• Is it possible to read poetry and have fun at the same time ? Indeed. Go to this page and learn everything about limericks !


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  • Here's my translation into Fench:


    Ne t'avise pas d'investir en douceur une pareille nuit.

    Brûler, délirer, ainsi se doit le grand âge d’aller au bout du jour ;

    Enrage, ivre de rage, contre cette lumière à l’agonie.


    La raison est toujours du côté de l’obscur, et proches de leur fin les sages le savent,

    Ceux-là pourtant dont les mots n’avaient pas dérobé la foudre

    N’entrent pas en agneaux dans de telles nuits pour de bon.


    Les hommes de bien, à l’approche de la dernière vague, qui rappellent en pleurant

    De quel éclat leurs frêles actions auraient dansé dans la baie de leurs vertes années,

    Enragent, ivres de rage, contre cette lumière à l’agonie.


    Les fous qui dans leurs chants prirent le soleil en plein vol,

    Pour apprendre, bien tard, qu’ils en ont fait leur deuil et qu'il ne s'arrêtait pas en chemin,

    N’entrent pas en agneaux dans cette nuit pour de bon.


    Près de la tombe les hommes graves qui voient, aveuglante vision, qu'un regard aveugle

    peut parfois s'enflammer tel un météore et s’en réjouir,

    Enragent, ivres de rage, contre cette lumière à l’agonie.


    Et toi, père, en qui culmine tant de tristesse, je t’en prie,

    Maudis-moi, bénis-moi maintenant de tes larmes féroces.

    N’entre  pas en agneau dans cette nuit pour de bon.

    Enrage, ivre de rage, contre cette lumière à l’agonie.


    On the specific difficulties in translating Dylan Thomas's poem, find more details at the following URL-address : http://ambitrad.hypotheses.org/category/essai



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  • Here is the full version of the poem read by Prof. BROWN in Interstellar, the film. These poignant lines were written by Dylan THOMAS (1914 - 1943). Cheers to Anaëlle (2nde 8) thanks to  whom I first discovered these lines !

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938,

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  • Discover with Paul Auster how close fiction can become to later reality ...

    Paul Auster’s LEVIATHAN (1992) opens with Benjamin Sachs being killed in a bomb blast. It was perhaps an accident, but his friend of fifteen years, Peter Aaron, thinks back over their years of friendship and comes to realize that Benjamin‘s suicide, constructing a bomb in northern Wisconsin, is quite possible. Aaron feels driven to make sense of what happened to his friend and how he came to be sitting by the road when it exploded. So the conclusion of the story is revealed right from the beginning, and all the narrator, Aaron, has to do is explain how Sachs arrived at this tragic climax. 

    Strongly opposed to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, Sachs was willing to serve a prison term rather than be drafted. During his time in prison, he wrote a brilliant novel, whereas Aaron must agonize over every word of his writing before he is truly satisfied. LEVIATHAN takes its name from a sea monster, but it also connotes something that is large or formidable. The forces that drive Sachs to his ultimate demise seem very much larger than life: over the fifteen years of their friendship, Sachs became more and more estranged from those close to him. No one could put all the pieces of his life into one coherent whole. Auster remarkably conveys how friendship, sexual desire, betrayal, and random acts of violence mingle in contemporary American life -- a powerful reading experience.

    Leviathan was published while the FBI were stalking “the Unabomber”, Ted Kaczynski (responsible for 16 bombings, three deaths and 23 injuries over a period of 17 years). Auster anticipated several aspects of the real life criminal's past, including his university-connections.

    Auster is seldom predictable, though  certain themes recur again in his work, “notably a sense of existential  isolation, a love-hate relationship with words.“ (Ted Gioia) Leviathan captures the despair of the author in an age in which texts have become empty husks, no longer conveying power and meaning, like the moment when the writer puts down his pen and turns to bomb-building instead, and (apparently) leaves to the old school interpreters of acts and texts, the local police and the FBI, the job of explaining how this once promising writer went from books to bombs. But Sachs’s personality cannot be that of an urban terrorist; nor can it coexist with the CV and modus operandi the police considers.

    With thanks to : 



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  • André BRINK (who died on Feb. 7th, 2015 ) was one of South Africa's most distinguished writers: poet, novelist, essayist and teacher, he began work as a University lecturer in Afrikaans* and Dutch Literature in the 1960s. He began writing in Afrikaans, but when censored by the South African government, began to also write in English and became published overseas. He remains a key figure in the modernisation of the Afrikaans language novel.

    Brink’s best-known book, A Dry White Season (1979), was made into a film starring Marlon Brando

    André Brink has been made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.


    André Brink has constantly explored, in his own words, his 'love-hate relationship with the Afrikaner' and his own position as a 'cultural schizophrene'. He got associated with several South African writers that called themselves 'Sestigers' ('1960-ers'), and began to question the literary and cultural roots within the Afrikaans tradition and initially tried to subvert them with modernist and post-modernist technical experimentations.

    He then admitted the influence of the 1968 students’ uprisings in Paris that he witnessed while doing postgraduate work at the Sorbonne. In his article 'The position of the Afrikaans writer' (1970), Brink stated that 'no Afrikaans writer has yet tried to offer a serious political challenge to the system ... We have no one with enough guts, it seems, to say: No'. In 1973 Brink published Kennis van die Aand, a novel that represented a turning point in his career, both in terms of politics and language : a black actor details his struggle against apartheid and his passionate, yet doomed, love affair with a white woman. South African censors banned the novel for its explicit condemnation of apartheid and for its candid depiction of an inter-racial relationship. Because of the ban, Brink decided to translate the novel into English (Looking on Darkness, 1974), to appeal to an international readership.  All his following books were written simultaneously in Afrikaans and English.


    * Afrikaans is a Dutch dialect spoken by families from the Netherlands who settled in South Africa. It  became the language of apartheid in the third quarter of the XXth century. Maybe you use words without knowing they are Afrikaans : apartheid (literally "separate-ness"), Boer (literally "farmer"), eland (from Dutch, meaning "elk"), kommando (a mounted infantry unit raised to retrieve stolen livestock), rooibos (a kind of tea, literally "red bush"), springbok, trek (a long trip, literally "draw", or "haul"), veld (literally "field" or natural African bush vegetation)


    Source : http://literature.britishcouncil.org/andra-brink

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