Category Archive: French

Happy Birthday Balzac! – That man really knew how to put in a shift!

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Happy birthday Honore de Balzac! I might have only read one of his novels so far, but I loved it enough to read it twice. In ‘Old Goriot’, Balzac gives us entry to… Continue reading

At first he was afraid, he was petrified…

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Oh, Proust*. Darling, sit down. I’ll make tea. No, wait, hot chocolate. And cake. I know I’ve been a bit mean about you before, but what you’ve been through, oh man, believe me,… Continue reading

Balzac should be on ‘Grand Designs’

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I knew my memory was getting flaky, but things are worse than I thought. Only three years have elapsed since I finished reading Honore de Balzac’s ‘Old Goriot’, but already the plot and… Continue reading

The Secret Diary of Marcel Proust, age 16 ½

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If I find something mildly amusing, I don’t chuckle, or giggle, instead it’s a highly unattractive Mrs Krabappel ‘Ha!’ And Proust (okay, okay, his nameless character that we all know most of the… Continue reading

‘And the award for the best supporting actor goes to…’

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My allergy to musicals meant that I was unmoved when the world went crazy for the stage production and then the film of ‘Les Miserables’. I thought I’d escaped unscathed until bassoonboy announced… Continue reading

The urge to punch Proust…

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…is a strong one. I am on the second volume of In Search Of Lost Time, and I find it very hard to separate Proust’s narrator with Proust himself. This feels like an… Continue reading

How Football saved Camus from Bohemian Rhapsody

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I’m extremely intolerant to certain music. Some songs irritate me so much I have to leave the room if they come on. Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘El Condor Pasa’; Elton John’s ‘Circle of Life’;… Continue reading

Proust: Mod or Epoque’r?

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What nonsense is this? you ask. Before you shout me down for plain lunacy, I do think it’s worth considering whether Proust was a Modernist or was he still entrenched in La Belle Epoque… Continue reading

How long were you thinking of staying in your grave for?

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I’m reading La Dame Aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas. Marguerite, our dead-from-the-beginning-classy-courtesan heroine, is bought a plot in Montmartre cemetery in Paris by Armand, her most dedicated lover, for five years. Yep, five… Continue reading

‘Les Miserables’ is great but full of sh*t

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Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’ is of such gigantic proportions that it requires real commitment to get it finished before you forget what happened at the start Or a tardis. I was fortunate that… Continue reading