French 2 - Literature

Convenor:   Barbara Phillips   Phone: 763884
Level:   Assumes a fairly high previous knowledge, but we all help each other.
Meetings:   Fridays, 9.45 - 11.15

We still run the group as a co-operative, and generally like to start with an item from 7 jours sur la planète - a daily journal of topical information that we can watch on a short video and then translate. This is created specifically for the more advanced student so vocabulary and grammar can be challenging. Topics can range from Mexicans harvesting cactus leaves and turning them into a cash crop as food and cosmetics, another episode was on a political cartoonist from Le Monde.

We have finished Marcel Pagnol's lyrical autobiography Le Gloire de mon père , the memory of one particular summer when young Marcel's papa distinguished himself, against all odds, by hunting the elusive rock partridge.

We have now moved on to a somewhat darker time, with Joseph Joffo's "Un sac de billes", the story of a young Jewish boy and his family in Paris in 1941. What is rather odd is that we have several different versions of the book in class! Some were bought on the internet, some downloaded from on-line suppliers, some bought in charity shops. Dates vary, most say 1941 but one sets the scene in 1942, page numbers differ with the type size and style. It adds an extra dimension to our enjoyment - Spot the Difference!

While we all know that the narrator survives, obviously, it is not going to be a cheery read, so we have decided to read something of Cyrano de Bergerac after this.

Our aim is to look at "Classic" French literature, rather than books in English that have been translated, and we are always on the lookout for suggestions for our next read.

If you think you might relish the challenge, come along and sit in, give us a try. We don't progress very swiftly as there are frequent pauses to look up a word or three, discuss a particular grammatical point and ensure that we are all understanding what we are reading. We never get bored! For any further information please give me a ring, or simply turn up on a Friday morning at 9.45 and we will make you welcome.

Barbara Phillips
May 2018

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