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L'après-midi des lecteurs

Lecteurs de livres bilingues

The love of literature, of language, of the mystery of the mind and heart showing themselves in the minute, strange, and unexpected combinations of letters and words, in the blackest and coldest print—the love which he had hidden as if it were illicit and dangerous, he began to display, tentatively at first, and then boldly, and then proudly.”
John Williams, Stoner

le Fracas du temps Julian Barnes

Novels Posted on Sat, February 29, 2020 17:12

Pas exactement une biographie mais une fantaisie sur la vie de Dmitri Chostakovitch. Chostakovitch voulait être laissé seul, ne voulait pas obéir, se faire tirer dessus ou être envoyé en prison. Il décrivait comment Power le regardait tout le temps, enregistrant ses discours, il est devenu un musicien officiel, mais tout ce qu’il voulait faire était de composer la musique qu’il entendait autour de lui, dans tous les jours, des verres qui cliquetent, des ampoules, des trains , etc. Vous avez aimé la façon dont Julian Barnes a placé chaque chapitre dans le contexte des œuvres de Chostakovitch qui vous a fait écouter les pièces avec une perspective différente.

Une personne mélancolique, effrayée et déprimée, à qui l’exil n’était pas une option, mais malgré le fait que “Power” voulait voler son âme, il avait en fait un sens de l’humour, ou était-ce de l’ironie?, Vous pensiez qu’il était ironique que ” Power ‘n’a pas remarqué si un morceau de musique avait été écrit contre eux (Lui). C’est une histoire de peur, le film Burnt by the Sun, film de 1994 du réalisateur et scénariste russe Nikita Mikhalkov et du scénariste azerbaïdjanais Rustam Ibragimbekov, a été comparé au thème du livre de Julian Barnes. La dictature de Staline était terrible et il n’était pas possible d’éviter la corruption morale. (Cité… Nous avons deux sortes de compositeurs, ceux qui sont vivants et effrayés et ceux qui sont morts). Vous pensiez que son personnage était faible et faible entre autres. Vous avez dit “un homme détestable qui a mis fin à ses jours dans la décadence morale”. Vous vous êtes demandé comment il était possible d’avoir un contenu politique dans la musique. À qui appartiennent les œuvres d’art et à qui appartient la musique, vous avez posé des questions. Vous avez mentionné que la représentation simpliste des romans sur le communisme ne signifiait pas que tout le système était mauvais !!!

Le livre a été apprécié, mais vous pensiez que Julian Barnes nous tenait à distance, ne nous impliquait pas émotionnellement (moi, jusqu’à ce que je commence à lire mes notes et à écouter Chostakovitch, quand je me fâchais et déprimais – oh mon cher)….
Une étude intéressante, de la lâcheté, du courage et une conversation avec lui-même. Vous sentiez qu’il n’avait pas d’autre choix que de conclure un «accord avec le diable».

Vous étiez frustré que les personnages secondaires n’aient pas été expliqués et avez trouvé les noms russes quelque peu déroutants. Bien sûr, vous n’êtes pas tous intéressés par les biographies en tant que «bonne lecture» ou par des livres sur les compositeurs, mais d’autres étaient heureux de connaître «l’histoire», aussi dramatique et tragique qu’elle semblait l’être.

Nous ne pouvions pas échapper au fait que la plupart d’entre nous pensaient que Julian Barnes écrivait un bon roman !!!

J’espère que le prochain choix est plus gai…. !!!



The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Novels Posted on Sat, February 29, 2020 17:04

Not exactly a biography but a fantasia on the life of Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich wanted to be left alone, did not want to obey, to be shot, or to be sent to prison. It described how Power was watching him all the time, recording his speeches, he became an official musician, but all he wanted to do was to compose the music he heard all around him, in every day things, glasses clinking, light bulbs, trains, etc. You liked the way Julian Barnes put each chapter into the context of Shostakovich’s works which made you listen to the pieces with a different perspective.

A melancholic, fearful and depressed person, to whom exile was not an option, but despite the fact that ‘Power’ wanted to steal his soul, he actually had a sense of humour, or was it irony?, You thought it ironic that “Power’ did not notice if a piece of music had been written against them (Him). It is a story of fear, the film Burnt by the Sun,1994 film by Russian director and screenwriter Nikita Mikhalkov and Azerbaijani screenwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov, was likened to the theme of Julian Barnes book. Stalin’s dictatorship was dreadful and it was not possible to avoid moral corruption. (Quoted…We have two kinds of composers those alive and scared and those who are dead). You thought his character was feeble and weak amongst other things. You said ‘a dislikeable man who ended his life in moral decay.’ You questioned how it was possible to have a political content in music. Who in fact owns artwork, and who does music belong to, were questions you raised. You mentioned that the novels simplistic portrayal of communism did not mean that the whole system was bad!!!

The book was enjoyed, but you thought Julian Barnes was keeping us at arms length, not getting emotionally involved (me, until I started reading my notes and listening to Shostakovich, when I became angry and depressed – oh dear)….
An interesting study, cowardice, courage and a conversation with himself. You felt he had no choice but to make a ‘deal with the devil’.

You were frustrated that the secondary characters were not explained and found the Russian names somewhat confusing. Not all of you, of course, are interested in biographies as a ‘good read’ or by books about composers, but others were happy to know the ‘story’, as dramatic and tragic as it seemed to be.

We couldn’t escape the fact that most of us felt that Julian Barnes writes a good novel!!!

Hope the next choice is more cheerful….!!!



The Colour Purple

Novels Posted on Sun, January 05, 2020 10:59

The Colour Purple

A book many of you had read previously, in the 1980’s when it first hit the book shops…..

Starting with the vocabulary, African American, we decided that probably the nearest dialect in French would be Creole?  We all agreed an amazing feat to try to translate as the language was so specialized,and difficult to grasp and to read in English.  Could it be accurately translated into ‘other languages’?  We were not sure.  The style, epistolary, again not always enjoyed, but those of you who really did enjoy the book this style made the story very personal, as if Celie is talking to us individually.  A brutal and terrible story of a girl growing up without any love or affection from adults, completely uneducated and underprivileged in every way, betrayed by her own family and community, but with a deep love for her younger sister, and who eventually overcomes her overwhelming problems by writing to ‘God’ (us), and by showing everyone around her compassion and kindness.  The women in the story are strong and conquer their various setbacks, ill health, cruelty, racism, a male dominated society, by looking after and caring for one another!  You liked their characters and decided the Shug….was short for Sugar…..clever……

The second part of the story was the oppression of the Africans in their homeland by big business and the destruction of their environment, the interesting relationship between the missionaries and the indigenes.

On the minus side, some of the parts of the story a ‘bit far fetched’ ie, boat journey back to UK, did Nettie and her family really return or were they blown up in the ocean by the Germans?  You decided they did return but because of the ending the story could have been geared to a ‘Holywood Happy Ending’ film?  A couple of you mentioned this as a negative point.

A dark novel but one which ended brightly..a la a Hollywood blockbuster film.  On the whole we all enjoyed reading, and re-reading…..A copy of the film is being passed around.



News

Novels Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 08:53

More news:

At the last meeting we decided on our reading to March next year, so make a note of dates and titles….

January 8th 2020

Coup de Coeur
(A book of your choice that you wish to share with us all) (le livre de votre choice pour partager avec nous )

February 12th 2020

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes – Lefracas du temps

March 11th 2020

Love is Blind by William Boyd – l’Amour est Aveugle



La Saison des feux

Novels Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 08:46

Compte Rendu sur Little Fires Everywhere:

Généralement bien reçu par tous et merci à tous ceux qui m’ont envoyé ou commenté leurs commentaires.

Certains d’entre vous ont pensé que ce n’était pas très bien écrit, d’autres l’ont pensé !!! Vous avez tous admiré la façon dont Celeste Ng a géré l’intrigue avec ses rebondissements. C’était une page tournante pour certains, mais pas fini par d’autres. Nous avons tous convenu que les principaux problèmes étaient la maternité, les adoptions, la maternité de substitution, l’avortement, la dépression postnatale, la création de liens ou non avec l’enfant. Mère biologique par opposition à la mère adoptive, race et comment la race nous définit-elle en tant que personne, pouvons-nous amener un enfant dans une culture différente sans penser à son héritage? Une belle histoire, mais des faiblesses dans le fait que vous pensiez tous que c’était un “livre commercial”, des personnages trop archétypaux pour être vrais. Un peu comme regarder la télévision américaine, deux classes sociales, les WASP parfaits à Shaker Heights et les “autres” à Lower Shaker Heights. Un livre de “teenage angst”. Le travail d’Elena Richardson en tant que détective qui a retracé l’histoire de Mia n’a pas été apprécié et apprécié de la même manière, car c’était encore une fois, un peu trop prévisible.

Dans l’ensemble, nous avons principalement trouvé un livre qui nous donnait beaucoup à discuter et décrivait bien les relations entre mères et enfants. Les personnages ni bons ni mauvais, ce qui les a rendus «humains»….

«Des moments touchants et des moments poignants», l’un de vous a aimé ceci: «Le fait que May Ling n’ait pas pleuré quand Bebe Chow, désormais une étrangère, l’a emmenée avec le dernier réveil d’Elena Richardson lorsqu’elle s’est rendu compte qu’elle l’avait fait. comprendre Izzy. L’enfant qu’elle pensait être son opposé avait en fait hérité et nourri l’étincelle que sa mère avait depuis longtemps tassée.

Encore une fois, j’espère avoir rendu justice à vos commentaires et à vos points de vue. J’ai probablement laissé beaucoup, mais une courte compétition a rendu ce papillon de nuit pour une raison quelconque, mais un livre avec beaucoup à discuter et à réfléchir.



July’s meeting and details of August’s meeting

Novels Posted on Mon, July 22, 2019 14:18

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

We liked the novel, a page turner, and the discussion was interesting especially from the point of view of the final outcome. Was she a ‘poisoner’ or were the ‘men’ paranoid, one suffering a brain tumour and the other young, unsophisticated and naive. Phillip was shaped by Ambrose with no mother to guide or to influence him. Ambrose’s misanthropic lifestyle and Phillip’s very first memory of Tom Jackson the ‘murderer” hanging by the road, gave him the dark and gloomy side of his nature.

Well, you loved Daphne’s du Maurier’s descriptors of the Cornish countryside, the landscape, the sea, you could almost smell the scent of the flowers. You felt you were kept in suspense throughout the novel and it’s peculiar ‘Victorian’ ambience was enjoyed. The servants characters and relationships between master and servants was also liked.

What was Rachel playing at? Was she a mother, friend, lover or a fantastic actress? A book full of emotion, fear, obsession and jealously. Also avarice, greed and confusion. Did Phillip ignore the clues left by Ambrose? Did Rachel seduce him? There was no clue as to what Rachel thought, nothing was seen through her eyes.

You acknowledged that for a woman like Rachel who had had a difficult, had faced hardship in her younger life, using men to obtain money was her only option. Acquisitiveness was a means to bettering oneself there was no other way of making money.

Some of you felt the novel Rebecca had more suspense. The atmosphere of My Cousin Rachel was felt to be oppressive. Sometimes the story was dragged a little.

So the outcome: 5 of us found Rachel guilty of murdering Ambrose and trying to poison Phillip whilst three of us decided she was innocent. We decided that Phillip was definitely a ‘murderer’.

Meanwhile lots of other books to read by Daphne du Maurier and many written about her, biographies, etc. can be found written both in french and English.

August 14th is the date of our next meeting, and the book to read is:

Naufrages or Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura.

Janyvonne has kindly agreed to take the meeting which will probably be in Carine’s home as the Chateau may be closed in August. We will let you know.



list of books to December 2019

Novels Posted on Sat, April 06, 2019 18:15

May Collette le Chat/The Cat

June The Map the Territory/Le Carte et le Territoire Michael Houlebeque

July Daphne Du Maurier My Cousin Rachel/Ma cousine Rachel

August Akir Yoshimura Shipwrecks/

Naufrages

September Broken Glass/Vere Case

Alain Mabanckou

October Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart /Le Coeur qui tourne

November Celeste Ng Little fires Everywhere/Le Saison des Feux

December Alice Walker – The Colour Purple/La Couleur Pourpre



In a Nutshell

Novels Posted on Tue, January 22, 2019 08:40

Apres-midi des lectures – In A Nutshell by Ian McEwan

The dislikes were that it was repetitious and too long. Missed the some of the Shakespearian lines and alignments, ie to Hamlet, There were some very boring pages and it would have made a good short story. You had mixed feelings and were not sure if you liked it. It was verbose, and the author was listening to himself. A lot of ‘lyrical nonsense.’ The passage about the sea food was not liked, and totally ridiculous. The story a highly illogical concept! Not enjoyed because it was too sophisticated, snobbish, wine and food references ridiculous, ranting about the state of the world and listening to podcasts thought too absurd . You missed the Hamlet references. Elaborate and artificial with too much poetry.

On the whole it was enjoyed by over half the group. You said that there was suspense, it was a thriller, you needed to read to the end to find the outcome and most of you said that McEwan’s writing was brilliant. It was clever and funny, and a ‘page turner’. The concept , original, thought provoking and brilliant. It was based on the theme of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but that was missed by most of us until we had read the reviews! The character of the brother in law or Beouf, and of course, lover, was thought to be delightfully obnoxious and villainous. with John the foetus’s father more complex and interesting. You were amused that the foetus already understands everything and speaks like a middle aged man who also tries to commit suicide as did Hamlet. The foetus loves his mother and obviously needs and relies on her. You liked the first and the last sentences ‘Here I am” and the last Chaos!!! The foetus discusses and rants about the state of the world, loves very, very good wine and food. You suggested that it was a viciously cruel novel. Some of you felt that it was the just the right length, the dialogues rich, and that McEwan was making fun of the satire of his own culture. Wine descriptions interesting. A story which makes you think and read twice by some of you. Ian McEwan at the ‘top of his game’ .and can do anything with language! We wondered how much we knew before our birth but this was not discussed in great length. The foetus’s listening and learning from ‘podcasts’ extraordinary, contrived but fun! You loved loved the description of the ‘awful house’. How could such a perfect person (Trudy) live in such a hovel? Most of you enjoyed the novel from beginning to end. You thought he was a learned foetus, and very sophisticated. You mentioned that you liked it when he said ‘Dear Father before you die’, and that in-spite of what he knew he still wanted to be part of ‘it’, his life to be. You thought his mother, Trudy, was unfeeling and with no love for him, but that she was the victim of the selfish Claude because of her sexual needs. Prey to Claude who only loves money, sex and wine. Of course Trudy and Claude cannot escape the baby is almost ready to be delivered! A clever and pessimistic story, but sad at the same time. Perhaps Trudy doesn’t really like Claude. Was her behaviour the effects of her hormones in pregnancy. John had really loved Trudy and his letter about his love for her was touching. You noticed that McEwan seems only to write about privileged, rich and successful people who live in central London!!!!

Hamlet dies, you hoped they lived.

There is a book by Carlos Fuentes’s, Christopher Unborn, book written similar concept, foetus speaking.

“Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space–were it not that I have bad dreams.”

February’s book is The Plot Against America by Philip Roth and will meet on February 13th, The Chateau in Saujon, Salle Aramis.



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