Christiane Rochefort's Les Petits enfants du siècle

This is a really good novel about growing up in a HLM in the Paris suburbs.

“Jo de Bagnolet ” est née des allocations et d’un jour férié dont la matinée s’étirait, bienheureuse “. Dix enfants vont suivre, apportant en prime à leurs parents la machine à laver, le Frigidaire, la télé, la voiture et le prix Cognac ! Josyane les élèvera tous. Ses seules distractions : les courses et ses devoirs le soir, sur la table de la cuisine. Ses seuls amis, Nicolas, le petit frère qui comprend tout, et Guido, le maçon italien, né sur les collines. L’amour de Guido bouleverse la vie de Josyane, il en chasse toute la laideur et la bêtise. Christiane Rochefort fait ici un tableau criant de vérité des grands ensembles, de ces blocs illuminés la nuit, en plein ciel, si gris le jour, le béton cachant mal la pauvreté. Elle dit, admirablement et avec beaucoup d’humour, le mal de vivre à Bagnolet, à Sarcelles et autres lieux du même type, sans âme et sans arbres. Une oeuvre très forte du célèbre auteur du Repos du guerrier et des Stances à Sophie.”

Continue reading “Christiane Rochefort's Les Petits enfants du siècle”

Bauby, Le scaphandre et Le papillon / the butterfly and the diving bell

This is one of the most amazing of autobiographies … Written with one blinking eyelid. Bauby was paralyzed and had the locked-in syndrome. Learned to communicate somehow to his assistant with a morse-like system of blinking his eyelid to the number of a letter’s place in the alphabet.

This book communicates the preciousness of life. Bauby was a talented editor-in-chief at Elle magazine.

You can read the rest below. En Français.

20121027-201627.jpg

Continue reading “Bauby, Le scaphandre et Le papillon / the butterfly and the diving bell”

Bauby, Le scaphandre et Le papillon / the butterfly and the diving bell

This is one of the most amazing of autobiographies … Written with one blinking eyelid. Bauby was paralyzed and had the locked-in syndrome. Learned to communicate somehow to his assistant with a morse-like system of blinking his eyelid to the number of a letter’s place in the alphabet.

This book communicates the preciousness of life. Bauby was a talented editor-in-chief at Elle magazine.

You can read the rest below. En Français.

20121027-201627.jpg

Continue reading “Bauby, Le scaphandre et Le papillon / the butterfly and the diving bell”

Nathalie Sarraute: Tropismes

Tropismes was one of those books I was supposed to have read in graduate school (but didn’t ). Instead read planétarium. However I can’t ever remember acquiring this text… But there it was on my shelf, all yellowed and marked up. It reads like a being from another era, really. Retro- avantgarde… Nothing ages like futuristic writing. I do have a certain affinity for the precursors of the nouveau roman.

20121011-201318.jpg
Continue reading “Nathalie Sarraute: Tropismes”

Nathalie Sarraute: Tropismes

Tropismes was one of those books I was supposed to have read in graduate school (but didn’t ). Instead read planétarium. However I can’t ever remember acquiring this text… But there it was on my shelf, all yellowed and marked up. It reads like a being from another era, really. Retro- avantgarde… Nothing ages like futuristic writing. I do have a certain affinity for the precursors of the nouveau roman.

20121011-201318.jpg
Continue reading “Nathalie Sarraute: Tropismes”