Category Archive: French

…And that’s why if there ever was a shopping competition between Proust and Paddington, the bear would win!

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You’ve got to wonder what Proust would make of today’s world. Just imagine, if, fed up of his perpetual bedroom anxieties and the horror of those violet curtains, he decided to go to… Continue reading

Oi, Flaubert! Get in the corner with Hardy.

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*spoilers, tons of ’em* Madame Bovary is one of the most page-chewing, pillow-punching books I have ever read. To start with, she’s just not likable, and an unlikable protagonist is a very hard… Continue reading

The Literary Sidekick: always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

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I think Francois Seurel gets a rough deal. Like most literary sidekicks, he is doomed to stand on the sidelines of the novel’s action (‘Le Grand Meaulnes’), holding a clipboard and taking notes… Continue reading

He should have gone to a Premier Inn

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On the whole, I’m pretty good at sleeping. Once I’m off, it’d take the equivalent of a herd of angry buffalo doing the Macarena to wake me. However, as I’ve aged, I’ve started… Continue reading

Zola. If anyone knew how to combine lust and public transport, it was him.

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La Bête Humaine is a very readable classic. It has an actual plot and everything. Adultery and murder ahoy! It also has a lot to do with trains, their engineering, maintaining, driving, and… Continue reading

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

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Alain-Fournier’s masterpiece, ‘Le Grand Meaulnes‘, is a lyrical, melancholic ‘coming of age’ novel, which explores the crossing of the Rubicon between childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood. Like J.D Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye‘,… Continue reading

Why Proust?

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I’m not sure when I made the decision to tackle Proust, but, I resolved many years ago that if I did nothing else with my life, I would at least attempt to be… Continue reading