When pleasure is not in the things, but in the difference between things – Chronicle 11

“To see is to forget the names of the thing one sees.”
“Regarder, c’est oublier les noms des choses que l’on voit”
― Paul Valéry

A few days ago I was in Paris at a book marathon for professionals. Imagine rooms full of booksellers, and a parade of book companies representatives (with Powerpoint slides) lecturing them about all the “GREAT” books (about food, art, science, nature, history, whatever) which will be available before the end of the year. This for hours.

This is exhausting, but it’s also very interesting, of course. We were sometimes amazed by some splendid front covers, or by good ideas (there’s a Art coffee table book about “the last painting before they die”). It’s a bit like you, hungry book lover, when you come in a store to lurk what is “on the tables”.

Most of the representatives had only 10 minutes to talk about their stuff, before leaving the place for the next one. In the afternoon, as a part of us were in a smaller room to talk about, well, “more specialized books”, a guy came, began his lecture and we all immediately realized that… we’ve seen the same slides in the morning, presented by someone else.

I doubt it was made on purpose (but who knows?) but it was interesting and we watched it differently for many reasons :

Nobody had the heart to say him. We breathed differently like in a release of tension, like “Oh, OK, I’ve seen these”, defocusing and refocusing with casualness, along the presentation. I was playing this game which is to notice the different ways this other man was talking about the books, focusing on details the other person forgot to tell, and vice versa. When pleasure is not in the things, but in the difference between things.

Isn’t there a tool, here, for lectures, advertising, marketing, entertainment? I’m sure there is…

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Charles Juliet writes in his diary that it’s sometimes when you are at your lowest ebb that other people come to see you for help. Is it because you’re dismantled inside? Well, it’s not written on your forehead, right? Then… I don’t know. But it’s true.

 

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English words I’m struggling with :

  • Roster is a list, but for a team only? People? Can we imagine a feelings roster?
  • Unmoored are for boats, but can I use it for me? I unmoored “from” something?
  • Uphill is upward, so why there’s another word? Is it colored “difficult”?
  • Frayed is for fabric, but also stressed (for a man). Is it stressed but weak?
  • Fester, for a situation, is getting dangerous? Slow? Awkward? Rotten?
  • Uncanny is like supernatural? Weird, or great?
  • Unflinching means also “moving” or it can be “stand your ground”?
  • Gallivanting is colored by laziness or not? Pleasure? Love? Melancholy?

 

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“To see is to forget the names of the thing one sees.”, says Paul Valéry. It’s a very strong sentence, able to stop everything in me. It works for things, concepts, people, etc. Words are really dangerous. Because we eventually think they “are” the truth. Notice he said “the names”, plural.

Dance, poetry, painting and music are able to show things “between” words, when the language is not subtle enough to tell what is happening. Philosophy tells us about haecceity, which says we are constantly different, moving, trying to grip the many changes and the possibilities of life.

Beware when you think about someone with a couple of words. Dreams of reason produce monsters. We are not monsters.

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One day someone said to me :

“You live in the past & I live in the future”

Woahhhh perfect nastiness, right? Give the dog a bone! Some assertions are so absurd than you begin to take them to pieces – without saying a word, right?

We all live in the present, and that’s all. Every human being uses his memory and the past as a map to make better choices. And everyone is constantly watching the possibilities of the future. This is brain functioning…

If you’re not made of cardboard, you change, you use everything you know, you want, you propose, you desire, you are not steady, because you are… alive :

  • you watch behind
  • you watch now
  • you watch in front of you

Well, I suppose this phrase was destined to say “I’m better than you”, right?

 

By the way, what is the difference between nastiness and meanness? I suppose meanness is more calculated, nastiness more cruel and crazy? I don’t know; really…

 

Hey! Have a nice day!

 

 

“To see is to forget the names of the thing one sees.”

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The power of questions & the strength of possibilities

The power of questions is the power of intriguing you.

Some questions don’t even need answers, but have the power to move your brain, to make it invent. Invent concepts, ways, doors, solutions, views…

Questions are events (because where you live, there is no florescence of questions). Questions are interesting, they can also be disturbing, or funny.

You can make the decision to let yourself be driven, or be pushed around by the power of questions.

Questions trigger movements in your brain, movements of dance, of dodging, or even swerving. Smile!

Questions secrete glowing happy interesting fog-patches of possibilities around you.

Maybe questions can meet… your own questions. Maybe they help you to ask some more questions to your partner, or… to yourself : to be surprised, to discover the strength of possibilities.

Sorry, I’m French, and if my quirky English tickles you, my bad.

Tool : Invention. Events. Decisions. Movements. Possibilities. Questions are powerful. Ask, or be asked? Both! Dolphins are fast and elegant, they seek this dance.

Merci !

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Writing in another language

I’m French. I write in English. Why? Here’s what I see :

  • Blogging in English forces me to me short and simple.
  • So it’s like pendrawing instead of oil painting. Water instead of wine.
  • I constantly check (and thus learn) vocabulary.
  • So I have to think about the French vocabulary too.
  • I am not distracted by any search of French “Style”, and it’s a relief.
  • I quit my well known ground, to find another babyway to walk on another soil.
  • Writing in French is like “too easy”, it flows fast (as I type) from ideas to words.
  • Writing in English is more like building a little plane-model with unusual words. It’s slower, and a pleasure too.
  • There’s a playing child pleasure into it.
  • As it’s not my “tongue”, I feel really more chilled out when I write here.
  • Therefore I can focus on my little tools, not “How to say that in French properly”.
  • I invent words with a smile.
  • I make mistakes on purpose… with a smile.
  • I know and feel that I miss something, and I have to ignore it, and let go.
  • I can speak English, but I’m also quite lost in it. I explore, then.
  • I learn constantly about American culture, just by watching the way this language expresses things.
  • Idioms are different, and each time it’s like finding a jewel.
  • It’s probably an exercise for “one day write in French”, with new eyes and muscles-of-the-brain gained from writing in another language.
  • It can also be a way to voluntarily lose bad habits in my own language.

 

Beautiful books are always written in a sort of foreign language, said Marcel Proust. That’s a great seed for the mind, don’t you think? It’s about style. When I’ll “write back” in French, I’m sure I’ll be richer, then, because of my English exploration years…

Merci!

 

#French #Blogging in #English : un Songe

OK I’m French, I knowwww that I make mistakes. Sometimes I even make mistakes on purpose, like when I use nouns as verb. Thus… at night : I bed, then in the morning I coffee. I should have written that “I mistake on purpose”…

Blogging in English? Why?

Because it’s not my native language, so I HAVE to make in simple and short. Simple because I don’t have all the vocabulary. Short because… I know you don’t like to read long articles on your smartphone. Therefore short is good. It also forces me to be synthetic.

I asked some friends “how does it sound?”, but they were really not able to tell me. Charming Frenchy? Awkward foreigner? Disturbing little flaws? I don’t know if it brings colors or botherness

Yes, OK, botherness : no, OK. I liked it, though!

What I heard also is that it sounds French ALSO because of the way ideas are expressed (How so? Casualness? Impoliteness?), or even because… American people just simple don’t think like that, or say that. Parfois, un article vient d’un simple songe…

Songe? What’s between “think” (penser) and “dream” (rêver), in English? We have this verb : songer. And a splendid noun : un songe…

Bonne journée. Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : mariadelsur

 

Obedient “to the finger and the eye” is the French “beck and call”

“Obéir au doigt et à l’œil” (“to obey the finger and the eye”) is the French way to say that you’re at somebody’s beck and call.

I found out that it comes from “beckon call”, which makes sense, right? By the way, I learned a word : Beckon – “gesture to come”. 

How do you say that in your language? In common use, what’s the radioactivity of “beckon”? Is it neutral like “to call over”? Or does in imply a little slice of servitude? What are the differences between to yield, to comply, to obey, to submit?

What are the dials and levers here? If you’re at somebody’s beck and call, what does it show? Is it about fear? Power? Is it about persons, or systems, companies?

What about the beckoning person? How come this person expects you to act this way? Has he enough power to get you back in “the right track”? Or does he have to understand that “people are not all obedient”? What a shock!

What happens, in a situation where you’re supposed to comply and you don’t? Failure to comply, disobedience, rebelliousness? Why would you? A frontier has been crossed? Did you change? Did you grow up? Has the whole system changed? Did you change your mind? Why?

In what territory to study this? Kingdom? Management? Spouses? Clients/employees? Politics? Parenting? What are the limits of beck and calling?

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In French, we add “ette” to a word, to say it’s small and cute…

Imagine a little bedroom would be called “bedroomette“, and a little hotel soap would be a “soapette“. A little suitcase would sound “suitcasette“. Would be cute, right?

This is what we do in France. A little soap (savon) is a savonnette, and fleurette is a little flower (fleur).

Of course, you can imagine that other words with a final “ette” sounds cute and small… with no need of a “non-ette” word. For example a dînette – small dishes for kids, and a buvette is a small place (along a beach or on a place) where you can have a drink.

We can also add “ette” to words, just to make them sound “so cute” and tiny for fun. Some cats are named Tigrette (little Tiger, of course).

French can use an English word to make another one : we often say “kitchenette” for… guess for what.

We alse can double the concept. A beard (une barbe) can become barbiche (small beard) and then une barbichette (tiny beard). Imagine a beardichette? Oui!

But… you have this in English too : a wavelet is a little wave, right?

Awwweeee!

Bonne journée ! Have a nice week end!

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About ze #French accent

OK I’m French, and my English is complètement full of erreurs.

It’s not that I don’t give a frog’s fat ass (an elegant idiom I learned about yesterday) : when I began this blog, I asked a friend to fix my mistakes, and she said that she could almost HEAR mon accent Français in the text!

But yesterday I had un choc. I watched un documentaire HBO about Vogue (ze magazine). One of the French fashion lady was from France…

I’m pretty sûr that she lives in America since years, but she visiblement had pleasure to “spik like ZAT”, like with a level 7 French casualness.

However, it’s really not hard to say “a dress” instead of “a drrress”, like we “R” the “Rs” in Frrrance, as you know. No effort here…

Yes it’s like… charming, right? Yet I wonder : what should I do if I one day come to the USA? Do I try to speak like American people, or do I lower my tonguework to casually stay “morrre French”?

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

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