“The best way to take all people is to take them for what they think they are” #Faulkner

“I’d have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people is to take them for what they think they are.”

William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

 

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Keep a part for later – Masterpieces from Masters

If you’re an explorer, you sometimes discover an artist you… adore.

It’s so good that you can’t resist : here you are exploring the whole chest, pigging out the whole thing. We are all lost souls, craving for…

But sometimes you climb “one more degree”. It’s so good that you decide something.

Keep a part for later. More in reserve. Some gas left in the tank.

This is what I did with a few masters : Puccini, Chekhov, Faulkner, Borges, Jünger. Who are yours?

I know Manon and La Bohème by heart, and pretty well some of other Puccini’s operas, like Tosca or Butterfly, and one third of Trittico. Each time I listen to a part of Turandot I’m floored… but I keep it for later!

Chekhov wrote hundreds of short stories. I have shelves of that guy! But I never read “everything”. It’s the same for Jünger or Borges, or Faulkner.

  • Keep the pleasure to discover something new from a Master you love.
  • One day it’s maybe to late : you’re dead. Or you’re not interested any more.
  • You sometimes don’t remember if you read this or that. Even better, right?
  • There’s a middle choice : listen or read once, and then wait for years.
  • Years after, you read or listen… another way.
  • Choose an infinite area. Restaurants in Paris for example. Hmmm?

Thanks for reading!

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Present Participles and “Stream of Consciousness” – Part I #Faulkner #translation

English language, from France, has a funny way to use present participles. When we study it, we notice the easy and constant use of present participles, the “ings”.

  • I saw my friend eating his dinner
  • I say nothing, just watching her fixing up her looks

Etc. We also have a “participe présent” in French, and we can use it your way, but we don’t. We would say here “J’ai vu mon ami manger son dîner/I saw my friend eat his dinner”. Using the present participle here would be understandable but a bit weird.

Joyce and Faulkner invented a great “literature tool” in English, which is :

Putting a microphone in a character’s head instead of describing the thoughts.

It’s the “Stream of Consciousness“, an interior monologue, an interesting narrative mode (sometimes with no punctuation), making a river of words – we don’t punctuate when we think, right?).

Put a mic in a head? OK : example with Joyce (Ulysses) :

a quarter after what an unearthly hour I suppose theyre just getting up in China now combing out their pigtails for the day well soon have the nuns ringing the angelus theyve nobody coming in to spoil their sleep except an odd priest or two for his night office the alarmlock next door at cockshout clattering the brains out of itself let me see if I can doze off 1 2 3 4 5 what kind of flowers are those they invented like the stars the wallpaper in Lombard street was much nicer the apron he gave me was like that something only I only wore it twice better lower this lamp and try again so that I can get up early

See? Faulkner uses this often in The Sound and the Fury.

French translators used, then, our present participles to build the French text. They could have “fixed it” our way, but they kept it. It is OK to translate my first example with “J’ai vu mon ami mangeant son dîner”. It’s just different.

It’s why I think that reading these translated novels in French provides us un surplus, a gain, a spare of poetry. Interior monologue weaved with present participles, it’s a river of sensations, a transmission (it’s written), a surgespurt of feelings, actions (“ing”) and thoughts.

In part II, I’ll tell how French writers used this idea to invent “another French”, full of marvels and spells…

Spell, in French, is a good word, a fantastic word : Sortilège

Thanks for reading !

#city

Enregistrer

Exploring movies from Tennessee Williams’s plays…

Once you decided to go under the surface of “news”, there are many ways to explore the movie history. I once imagined I explored a year of cinema : let’s begin with 1960. Let’s watch Psycho, l’Avventura, La Dolce Vita, Elmer Gantry, Exodus and The Magnificent Seven…

There’s another way. Which is to find the author. My best choice (from far) has been Tennessee Williams. You can watch : A Tramway Named Desire, The Night of the Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tatoo, This Property is Condemned or Baby Doll (there are more, but these are masterpieces).

Check the Internet Movie Database !

For a month, forget Netflix and shows. Watch these movies. Read about T. Williams, his life, etc. You’ll plunge, then, in a strange world with a taste of the South.

Something between William Faulkner and Anton Chekhov. One days I read that these two were, for him, the two best writers of history.

There is no “tool”, here. Just a map. An idea. Make a step aside. Stop reaction on “what they propose you”. Choose your territory.

Moite, complexe, adulte : it’s clever-South, clammy adult movies for adults… You’ll have problems to go back to average shows, I can promise you…

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