With French Literature often considered as being written in one of the richest languages in the world, it easily surpasses English Literature, despite English being a more popular language. This is mainly because modern English speakers can only read back to 200 years old, the age of current English, while modern French readers are able to read literature as old as the fifteenth century. French being a romance language also gives it the privilege of inciting emotions and passions more easily than other languages.
Play of the Week:
Le Cid – Pierre Corneille
Arguably the best play in French Literature. Set in 17th century Spain, Rodrigue is put in front of two choices: honor and love. He has to decide whether to fight his lover’s father who has humiliated Don Diegue, Rodrigue’s father, by slapping him. The play is the origin of the expression “Cornelian dilemma” which refers to the position a person is put into when they have a very hard or almost impossible decision to make. The play also features many powerful quotes and figures of speech that are widely known and used even today.
Song of the Week:
Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me) – Jacques Brel
Jacques Brel uses creative words to describe his love for a person whom he does not want to leave him. The flow of the words creates a deep impression inside the listener, who understands what is being said. “I offer you Pearls of rain / Coming from the lands / Where it never rains. / I will cross the world / Till after my death / To cover your bosom / With gold and light.” The French language’s accentuation adds romance and feelings to those great words. “I will invent for you words without meaning that you’ll understand.”
Book of the Week:
L’étranger – Albert Camus
It is the story of an atheist whose mother dies. He shows his apathy towards the event, with the story implicitly opening the debate over many philosophical ideologies, mainly nihilism. The principle character wonders many times what the point of life is over the spain of the entire story. While the main story of the book is not really intriguing, the ideas and messages that are sent are widely debated and very interesting.