A French Book Reading Resource

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kanewai
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Wed May 04, 2022 1:07 am

Amandine wrote: I have started to read Un fauteuil sur la Seine. This is one of his non-fiction books. He was elected to the Académie française in 2011 and it turns out you don't get elected to the body in general but to a certain seat (fauteuil). You occupy it until you die (I wonder how many AFians have quit in a snit, that would be a good book too) and then someone else gets it. Maalouf is Seat 29 which he took over when previous occupant Claude Levy-Strauss died. So, this is a book about all the previous holders of his Seat 29 ...
This looks fascinating!
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Pierre Lemaitre, Le Grand Monde: 2 / 100
Italo Calvino, Il barone rampante: 50 / 100
Mario Vargas Llosa, La tía Julia y el escribidor: 2 / 100

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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Wed May 04, 2022 2:41 am

I just finished Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal. It’s on the 2022 French Baccalaureate list, and despite my fears of what literary dreck French students might be forced to slog through it was actually fun. Stendhal deeply understands the human condition and loves to satirize both social conventions of the Napoleonic era and the oversized passions and foibles of the young. (Think of it as a cross between Jane Austen and Catcher in the Rye.) The lofty ambitions and impetuous loves of young Julien Sorel brought back the heightened emotions of my own high school and college years, sometimes a little too vividly. By the time he faces the consequences of his actions, I was very glad indeed to be a full-fledged grown-up with the humility and perspective that (hopefully) comes with age. It’s a beast of a book, my edition was 607 pages, but the chapters are short and the French fairly accessible.
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Grammaire progressive du français -
niveau debutant
: 60 / 60

Grammaire progressive du francais -
intermédiaire
: 14 / 52

Pimsleur French 1-5
: 75 / 150

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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu May 19, 2022 5:00 pm

La tête sur les épaules
The genuinely clever ending Henri Troyat provides La tête sur les épaules almost made me forget how preposterous the plot of the novel is. Relying on Freudian psychology falls flat on its face, a scene between the boy and his philosophy professor, which is perhaps intended to be reminiscent of the Grand Inquisitor scene in The Brothers Karamazov, is too lame to convince me of whatever it is it is supposed to convince me of, and the guilt the boy feels about the heinous crimes of his father, which are never clearly delineated, seems more of a literary effect than a real one.

The most interesting part of the novel is the love relationship between the boy's mother and her beau, but it serves only as a vehicle for playing out the boy's feelings. Also good is the final resolution between her beau and the boy.

What a disappointment. Well written as far as the writing goes, because Troyat handles French well, but I can't see any reason for anyone to read this novel. Given the wealth of French literature, try something else.

Give it 0 out of 10
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Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu May 19, 2022 7:12 pm

Give it 0 out of 10
Ouch! But thanks for the honesty. :D
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LanguageLearner0007
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby LanguageLearner0007 » Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:54 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:I just finished Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal. It’s on the 2022 French Baccalaureate list, and despite my fears of what literary dreck French students might be forced to slog through it was actually fun. Stendhal deeply understands the human condition and loves to satirize both social conventions of the Napoleonic era and the oversized passions and foibles of the young. (Think of it as a cross between Jane Austen and Catcher in the Rye.) The lofty ambitions and impetuous loves of young Julien Sorel brought back the heightened emotions of my own high school and college years, sometimes a little too vividly. By the time he faces the consequences of his actions, I was very glad indeed to be a full-fledged grown-up with the humility and perspective that (hopefully) comes with age. It’s a beast of a book, my edition was 607 pages, but the chapters are short and the French fairly accessible.


how do you guys have time for this, incredible
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:00 pm

LanguageLearner0007 wrote:
Lawyer&Mom wrote:I just finished Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal. It’s on the 2022 French Baccalaureate list, and despite my fears of what literary dreck French students might be forced to slog through it was actually fun. Stendhal deeply understands the human condition and loves to satirize both social conventions of the Napoleonic era and the oversized passions and foibles of the young. (Think of it as a cross between Jane Austen and Catcher in the Rye.) The lofty ambitions and impetuous loves of young Julien Sorel brought back the heightened emotions of my own high school and college years, sometimes a little too vividly. By the time he faces the consequences of his actions, I was very glad indeed to be a full-fledged grown-up with the humility and perspective that (hopefully) comes with age. It’s a beast of a book, my edition was 607 pages, but the chapters are short and the French fairly accessible.


how do you guys have time for this, incredible


Easy! Just take five months to finish it like I did!
4 x
Grammaire progressive du français -
niveau debutant
: 60 / 60

Grammaire progressive du francais -
intermédiaire
: 14 / 52

Pimsleur French 1-5
: 75 / 150

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kanewai
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:26 pm

Here's a good one for you all: Leïla Slimani, Le pays des autres (2021).

A young Alsatian woman marries a beautiful Moroccan soldier she meets in the closing days of WWII, and moves with him to a farm outside Meknès. Her dream life is not what she expected. The novel is based on the life of the author's grandmother. The novel is slow moving and often sad, but paints an evocative picture of rural life in the 1940s and 1950s. Absolutely recommended for anyone traveling to Morocco, but I think others would enjoy it too.

Le-pays-des-autres.jpg
Le-pays-des-autres.jpg (22.11 KiB) Viewed 177 times


It's the first part of a planned trilogy. The second book, Regardez-nous danser, was just published a few months ago.
8 x
Pierre Lemaitre, Le Grand Monde: 2 / 100
Italo Calvino, Il barone rampante: 50 / 100
Mario Vargas Llosa, La tía Julia y el escribidor: 2 / 100

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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:58 pm

Looking for The Stranger by Alice Kaplan may not belong here, because the nonfiction book is written in English. The subject, though, is L'Étranger by Albert Camus. Kaplan could also have called her book The Biography of a Novel, because it covers the genesis of L'Étranger and the connections of Camus's life to this genesis and to the events in the novel. It must be said first of all, if you have not read L'Étranger and don't plan to or if Albert Camus and his writing and the events and controversies surrounding his life don't interest you in the least, you won't find much of interest in Kaplan's book. But if the novel or Camus do interest you, you'll find a lot to learn in it.
Somewhere L'Étranger has been described as a work in monochrome. That description hit it off with me immediately. But Looking for The Stranger lends it color. As a news reporter in Algeria, Camus covered a lot of trials in court, which experience gives resonance to scenes of the trial. Like the war reporting of Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez helps I think give an extra umph to his action fiction, so Camus's understanding of trials does not stem from reading novels or watching movies about Sherlock Holmes.
Kaplan writes quite well, too, only a very rare stretching too far for effect.
So, for Camus lovers, I give this a 9/10; but for others, maybe a 5/10, just for the general view of France and Algeria in those days before and during World War 2.
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Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:43 am

Hello Folks,

Just a brief mention that I am on hiatus due to selling of a house in NY and moving to Penna. Since I am someone who needs structure in my life so I can study French, I have put my French studies on hold until Sept. 1. By that time I will hopefully be settled in enough to get on with my French. I have not forgotten about my French!

I never knew selling and moving could be so disruptive.

enjoy.
1 x

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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby rdearman » Sat Jun 25, 2022 7:48 am

Where is Penna? Google Maps shows only a company in Birmingham UK. :?: :?:
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