A French Book Reading Resource

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DaveAgain
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby DaveAgain » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:15 am

Carmody wrote:As anyone who visits here knows, I am always on the prowl for good French fiction from the 20th and 21st century.
There's a series on TV5Monde at the moment (Les pays d'en haut) that's based on a candian novel: Un homme et son péché.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:54 am

I have just finished La nuit de feu by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. It is about the hiking trip in Algiers that he took as a young man during which he got lost out on the desert and underwent a "religious" experience.

He is a great believer in the Passé Simple.

This is just my first time through reading the book, but at this point I would give it a 5/10.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:39 am

Interesting title. I will be curious to see what your final rating is.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Ok, so I just finished the book a second time through and know this is not a book for everyone.

In fact it deals with the author’s “La nuit de feu” or his mystic experience one night stranded and lost in the Sahara desert. Roughly put it was a mystical experience that totally took over his being and moved him deeply and beyond words.

Since I had a very similar experience early on in my life, I find it very interesting to read about. It is the only example in western literature of a person going through such a profound experience that I know of, so I found this of special interest.

Like I said this is not a book for everyone, but given my life experience I would give this book a 9/10.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:22 pm

More on the book from Amazon:

A vingt-huit ans, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt entreprend une randonne dans le grand Sud algrien. Au cours de l'expdition, il s'gare dans l'immensit du Hoggar. Sans eau ni vivres durant la nuit glaciale, il n'prouve pourtant nulle peur et sent au contraire se soulever en lui une force brlante. Un sentiment de paix, de bonheur, d'ternit l'envahit. Le philosophe rationaliste voit s'branler toutes ses certitudes. Ce feu, pourquoi ne pas le nommer Dieu Cette "nuit de feu", Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt la raconte pour la premire fois, dvoilant au fil d'un fascinant voyage intrieur son intimit spirituelle et l'exprience qui a transform sa vie d'homme et d'crivain. Un rcit vivant, concis, concret, qui claire les circonstances de sa conversion et ses consquences, sans chercher convaincre.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:53 am

Just ran across another list for books that people might find of interest.

http://vehesse.free.fr/dotclear/index.php?2011/12/13/1681-lectures-conseillees-en-classe-de-seconde-et-premiere

I am also in the midst of my second reading of Charles de Foucauld by Réne Bazin. This 399 page book is the biography of Charles Eugène de Foucauld, Viscount of Foucauld, born on 15 September 1858 in Strasbourg (France), died on 1 December 1916 in Tamanrasset (Algeria), was a cavalry officer in the French Army, then an explorer and geographer, and finally a Catholic priest, hermit who lived among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916 and is considered by the Church to be a martyr."

I liked the book because I am interested in inner journeys and why it is people do what they do. I am not a Catholic or Christian but his life was interesting and the book is the classic biography of the man. If one were to read it, it would be necessary to pass over a lot of material that is very “stylized” and in the vernacular of the time.

It is not a book that most people would enjoy and I would steer people away from it but I did like it and would give it a 8/10.

I came across the book because Charles de Foucauld was very much the topic of the previous book I read: La nuit de feu Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. (see above)
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:38 pm

Thanks to everyone for their visits.

If you have any suggestions re books to read, please do pass them along.
:D

I would greatly enjoy this thread being a conversation with others contributing their ideas rather than just me in a monologue.
:D :D :D
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:37 am

You are one of the best read and most widely read members here in French, so it is not always clear how to engage you. You seem to prefer the 20th and 21st centuries, and I am with you on that. The long-winded novels of the 19th century, French and English and Spanish, wear me out, though for whatever reason the works of Austen, Dostoevsky and Tolsoy get a bye. The Hugos, Balzacs, Sands, and Zolas of the French scene all have their moments, but by and large, they are all bores to me. (But so are Dickens and George Eliot, for that matter).
My interests also have always been equally divided between fiction and nonfiction, and my extensive reading has been confined to my youth and my retirement days. The major hurdle, which you seem to face as well, is knowing what to read. As a young man I seemed to pick up titles to read by osmosis. (The same thing happened with popular music. ) Do the French have a contemporary Stephen J. Gould or Richard Feynman or Lynn Margulis?
For the moment, I have started Hugo's Quatrevingt-treize, taking Kanawai's judgment that Hugo's focus stays sharper than with his other novels. Also, as I have said before, Hugo's poetry is a different story from his novels. Hugo keeps his wits about himself when he writes poetry. I don't know where I am going with this. Maybe moving to France for a few years is the only answer for me, though that is not going to happen.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby SCMT » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:26 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote: The Hugos, Balzacs, Sands, and Zolas of the French scene all have their moments, but by and large, they are all bores to me. (But so are Dickens and George Eliot, for that matter).
.


Silas Marner, a bore? Say it isn't so!

Middlemarch might be, though.

And contemporary Henry Fielding's masterwork is one of my favorite novels of any time period.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Lianne » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:47 am

Carmody wrote:Thanks to everyone for their visits.

If you have any suggestions re books to read, please do pass them along.
:D

I would greatly enjoy this thread being a conversation with others contributing their ideas rather than just me in a monologue.
:D :D :D

I mean, I could share the books I read in French, but they're all either translations of English books, or original French YA books from Quebec, lol. I pick them by looking on the library shelves. I'm not sure if this information would help anyone!

But currently I'm reading Moi, Simon, 16 ans, homo sapiens, which is the translation of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I loved the book in English, and I'm finding it to be a relatively easy and informal read in French. There's also an audiobook, which I've been waiting for at the library for months!
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