposte or witty rejoinder only comes to mind as one descends the stairs from the drawing room; that is, too late to deliver.
What a neat phrase it is and one I fully understand. I am in no measure witty and can only ever think of suitable retorts a long time after the stimulus!
You can find out more about Denis Diderot here and here.


  1. A yes, the witty comeback. I admire people who are 'quick' to respond. I unfortunately think of them after I have descended many a staircase ;)

  2. LOL! I do think, however, that 'witty' people do not make comfortable friends or acquaintances - or is that just my paranoia showing again? :-)

  3. I'm afraid it's the stairs with me too. And, more often than not, a day later.

  4. Sue - LOL! Only a day later?? I'm still pondering after months have passed (really should get out more . . . )


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