5 thoughts on “Tuesday, February 21, 2023

  1. Hi, Claire, if it’s Claire who submitted the extract from Ernaux. Long time no ‘voir’. Here’s the English version, translated by Alison L. Strayer:

    All that remained of the flamboyant epic
    were the grey and silent ruins of
    blockhouses carved into cliffsides, and
    heaps of rubble in the towns as far as the
    eye could see. Rusty objects, twisted
    bedframes loomed out of the debris.
    Merchants who had lost their businesses
    set up shop in temporary huts along the
    edges of the ruins. Shells overlooked by
    mine-clearers exploded in the bellies of the
    little boys who played with them. The
    newspapers warned, Do not touch
    munitions! Doctors removed tonsils from
    children with delicate throats, who woke
    screaming from the ether anaesthesia and
    were forced to drink boiling milk. On faded
    posters, General de Gaulle, in three-quarter
    profile, gazed into the distance from under
    his kepi. On Sunday afternoons we played
    Ludo and Old Maid.
    The frenzy that had followed Liberation
    was fading. All that people thought about
    was going out, and the world was full of
    desires that clamored for immediate
    satisfaction. Anything that comprised a
    stampede-bananas, fireworks, National
    Lottery tickets. Entire neighborhoods, from
    elderly ladies propped up by their
    daughters to infants in strollers, flocked to
    the funfair, the torchlight tattoo, and the
    Bouglione circus, where they narrowly
    escaped being crushed in the melee. They
    took to the road in praying, singing crowds
    to welcome the statue of Our Lady of
    Boulogne and walk her back the following
    day over many kilometers…

    1. Yes, it was me. We’re studying it this year. I had to comment this extract today for an oral. Interesting to see the translation. Thank you!

  2. Roger, if you’re willing to expand your scope to include fictional characters, Detective Frank Drebin (The Naked Gun) and Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Pink Panther) are legendary klutzes. I seem to recall our current President also having some Ford-level stumbles both ascending and descending the Air Force One gangway.

    1. There is also the political satire of Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live, reenacting Ford’s stumbling antics…..

  3. Brendan and Catalina: I laugh at the fictional klutzes too, but you can’t beat unintentional slapstick. Ford was a riot. In defense of Biden, he’s 80 and looks it. Ford made his pratfalls at age 62.

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