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Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Poe and nothing more

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Listen to Lou Reed on Poe’s poem : “The Raven” :

YouTube Preview Image

The Raven  (extrait)

Once upon a midnight dreary
as I pondered, weak and weary
over many a quaint and curious
volume of forgotten lore
while I nodded, nearly napping
suddenly there came a tapping
as of some one gently rapping
rapping at my chamber door
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered
“tapping at my chamber door
only this and nothing more.”

Muttering I got up weakly
always I’ve had trouble sleeping
stumbling upright my mind racing
furtive thoughts flowing once more
I, there hoping for some sunrise
happiness would be a surprise
loneliness no longer a prize
rapping at my chamber door
seeking out the clever bore
lost in dreams forever more
only this and nothing more

But the raven never flitting
still is sitting silent sitting
above a painting silent painting
of the forever silenced whore
and his eyes have all the seeming
of a demon’s that is dreaming
and the lamplight over him
streaming throws his shadow to the floor
I love she who hates me more
I love she who hates me more
and my soul shall not be lifted from that shadow
nevermoor

 


 

raven.jpg?w=240&h=300

 


 

 

 

«The Raven – Le Corbeau», par Lou Reed et Lorenzo Mattotti, trad de l’américain par Claro, Seuil, 192 p., 28 euros.

Days of children reading books ‘are numbered’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The days of children reading traditional books are numbered, claims the man spearheading a campaign to improve literacy in schools.

 

Publishers must adapt titles to the demands of modern young readers who spend more time on the internet if they are to succeed in persuading the next generation to read, says Jonathan Douglas, the director of the National Literacy Trust.

He made his remarks as researchers prepared to tell a conference starting today that children’s reading habits slump dramatically after they start at secondary school. The typical eight-year-old reads nearly 16 books a year but, by the time they reach 15 or 16, this has dwindled to just over three books per year. The big drop-off starts after the first year of secondary school, when the number of books read falls from nearly 12 a year to just six.

The study, based on interviews with nearly 30,000 pupils aged seven to 16, also shows a growing trend towards reading comics, magazines, newspapers and online articles, and playing computer games, after the first year at secondary school.

“Reading books does not maintain the strength of its hold on young people as an activity,” Mr Douglas said. “It begins to diminish from the age of 11. Publishers and the book trade must reinvent the book. They have to produce more graphic novels. Children are much more visually conscious than they were before – and the book trade must reflect this.

“Reading is not a static activity. It has always changed from one generation to another, depending on where literacy skills sat within society and what texts were available and why.”

A research paper entitled What Kids Are Reading, by Professor Keith Topping of Dundee University, will be presented to a national conference on literacy and numeracy in Stansted today. It also reveals marked differences in the books that girls and boys choose to read.

Among pre-teen girls, Jacqueline Wilson is overwhelmingly their favourite author. Her books explore growing up and teenage relationships and emotional development. Boys prefer adventure stories such as J K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and children’s books by Roald Dahl.

Many respondents did not believe they were engaging in reading if they were scanning items online. Mr Douglas said: “Twenty-nine per cent did not see themselves as readers but they were spending a vast amount of time reading online.

“They thought reading only related to books. This shows we will have to develop new strategies for promoting reading to children in future.”

One way would to do this would be to ensure that more classic books and novels were made available online with illustrations, he added.

taken from : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/days-of-children-reading-books-are-numbered-955497.html

What about you ? Do you still read novels ?

John Millington Synge

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

John Millington Synge ((1871-1909), poète, écrivain et accessoirement musicien, était aussi photographe. Issu de la bourgeoisie protestante irlandaise, il passa une partie de sa vie à voyager pour étudier les arts et la littérature.

En 1897, malade, il décide de vivre entre Paris et Inis Meàn, dans les îles d’Aran. Il y effectue un véritable travail d’ethnologue, sillonnant la campagne avec son appareil-photo, collectant récits et chansons à chacun de ses passages.

En 1907, il publie son livre Les Iles d’Aran, illustré par Jack Butler Yeats. Les photos prises par Synge dans les îles d’Aran entre 1898 et 1902 ne seront rassemblées et publiées qu’en 1971 dans un recueil intitulé My Wallet of Photographs aux éditions Dolmen Press.

Synges_wallet1.jpghttp://www.aran-isles.com/1224246671468_4.jpgSynges_wallet7.jpgSynges_wallet3.jpg

Synge was 27 when he went to the Aran Islands for the first time in l898, armed with l9th-century contemporary technology: a typewriter and a second-hand camera called a Klito he had bought from another visitor in Kilronan. Recovering from an operation for Hodgkin’s disease and a frustrated love affair, he was open, vulnerable and receptive. The images he took, record everyday island life – the women at the spinning wheels, the men gathering seaweed or hauling their currachs – but they also chronicle a dramatic news event, one of the last evictions on the island of an old woman turned out of her house after 30 years.

In his pictures of people, there’s an intimacy, a familiarity in the attitude towards the camera, a sense of ease in facing a friendly rather than an intruding lens. The photographs were used by Jack Yeats for his illustrations for a series of articles Synge wrote for the Manchester Guardian in June and July 1905 and the original sketch of the family on Inis Oírr now hangs in the Niland Gallery in Sligo.

“These photographs are important because they are among the first to portray the cultural revival in Ireland at the turn of the century and are among the most visual statements of Irishness from a cultural national perspective,” says Walsh, who first came across the photographs on a visit to Inis Meáin two years ago. “Synge was someone who believed that here was a reservoir of pure unadulterated Irishness, much more rooted and organic and, in a way, like an alternative lifestyle that came from the people and the elemental forces that surround them.” Other photographers of the time, he argues, did not have the same empathy, did not speak Irish, and were transients passing through with a camera, or scientists clinically recording what they perceived as a primitive way of life.

Synge was a close observer of nature and an accomplished musician who had ways of engaging with islanders and entertaining them. He could also be inconspicuous when he wanted to, and the portrait of the family on Inis Oírr, the man moving away from the woman and child, has a kind of epic grandeur, almost cinematic in its formality and setting.

He noticed details of island dress, “the local air of beauty”: the flannel trousers, the veists or báiníns, the pampooties, cowhide shoes and, of course, the red petticoats and indigo stockings “on the powerful legs” of the women. He certainly didn’t write about white cabled Aran sweaters, which did not exist then, and the idea of drowned fishermen being identified by their knitted jumpers was a later, mythical invention. Early visitors to the island were always impressed by the colour and unity of the dress, and the contrast between the farmers on Aran and those of their counterparts in Wicklow in their top hats, suits and boots could not be more striking.

L’Irlande fête les 70 ans de Seamus Heaney, poète et Prix Nobel

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Seamus Heaney, né en 1939 en Irlande du Nord, a fêté lundi dernier ses 70 ans en compagnie du pays tout entier. L’Irlande, pays des poètes, a mis à l’honneur, lundi 13 avril, celui qui a consacré sa vie à la poésie – et a reçu le prix Nobel de littérature 1995 pour l’ensemble de son œuvre.

Elevé dans le milieu rural du nord de l’Irlande, il poursuit ses études à l’université de Belfast. Ce clivage entre racines gaéliques et culture britannique marquera profondément son œuvre.

Je vous joins une petite vidéo illustrant un de ses poèmes.

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Jane Austen : a quizz

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Check out this quizz about Jane Austen

I’m sure you know her at least thanks to the movies adapted form her novels

Orgueil et PréjugésSense And SensibilityRaison et SentimentsEmma l'EntremetteuseNorthanger AbbeyPersuasion

Mansfield Park

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

I may go and watch this movie soon.

It is in fact adapted from a short story by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. You have to know this famous (and great) American writer because he actually wrote his masterpiece (= chef d’oeuvre) “Tender is The Night”  in Saint Raphaël !

For the Terminale pupils, we’ll be studying “The Great Gatsby” soon in our “Money” theme.

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Twilight : the movie !

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Watch the trailer !

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x72zud

You can also read the first chapter here

New Moon is the second part of the saga

and visit the official site : http://www.stepheniemeyer.com and enjoy !!