Waiting for Godot

Act 1

Version Française

In Waiting for Godot, two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, vainly wait for Godot, someone they hardly know and who will never come. On each of the two days when the play takes place, a messenger comes and tells them that Godot won’t be coming that day, but surely will on the next day.

VLADIMIR:Pah!

He spits. Estragon moves to center, halts with his back to auditorium.

ESTRAGON:Charming spot. (He turns, advances to front, halts facing auditorium.) Inspiring prospects. (He turns to Vladimir.) Let’s go.

VLADIMIR:We can’t.

ESTRAGON:Why not?

VLADIMIR:We’re waiting for Godot.

ESTRAGON:(despairingly). Ah! (Pause.) You’re sure it was here?

VLADIMIR:What?

ESTRAGON:That we were to wait.

VLADIMIR:He said by the tree. (They look at the tree.) Do you see any others?

ESTRAGON:What is it?

VLADIMIR:I don’t know. A willow.

ESTRAGON:Where are the leaves?

VLADIMIR:  It must be dead.

ESTRAGON:No more weeping.

VLADIMIR:Or perhaps it’s not the season.

ESTRAGON:Looks to me more like a bush.

VLADIMIR:A shrub.

ESTRAGON:A bush.

VLADIMIR: A—. What are you insinuating? That we’ve come to the wrong place?

ESTRAGON:He should be here.

VLADIMIR:He didn’t say for sure he’d come.

ESTRAGON:And if he doesn’t come?

VLADIMIR:We’ll come back tomorrow.

ESTRAGON:And then the day after tomorrow.

VLADIMIR:Possibly.

ESTRAGON:And so on.

VLADIMIR:The point is—

ESTRAGON:Until he comes.

VLADIMIR:You’re merciless.

ESTRAGON:We came here yesterday.

VLADIMIR:Ah no, there you’re mistaken.

ESTRAGON:What did we do yesterday?

VLADIMIR:What did we do yesterday?

ESTRAGON:Yes.

VLADIMIR:Why . . . (Angrily.) Nothing is certain when you’re about.

ESTRAGON:In my opinion we were here.

VLADIMIR:(looking round). You recognize the place?

ESTRAGON:I didn’t say that.

VLADIMIR:Well?

ESTRAGON:That makes no difference.

VLADIMIR:All the same . . . that tree . . . (turning towards auditorium) that bog . . .

ESTRAGON:You’re sure it was this evening?

VLADIMIR:What?

ESTRAGON:That we were to wait.

VLADIMIR:He said Saturday. (Pause.) I think.

ESTRAGON:You think.

VLADIMIR:I must have made a note of it. (He fumbles in his pockets, bursting with miscellaneous rubbish.)

ESTRAGON:(very insidious). But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?

VLADIMIR:

(looking wildly about him, as though the date was inscribed in the landscape). It’s not possible!

ESTRAGON:Or Thursday?

VLADIMIR:What’ll we do?

ESTRAGON:If he came yesterday and we weren’t here you may be sure he won’t come again today.

VLADIMIR:But you say we were here yesterday.

ESTRAGON:I may be mistaken. (Pause.) Let’s stop talking for a minute, do you mind?

VLADIMIR:(feebly). All right. (Estragon sits down on the mound. Vladimir paces agitatedly to and fro, halting from time to time to gaze into distance off. Estragon falls asleep. Vladimir halts finally before Estragon.) Gogo! . . . Gogo! . . . GOGO!

Estragon wakes with a start.

ESTRAGON:(restored to the horror of his situation). I was asleep! (Despairingly.) Why will you never let me sleep?

VLADIMIR:I felt lonely.

ESTRAGON:I had a dream.

VLADIMIR:Don’t tell me!

ESTRAGON:I dreamt that—

VLADIMIR:DON’T TELL ME!

ESTRAGON:(gesture toward the universe). This one is enough for you? (Silence.) It’s not nice of you, Didi. Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can’t tell them to you?

VLADIMIR:Let them remain private. You know I can’t bear that.

COMPREHENSION

1.The dialogue focuses on three main points in succession. What are they ?

2.Show the meaninglessness of the dialogue by giving examples of repetitions, absurd discussion, ready-made expressions, normally found in a more serious dialogue, assertions which are immediately contradicted…

3.Why is there such meaningless dialogue ?

4.Why are the stage directions so numerous compared to the dialogue ?

Samuel Beckett: A biography

SAMUEL BECKETT (1906-1989)

http://www.biography.com/people/samuel-beckett-9204239

Synopsis

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. During the 1930s and 1940s he wrote his first novels and short stories. He wrote a trilogy of novels in the 1950s as well as famous plays like Waiting for Godot. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on December 22, 1989 in Paris, France.

Early Life

Samuel Barclay Beckett was born on Good Friday, April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. His father, William Frank Beckett, worked in the construction business and his mother, Maria Jones Roe, was a nurse. Young Samuel attended Earlsfort House School in Dublin, then at 14, he went to Portora Royal School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in 1927. In his youth he would periodically experience severe depression keeping him in bed until mid-day. This experience would later influence his writing.

A Young Writer in Search of a Story

In 1928, Samuel Beckett found a welcome home in Paris where he met and became a devoted student of James Joyce. In 1931, he embarked on a restless sojourn through Britain, France and Germany. He wrote poems and stories and did odd jobs to support himself. On his journey, he came across many individuals who would inspire some of his most interesting characters.

In 1937, Samuel Beckett settled in Paris. Shortly thereafter, he was stabbed by a pimp after refusing his solicitations. While recovering in the hospital, he met Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnuil, a piano student in Paris. The two would become life-long companions and eventually marry.

Resistance Fighter in World War II

During World War II, Samuel Beckett’s Irish citizenship allowed him to remain in Paris as a citizen of a neutral country. He fought in the resistance movement until 1942 when members of his group were arrested by the Gestapo. He and Suzanne fled to the unoccupied zone until the end of the war.

After the war, Samuel Beckett was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery during his time in the French resistance. He settled in Paris and began his most prolific period as a writer. In five years, he wrote  Waiting for Godot, Endgame, the novels Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, andMercier et Camier, two books of short stories, and a book of criticism.

Success and Notoriety

Samuel Beckett’s first publication, Molloy, enjoyed modest sales, but more importantly praise from French critics. Soon, Waiting for Godot, achieved quick success at the small Theatre de Babylone putting Beckett in the international spotlight.

Samuel Beckett wrote in both French and English, but his most well-known works, written between WWII and the 1960s, were written in French. Early on he realized his writing had to be subjective and come from his own thoughts and experiences. Beckett’s plays are not written along traditional lines with conventional plot and time and place references. Instead, he focuses on essential elements of the human condition in dark humorous ways. This style of writing has been called “Theater of the Absurd” by Martin Esslin, The plays focus on human despair and the will to survive in a hopeless world that offers no help in understanding.

Later Years

The 1960s were a period of change for Samuel Beckett. He found great success with this plays across the world. Invitations came to attend rehearsals and performances which led to a career as a theater director. In 1961, he secretly married Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnuil who took care of his business affairs.

In 1969, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, though he declined accepting it personally to avoid making a speech at the ceremonies. However, he should not be considered a recluse. He often times met with other artists, scholars and admirers to talk about his work.

By the late 1980s, Samuel Beckett was in failing health and had moved to a small nursing home. Suzanne, his wife, had died in July 1989. He died on December 22, 1989, in a hospital of respiratory problems just months after his wife.

1984 by George Orwell

Chapter 1 (Click for French version)

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features.
Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list of figures which had something to do with the production of pig-iron. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely. He moved over to the window: a smallish, frail figure, the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party.
His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.

Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere. The black-moustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own.
Down at streetlevel another poster, torn at one corner, flapped fitfully in the wind, alternately covering and uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows. The patrols did not matter, however. Only the Thought Police mattered.

Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was
even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

STUDY OF THE PASSAGE

1.What progression can you find from paragraph 1 to paragraph 5?

2.The setting

List the elements which show that the setting is between the normal and the strange.

3.Control

How ae individuals controlled in this society?

Underline all the words which refer to looking or watching.

4.Contrast Winston Smith and Big Brother:

What do their names evoke?

What about their physical description?

What do they stand for?

5.What comparisons are used in the text? What are their effects?

6.Politics

Are any words reminiscent of politics in 1948, when the book was published? What political regimes does Orwell condemn?

George Orwell Biography

George Orwell

http://www.biography.com/people/george-orwell-9429833#later-works

George_Orwell_press_photo

1) Read the following text and write about George Orwell’s life.

 George Orwell was an English novelist, essayist, and critic most famous for his novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949).

 Synopsis

Born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bengal, India, in 1903, George Orwell, novelist, essayist and critic, went on to become best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Early Life

Born Eric Arthur Blair, George Orwell created some of the sharpest satirical fiction of the 20th century with such works as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was a man of strong opinions who addressed some of the major political movements of his times, including imperialism, fascism and communism.

The son of a British civil servant, George Orwell spent his first days in India, where his father was stationed. His mother brought him and his older sister, Marjorie, to England about a year after his birth and settled in Henley-on-Thames. His father stayed behind in India and rarely visited. (His younger sister, Avril, was born in 1908.) Orwell didn’t really know his father until he retired from the service in 1912. And even after that, the pair never formed a strong bond. He found his father to be dull and conservative.

According to one biography, Orwell’s first word was « beastly. » He was a sick child, often battling bronchitis and the flu. Orwell was bit by the writing bug at an early age.

Like many other boys in England, Orwell was sent to boarding school. In 1911 he went to St. Cyprian’s in the coastal town of Eastbourne, where he got his first taste of England’s class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He wasn’t popular with his peers, and in books he found comfort from his difficult situation.

After completing his schooling at Eton, Orwell found himself at a dead end. His family did not have the money to pay for a university education. Instead he joined the India Imperial Police Force in 1922. After five years in Burma, Orwell resigned his post and returned to England. He was intent on making it as a writer.

Early Career

After leaving the India Imperial Force, Orwell struggled to get his writing career off the ground. His first major work, Down and Out in Paris and London, (1933) explored his time eking out a living in these two cities. Orwell took all sorts of jobs to make ends meet, including being a dishwasher. The book provided a brutal look at the lives of the working poor and of those living a transient existence. Not wishing to embarrass his family, the author published the book under the pseudonym George Orwell. He met and married Eileen O’Shaughnessy in June 1936.

In December 1936, Orwell traveled to Spain, where he joined one of the groups fighting against General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was badly injured during his time with a militia, getting shot in the throat and arm. For several weeks, he was unable to speak. Orwell and his wife, Eileen, were indicted on treason charges in Spain. Fortunately, the charges were brought after the couple had left the country.

Other health problems plagued the talented writer not long after his return to England. For years, Orwell had periods of sickness, and he was officially diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1938.

To support himself, Orwell took on all sorts of writing work. He wrote numerous essays and reviews over the years, developing a reputation for producing well-crafted literary criticism. In 1941, Orwell landed a job with the BBC as a producer. He developed news commentary and shows for audiences in the eastern part of the British Empire

Later Works

Orwell is best known for two novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, both of which were published toward the end of his life. Animal Farm (1945) was an anti-Soviet satire in a pastoral setting featuring two pigs as its main protagonists. These pigs were said to represent Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky. The novel brought Orwell great acclaim and financial rewards.

In 1949, Orwell published another masterwork, Nineteen Eighty-Four (or 1984 in later editions). This bleak vision of the world divided into three oppressive nations stirred up controversy among reviewers, who found this fictional future too despairing. In the novel, Orwell gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person’s life, down to their own private thoughts.

Nineteen Eighty-Four proved to be another huge success for the author, but he had little time to enjoy it. By this time, Orwell was in the late stages of his battle with tuberculosis. He died on January 21, 1950, in a London hospital. He may have passed away all too soon, but his ideas and opinions have lived on through his work. Both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four have been turned into films and have enjoyed tremendous popularity over the years.

L’imaginaire (le fantastique): Textes, nouvelles et extraits

The Black Cat de Edgar Alan POE

STUDY OF THE SHORT-STORY

1.Make a portrait of the narrator p.2-3

2.How is suspense created by the writer when portraying his character in p.3

3.What are the effects of alchohol on the narrotor’s life ? p.4-5

4.What is Perverseness in the narrator’s mind ? p.5-6

5.What are the elements of the fantastic in the story of the narrator’s downfall ?p.7

6.List the words which have to do with fear. p.7

 

Edgar Alan Poe: A biography

 EDGAR ALAN POE

Edgar Alan Poe

(1809-1849) Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most enigmatic figures in American literature. His history was sad and lonely, which makes it hardly a surprise that his tales are known for their bits of horror, mystery and the supernatural.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Birth

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. He was the second of three children born to David Poe, Jr., and Elizabeth. His parents were well-known actors, but Poe was orphaned–his mother died a year after his father abandoned the family (1809). John and Frances Allan took him in and raised him.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Death

On October 3, 1849, Poe was taken to Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849. He’d been in a state of delirium, which has been the source of much debate. Were these the effects of delirium tremens (from alcoholism)? Was he beaten? Other have surmised that he may have died from epilepsy, cholera, rabies, syphilis, or another similar affliction.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Relationships

Poe secretly married Virginia Clemm on September 22, 1835. She was his cousin, and only 13 at the time. Her consumptive death caused Poe much pain and distress, and probably was the inspiration for a number of his works.

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