The Book Thief

Hello !

I think I will present the theme « voyage and return stories » and I chose a novel for my third document: This novel is The Book Thief, written by an Australian author, Markus Zusak. It was published in 2005. I chose this novel because the story is unusual; for example, the main character’s life is narrated by Death, so details show more the dangers of the life. The scene takes place in Germany during the World War II. Liesel Meminger, (the main character) is sent in a family she doesn’t know because her mother can’t take care of her. Liesel discovers her new life with her new family, who loves her, even if Rosa Hubermann (her « new » mother) seems to be more distant. One day a man asks them to help him; he’s a Jewish (the story takes places in Nazi Germany) and his father was a friend of Liesel’s « new » father. So the family decides to hide him; he was staying at home every day so Liesel explains him what is the situation, and they become friends. But soon bombardments become more numerous and the family is not sure that Max can survive alone. So he decides to go out… I could say what happen after that but if you don’t know the story I prefer saying anything !

I think this story can be a good example for the notion, because Liesel discovers and understands what is the life during the war and she is not the same girl before and after Sam (his Jewish friend)… Are you agree or do you think I have to change my document?

There is also a film about this story, this is the trailer:

Driven To Tears

Hello !

I was listening music and I discovered a good song ! It’s « Driven To Tears », the first protest song of The Police. Indeed, at the beginning this music was created by the group, and then Sting sang the song again. This song is about the famine in the Biafra*, in which many children died. The theme of the song is the gap between rich and poor.

Description de cette image, également commentée ci-après

The Biafra is here 🙂

 

Lyrics:

How can you say that you’re not responsible?
What does it have to do with me?
What is my reaction, what should it be?
Confronted by this latest atrocity

Driven to tears

Hide my face in my hands, shame wells in my throat
My comfortable existance is reduced to a shallow meaningless party
Seems that when some innocent die
All we can offer them is a page in a some magazine
Too many cameras and not enough food
‘Cos this is what we’ve seen

Driven to tears

Protest is futile, nothing seems to get through
What’s to become of our world, who knows what to do

Driven to tears

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway in Cuba in 1951. It was published in 1952. This short story tells about Santiago, an aging fisherman, who struggles with a marlin (a giant fish) in the Gulf Stream.

I really like this book because the writing is special, it is surprising at first but we know why the text is writting like that. Then it adds charm of the book. As the action happens in the same place in the ocean you might think that it gets boring but it’s not the case!

Have you already read this Hemingway’s book? do you like it, or would you read it?

O Brave New World

In english class we read a novel written by Aldous HUXLEY in 1932. His novel « Brave New World » is an anticipation novel and dystopia. The story takes place in 2495; a group of students are visiting under the supervision of the director of the Center (DHC).

as we studied an extract in which the DHC present his aim, to produce buds (8 to 96 buds which produces 8 to 96 adults), I discovered several adaptations in the American TV: in 1980 Burt Brinckerhoff directed Brave New World and Le Meilleur des mondes was produced by Leslie Libman et Larry Williams in 1998.

I think I will watch these movies because it could be interesting

Sting

     I want to tell you about a singer who is committed in his songs: Sting.
Sting was born in 1961, he’s an English musician and singer, and he was the composer and bassist of The Police.
I want to talk about two songs he composed to say what he thinks. It’s the case of the song « Englishman in New York ». This song is about the writer and actor Quentin Crisp, an English arrived in New York. (hence the title of the song)
in fact, Quentin Crisp was gay and it was a problem. Sting wrote this song for him, with his famous sentence « Be yourself, no matter what they say« .
In this song all sentences are about differences: for example, the first sentence says « I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear » and then we listen « See me walking down Fifth Avenue / A walking cane here at my side /I take it everywhere I walk« 
« Russians »  can also be associated to a committed song:Sting denounces the impact of the Cold War (« there’s no such thing as a winnable war « ). « Russians » takes the theme Lieutenant Kijé, composed by Sergei Prokofiev.
I like these 2 songs, and you, do you like Sting? do you know other songs which denounce something?

Four Seasons, Penhaligon’s

I want to show you a nice collection; it contains 4 books, which represent the four seasons. Each book includes poems, and extracts of stories which talk about this season.

For example, in the winter garden, edited by Sheila Pickles, there is an Oscar Wilde’s poem, untitled « Impression du Matin »:

The Thames nocturne of blue and gold
Changed to a Harmony in grey:
A barge with ochre-coloured hay
Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold

The yellow fog came creeping down
The bridges, till the houses’ walls
Seemed changed to shadows and St. Paul’s
Loomed like a bubble o’er the town.

Then suddenly arose the clang
Of waking life; the streets were stirred
With country waggons: and a bird
Flew to the glistening roofs and sang.

But one pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.

This poem is a good example, it talks about winter; « and chill and cold / The yellow fog came creeping down the bridges »
We can see an evolution in this poem: at the beginning the description shows a quiet environment, and  « Then suddenly arose the clang/ Of waking life »    so, we can deduce we are in the morning and the day begins. But at the end, we can see there is a woman: I think she’s a prostitute because the author says « Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone. »

I like this poem because we understand clearly what O. Wilde wants to say and this subject is very interesting ! And you, do you like it?

About 1984: Muse

Hello!

When we read the George Orwell’s extract our teacher said we can add a document about 1984; the Muse’s song, Resistance. As I love this group I think it’s a good idea to say some elements which can remind 1984 🙂

I found an article which explain their choice to sing this song:

 

“When I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story. I read it once in school about 15 years ago it was all about the politics. But when I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story in the book between Juliette and Winston.”

“In the early years I was confused about what my emotions were trying to express. As I said, being in England or seeing what’s going on in England has defined it as being a lot more direct and a lot more down to earth. I think the first song [Uprising] sums up how a lot of people feel and it’s that we need to change.”

So it sounds as though The Resistance is a mixture of being a rallying cry for us all to resist governmental control with elements of love mixed in. Which is a heady but quite brilliant blend, which is exactly how 1984 can be described.

It seems a tall order to take inspiration from and do justice to one of the most famous, important, and inspirational novels of the 20th Century, but if any band can manage it, it’s Muse »

(Read more: http://www.everyjoe.com/2009/08/05/entertainment/new-muse-album-the-resistance-inspired-by-1984/#ixzz3J46dM3WQ)

 

an other article says « The song ‘Resistance’ is basically a retelling of the relationship between Winston and Julia, in reference to the two main characters of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The eerie keyboard layers in the verse of the track also include an Ondes Martenot, an early synthesizer championed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, as shown in ‘The Making Of The Resistance.’

Matt said, « This song started off as an extension of ‘Map of the Problematique’ with a bit of influence from early ‘The Police’. It is very much based on the book ‘1984’ by George Orwell particularly the romance between Winston and Julia and the description of the act of sex and love as something political, the only place offering freedom from Big Brother. The song is also about any love which crosses boundaries such as religion or strong political beliefs and the subsequent recognition of the unimportance and divisiveness of such beliefs. »  ( http://www.musewiki.org/Resistance_(song))

If you want to read the lyrics, it’s here -> http://www.musewiki.org/Resistance_(song)

 

And you, do you like this song?

RFI english

I want to introduce you a very nice website, whose name is « rfI english ». It’s a very interesting website because it talks about many things; we can read the different country’s news, thanks to differents themes: France, Africa, Asia-Pacific, middle east, Europe or Americas. In each theme, we can select an other category -> environment, economy, culture, sports, rfi Music, sciences etc …

it’s even possible to listen radio, in live but also delayed ! the advantage is it’s relatively easy to understand, so you can listen the radio all the time

So I advise you to visit this website, it’s a very good solution if you want to read in English !

 

 

 

 

To kill or not to kill

 

I have just finished a book which I found brilliant ! it’s To kill or not to kill, and it contains actually two stories, « A home away from home » written by Robert Bloch and « This will kill you » written by Patrick Quentin.

the first part of the novel ( So « A home away from home ») tells the story of a young australian orphan (Natalie Rivers)  who comes to live in England. When she arrives she waits a person who is supposed to fetch her but she doubts … I leave you discover what it occurs! 🙂

The second part is a story about a couple. The Norma’s husband, Harry Lund, want to kill her to do his life with an other woman. But his attempts are failures ! but one day … 

I was very surprised because at the begining I wasn’t very convinced by the stories … But the book is very well made, there is the French translation on the right page and the left page is in English, moreover the vocabulary is explained !  

So if you wan’t discover the English literature easily I recommend to you to test this collection (langage pour tous)! 

Oliver Twist adaptations

Hello !

Do you know these differents adaptations about Dickens’ novel?

In 1922, a Frank Lloyd ‘s movie comes to the cinema, with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan . It’s a silent film, it was very faithful to the novel and realistic.

in 1948, an other film appears , directed by David Lean. It was a success but  Alec Guinness make up was considered as anti-semite so in the USA the film was allowed in 1951!

in 1968 an other film is inspired by a comedy; Oliver! Jack Wild is Artful Dodger and Fagin is Ron Moody, whose role is reversed, he saves young boys in London.

There was also a cartoon untitled The adventures of oliver twist in 1987 .

I found a film dating back 1982; I advise you to watch this video because it’s easy to understand !

And if you prefer old films, you can watch this version dating back 1933

 

Ray

Hello !

Have you ever seen Ray, this movie which focusing on 30 years of the life of Ray Charles? this film was directed by Taylor Hackford, and I personally loved it ! 

Ray Charles was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s. he was a musician and a composer. In this film, we can see the dark times of his life.

 

Absolute Shakespeare

hello !

I want to tell you about a website exclusively about Shakespeare: its name is « Absolute Shakespeare ». In addition to read Shakespeare’s biography, we can read Comedies, (17, including As you like it) , Histories, or Tragedies. Each time, there is an explanation, it’s very interesting ! there are also Shakespeare’s sonnets, Poems, Quotes (like « To be, or not to be: that is the question » Hamlet  (Act III, Scene I), « O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? ». Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Scene II) etc)

this website is also useful because you can read summary and commentary about many famous plays; Hamlet, Julius CaesarOthello, the Moor of VeniceRomeo and Juliet or The Tempest for example! And if you are reading a Shakespeare’s play, a glossary can help you to understand !

The website here -> absoluteshakespeare.com

Samuel Beckett

Hello !

Last week we read an extract of a Samuel Beckett’s play, untitled Waiting for Godot.
It’s an absurdist play.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was an Irish novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. Today, he is considered one of the last modernists, and he is also sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists. He wrote in English and French.

In 1956, the BBC asked him to broadcast a radio play: it will be All That Fall (« Tous ceux qui tombent »). He continues to write occasionally for radio, but also for an experimental silent film, Film in 1965 (with Buster Keaton) and television. He started writing in English, without abandoning the French.

During the World War II, he participated to the Resistance.
After the war, he published Molloy (1951); Malone Dies (1958); and The Unnamable, (1960).

It is in French that Beckett wrote his most famous works. In fifteen years, three plays are a great success: Waiting for Godot (1948-1949), Endgame (1955-1957) and Happy Days (1960). The extract of Waiting for Godot in your book is p.125 !

Then he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, but he sees that as a « disaster » ; His confusion to receive the Nobel Prize is explained by his dislike of socializing and duties.

He dies in 1989 and is buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery.

Samuel Beckett, Pic, 1.jpg

(Beckett in 1977; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Samuel_Beckett,_Pic,_1.jpg)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice in Wonderland View Master

hello !

I love « Alice in Wonderland » , all movies are surprising! when I was young, I saw the first story of Alice in Wonderland with a viewer, a kind of binocular in which is inserted a cardboard’s disc. Its name was View-Master, have you ever seen this viewer?

(view master)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BS2zNZ0GcoI/T9sr-QxvG9I/AAAAAAAABQU/WvsZOljRAU4/s1600/view+master.jpg;

( a picture of Alice) on

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRUZXK8WWqYxZs9Mog4GooXfy8pKEtTRfEXFXgu3n0Oqo9q_vXi)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I would like to talk about a drama adaptation of the story dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

This story was represented many times, for movies and dramas.
Richard Mansfield was an English, he was an actor-manager, best known for his performances in Shakespeare’s plays, and Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
He changed the story written by Robert Louis Stevenson: indeed, he created new elements as 2 women in love with the same man, whereas they are not from the same environment.
This drama was shown at the end of the 19th century.