Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is a science fiction novel written by Dan Brown in 2003.  This is a best seller so the book has sold 86 million copies all over the world. A film adaptation was released in 2006 by Ron Howard.

This is the story of Robert Langdon an american who is involved in the murder of Jacques Sauniere against (who worked at the Louvre) his will. Langdon is accused because before dying Sauniere wrote on the ground « P.S find Robert Langdon ». The only personn who belienves in Langdon’s innocence is Sophie Neveu (granddaughter of Sauniere). She thinks that her grandfather message is intended for her and Langdon can help her to understand it. In return she helps him to escape the police comissioner Fache.
The central theme of the story is the secret struggle between the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and the Priory of Sion (the object of this struggle is the parternity of Christ).

This is an interesting story where the plot is well constructed and it si true that it is difficult to discern the historical and truethful either from fiction

Looking Backward

Looking Backward is an utopian science fiction novel by Edward Bellamy published in 1888. It is translated into french as « 100 ans après ou l’an 2000 « 

The novel tells the story of Julian West (a young American)  in Boston in 2000. He says that he was born in 1857. He wakes up in M.Leete’s house (who find it under his house) because he falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep in1887 because of the fire in Julian’s house. So he wakes up one hundred and thirteen years later. But M.Leete learn him that the labor problem disappeared and the nation proposed a socialist solution of a nationalisation of all industry, the use of an « industrial army » to organize production (people have to work from 21 to 45 years).

Money doesn’t exist anymore and the state supplies people : the goods of society are equally distributed to thecitizens. Everyone has the same income even invalid and prisons have become hospitals.

The bulk of the novel is a dialogue between Julian and M.Leete.

This book is more a comparison between actual economic and technological developments.

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel by Margaret Atwood published in 1985. This is her first dystopia. It is a science fiction novel that describes a world where religion is higher than politic in a totalitarian coalition. Women are « endegered ». They are divided into three classes. Frist the Wives, the only women who have power, they dominate the House. Then the Marthas who maintain the house and finally the Handmaid’s Tale whose role is reproduction. All the other women (too old, infertile, …) are deported to the colonies where they handle toxic waste. Themain character of the novel Defred is a Handmaid. She can not seduce and her role is reproduction. She gradually tells his story, recalls his time with his family. She only lives for her memories.

There is a french version translated by Sylviane Rué and a film adaptation by Volker Schlöndorff.

 

Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is the first book written by Walter Scott published in 1819 which is talking about the middle age. It is a part of Waverley Novels. This book was tranlated in french by Auguste-Jean-Baptiste Defauconpret in 1820.

The scene takes place in England during the 12th century, the period of the Saxon resistance against the Normans. Ivanhoe must live between love feudal and familial loyalty conflicts. Richard I of England (or  Richard the Lionheart) comes back to england and risks of being dethroned by his brother : Prince John. Ivanhoe has to protect his king, regain his legacy and his place in his family and marry Rowena. He must fight on all fronts

This novel inspires theatricality and the supernatural. This is the most famous novel of Scott. Indeed there have been many television adaptation like Robin Hood or the film Ivanhoé in 1952.

 

Mark Twain

His real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born in november 1835 in the USA and died in april 1910. In was first a military and then become an writer. He is famous thanks to The adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876 and the adventures of Hucleberry Finn (worked in english litterature lesson) in 1885. The latter is often called « The Great American Novel ».

He worked on the Mississippi thats why he choosed the name « Mark Twain » : this is a speech of the marines.

He traveled in Europe and began to write in 1864 but he became famous in 1876.

Through his novel he tried to denounce exes of the civilization and immorality. He is often compared to Stevenson and Dickens.

Alexander O’Lachlan

Alexander O’Lachlan is one on my favorite actor. He is an australian actor and was born in Canberra in 1976.

His first film is The oyster Farmer. The next year he played in Feed and the same year in Man-Thing. He is the main character of the serie Moonlight and of Hawaii 5-0 (witch in on tv saturday night. He played too in Criminal minds.

His latest and most famous movies are Whitout and Le Plan B (with Jennifer Lopez). I hope you know this famous actor and enjoy this movies !

 

 

George Orwell

George Orwell is an english writer (writing under the name of Eric Arthur Blair) and jouralist. Throught his works he shows his commitment against the british imperialism, for socialism and social justice and against Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism. Thanks to his name, the adjectiv « Orwellian » was created to qualify the totalitarian universe imagined by Orwell.

He wrote many books like Down and Out in London and Paris or Burmes day. He wrote about one book a year. But his main works stay Animal Farm  and 1984. 

In the last one he created the Big Brothers concept. Big Brother is the main figure of this story, and depicts the totalitarian police and the monitoring society. Indeed in the story in every room a human is there is a « telescreen » which broadcasts (without turn itself off) message of government, and thanks to them police know every words and movement of every man.

What is ironical is that Orwells country is the most supervised country : one camera for fifteen inhabitant.

Be careful, BIG BROTHER is watching you.

The Roaring Twenties

« The Roaring Twenties » is the name given to the growing period in America, but then in Europa too : in great britain we called them « the Golden Twenties » and in France « les années folles » for example. This period extends from the end of the First World War until the economic crisis in 1929.

First, this was a period of economic growth. It was like a second industrial revolution for the USA, thanks to great technical advances. Frederic Taylor and Henri Ford were two main characters of this growth with their new ways of working. Thanks to them, the automoblie industry was representred as a booming sector.

Then, this was a period in wich born a new society : high urbanization and more and more skyscrapers. Woman are emancipated and called « the flappers » : they cut their hair and weared jeans.

There was also a cultural growth. People listened Jazz and blues, new stars and lifestyle. It was also the Golden Age for Hollywood and birth of realisme and naturalisme

New generation was in fond of these changes but older people guessed they were totaly crazy and « degenerate »

Gothic novel

The first theme we learned was the gotic novel.
The main novel was Frankenstein wrote by Mary Shelley. We saw the different gothics or romantics elemenents, like the setting and the atmosphere with dreary night and castle. Before study the story we had to learn the name and place of the character. Next we learned an extract and to understand all the story we saw the film.
I think that Frankenstein belong to classic of english litterature and Mary Shelley is one of the most famous autor on this time. I think too it was my favorite theme of what we learned because I knew a little the story and I am found of gothic and romantic genre.

Theatre of the Absurd

In the world of theatre, there is a particular play called the Absurd.It had been created in the 1950s after the period of the humanists and is totally different as comedy and drama. It is talking about the absurdity of men which leads to the death.It is totally the contrary of realism.

The relevants things are the dialogues between characters who are not connected or the place where the scene takes place. For exemple in the Dumb Waiter the characters are talking about absurds items, and their sentences are unrelated. In « Waiting for Godot » the characters are always talking because they are terrified by silence and so they don’t have to speak about their condition or anguish.

Every body doesn’t like the absurd because it is a very special genre.

The Maltese Falcon

We have too talked about The Maltese Falcon.
I have loved the main character and the story which is a quite mysterious and suspensfull. The main character is a detective whose name is Sam Spade. He is desagreable, brooding, scornfull and has a cold character contrary to Iva who is in love affair with him and is sobing all time and want’s him to confort her. Indeed she left her husband but the killer may be Sam.
This novel is a quite suspensfull and today the excesive characterof the two characters are quite funny today and make us laught.