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Two days ago, I went to a old bookshop at my town and I bought the complete poetry of A. Rimbaud in a bilingual edition, but it didn’t look so pretty on the outside, so I’m about to transform it by adding red velvet in the spine and by painting the cover white. I also want to draw on the front one of the lithographs Fernand Léger made for Rimbaud’s work “Les illuminations”, so it don’t look boring. I have doubts about painting it white and how to do it, acrylic paint will suit good? Anyway I hope I can share my results in here very soon.

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the international phonetic alphabet is a system of phonetic notation, and the representation of spoken language. the following letters, along with examples of how to pronounce them in both french and english, are transcribed as sounds which are spoken in french.

•  consonants
•  — /b/, bon, book
•  — /d/, deux, dog
•  — /f/, faire, foot
•  — /g/, garçon, gum
•  — /k/, corps, cat
•  — /l/, laisser, leap
•  — /m/, même, more,
•  — /n/, nous, need
•  — /ɲ/, gagner, canyon
•  — /ŋ/, funk, camping
•  — /p/, père, pear
•  — /ʁ/, treize, loch*
•  — /s/, soixante, sick
•  — /ʃ/, chance, shoe
•  — /t/, tout, tickle
•  — /v/, vous, vein
•  — /z/, zéro, zoo
•  — /ʒ/, jamais, measure

* /ʁ/ is a guttural R, which is pronounced from the back of the vocal tract.

•  semivowels
•  — /j/, fille, yet
•  — /w/, oui, wet
•  — /ɥ/, huit, (between yet and wet)

•  oral vowels
•  — /a/, femme, trap
•  — /ɑ/, pâte, bra
•  — /e/, les, (between be and best)
•  — /ɛ/, renne, best
•  — /ɛ:/, reine, air*
•  — /ə/, faisons, again
•  — /i/, fils, please
•  — /œ/, sœur, bird
•  — /ø/, deux, (between but and bird)
•  — /o/, bureau, story
•  — /ɔ/, hôpital, off
•  — /u/, coup, (between food and good)
•  — /y/, tu, too

* /:/ is used after a letter to symbolise that the preceding consonant or vowel is long.

•  nasal vowels
•  — /ɑ̃/, temp, song*
•  — /ɛ̃/, bien, hang
•  — /œ̃/, un, burn
•  — /ɔ̃/, nom, drawn

* /◌̃/ is used to represent a nasal vowel, where the soft palate is lowered.

•  suprasegmentals
•  — /./, (syllable boundary)
•  — /‿/, (liaison)

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Some late night french notes. Like the skull in the background? He was a birthday present. It’s been weeks, and I still don’t know what to name him. If you have any suggestions, lmk in the notes!

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Treat Your S(h)elf

Correspondance 1944-1959 Albert Camus et Maria Casarès

The passionate letters between Albert Camus, France’s Nobel prize-winning author of “The Stranger”, and the Spanish actress Maria Casares casts a fascinating light for the first time on one of the great love affairs in French literary history.

Maria Casares was a remarkable and independent-minded actress and Albert Camus was the most admired writer of his generation, a member of the French Resistance who was living a double life in more ways than one. More than 860 letters burning with desire from their 13-year affair conducted while Camus was married to the beautiful pianist and mathematician Francine Faure, have been brought together by his daughter, Catherine Camus and published by the premier publishing house in France, Gallimard. Ironically it was Gallimard (the founder, Michel Gallimard), who would play a key role in his life and tragic early death of Albert Camus on 4 January 1960.

Casares and Camus met on June 6, 1944, the day Allied troops landed on the Normandy beaches to begin the liberation of France. She was 21, he 30 when they first kissed after a rehearsal for his play “The Misunderstanding”. Paris was still under Nazi occupation, and Camus, the editor of the underground newspaper Combat, was playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Gestapo. But their intense affair did not survive his wife’s arrival in newly liberated Paris that September. Casares gave Camus an ultimatum.

Although Camus did not believe in marriage, the Algerian-born writer chose to return to the marital bed. Despite the birth of twins, Jean and Catherine, less than a year later, his infidelity soon drove Francine to distraction and depression. The writer was more preoccupied, however, with his own broken heart. “Everywhere I turn I see the night,” Camus wrote pleadingly to Casares after their split. “Without you I have lost my strength. I want to die.”

Four years to the day after they first met, their paths crossed on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris — and their passion took flight again.

They exchanged letters almost daily from then on. Sometimes they talked of their work and their friends - “Simone Signoret had an abortion… (Yves) Montand is very down,” wrote Casares in 1951.
But mostly they wrote of love, and how they longed to consumate it. Camus called her his “little seagull”, “my black trout”, “my tasty one”.

“I’m pacing the floor. I keep imagining the moment we close your bedroom door,” he told her.

“I am boiling inside and out. Everything is burning, my soul, body, outside, inside, heart, flesh… Do you understand? Do you really understand,” she told him.

“The correspondence, uninterrupted for 12 years, shows how irresistible their love was and how crazily busy Casares was both on stage and screen in such masterpieces as "Les Enfants du Paradis” (1945).
She had fled her native Spain in 1936 with her father, who was prime minister when Francisco Franco began his military revolt against the elected republican government.

They worked together again on Camus’s play “The Just Assassins” in 1949, but they were often apart.
She was on a triumphant theatre tour of Argentina in 1957 when he won the Nobel Prize for literature. He immediately send her a telegram, “Never have I missed you more. Your Alonso.”

Camus’ last letter to Casares was dated 30 December1959 - five days before his death aged 46.

“Last letter,” Camus wrote prophetically, although he may have been referring to the final letter of the year, or the last one before they saw each other again. He told her that he would be returning to Paris from his family home in Lourmarin in Provence “by road” on January 4, although he had also bought a train ticket. “See you soon, my superb. I am so happy at the idea of seeing you again that I laugh just writing it… I kiss you and I hold you to me until Tuesday when we will start again.”

Camus never returned to Paris, dying instantly when his publisher Michel Gallimard’s sports car hit a plane tree an hour south of the French capital. Gallimard died of his injuries six days later.

Casares passed away aged 74 in 1996, having married her friend, the gypsy singer Andre Schlesser, who comforted her after Camus’s death.

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People call me the painter of dancing girls. It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.

- Edgar Degas

It’s hard to believe but in some ways, ballet was despised in Degas’ time. Despite this - or perhaps because of this - Degas made ballerinas the central theme of his artwork. I have always wondered why.

Whilst Degas loved to deflate the image people had of him, his words in the quote above ring true.

As a student Degas dreamed of drawing like Raphael and Michelangelo, and he later revived the French tradition of pastels that had flourished with the 18th-century master Chardin. But like his contemporaries, Manet, Cézanne and the Impressionists, he lived in an age of photography and electricity, and he turned to aspects of modern life - to slums, brothels and horse races - to apply his draftsmanship. Bathing nudes became a favorite subject, but he once compared his more contemporary studies to those of Rembrandt with mocking wit. “He had the luck, that Rembrandt!” Degas said. “He painted Susanna at the bath; me, I paint women at the tub.”

At the ballet Degas found a world that excited both his taste for classical beauty and his eye for modern realism. He haunted the wings and classrooms of the magnificent Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opéra and its Ballet, where some of the city’s poorest young girls struggled to become the fairies, nymphs and queens of the stage. As he became part of this world of pink and white, so full of tradition, he invented new techniques for drawing and painting it. He claimed the ballet for modern art just as Cézanne was claiming the landscape.

The ballerinas Degas bequeathed to the world remain among the most popular images in 19th-century art. He cropped his pictures as a photographer would (and also became one); he defied traditional composition, opting for asymmetry and radical viewpoints; and he rubbed pastels over his monotype (or one-of-a-kind) prints, creating dramatic effects. Yet he always managed to keep an eye on the great masters of the past.

Degas’ friend, the French poet Paul Valéry, described Degas as, “divided against himself; on the one hand driven by an acute preoccupation with truth, eager for all the newly introduced and more or less felicitous ways of seeing things and of painting them; on the other hand possessed by a rigorous spirit of classicism, to whose principles of elegance, simplicity and style he devoted a lifetime of analysis.”

Though Degas exhibited his work with the Impressionists, his realism always set him apart. “Drawing is not the same as form; it is a way of seeing form.” He said, as a proud representative of impressionist art. With his discerning eye, Degas depicted the highly romanticised world of dance with a strong sense of realism.

Degas’s pictures of ballerinas performing onstage convey exquisitely what makes ballet ballet—all that balance, grace and radiance that a contemporary critic called “mimed poetry, dream made visible.” But, paradoxically, Degas preferred to portray ballet by stripping away the poetry and illusion to show the hard work, the boredom, the more common beauty behind the scenes.

John Berger, the formidable debunking art critic, believed that what obsessed Degas was closer to what obsessed Michelangelo and Mantegna. All three were fascinated by the human capacity for martyrdom. All three wondered if it wasn’t this that defined mankind. The human quality Degas most admired was endurance. Berger might be onto something because increasingly as I reflect on the art of Degas one can see why he was obsessed by the art of classical ballet, because to Degas it said something about the human condition.

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This is between A.O.S himself and Mr. Clement. In this video, A.O.S explains 3 strategies that you can use to learn French fast.
You must be serious about it. First, write your goals down, set a target, like an expected time you should have understood the language. Secondly, get language partners. If you are learning a language and you aren’t using it, you will easily forget and there is no point learning it. Thirdly, find a language coach that can guide you on how to learn it faster. You can even link up yourself with French speakers on social media platforms.
Like the video and feel free to comment. We are ready to reply. You can as well share to your friends.
#aosacademy #french #english #francais #anglais #fle #tef #canada #ielts #official #brand @realclementdavid @aosacademyofficial @azeezshoderu (at Ilorin)

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La vie est une farce, je l'ai compris à 19 ans, pendant la guerre. Lorsque mes copains tombent à côté de moi, je me demande ‘Pourquoi pas moi?’ La chance, la santé, le travail et une dérision profonde deviennent mes maîtres mots.

- Paul Bocuse, French Michelin starred chef and pope of Haute Cuisine

Severely wounded during the war in 1944, Paul Bocuse was treated by Americans in a US Army field hospital. They then set about to tattoo the rooster on his left shoulder which he wore with pride for the rest of his life.

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It’s so frustrating to study two languages at the same time. I keep mixing up ‘et’ and 'og’ and writing 'eller’ instead of 'aller’ and making a mess of grammar and vocabulary.

At the same time, there’s no way I’m giving up studying one language to focus on the other. Also, I’m suddenly interested in learning Dutch.


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Colette’s late fifties were probably the happiest and certainly the most fecund years of her life. She continued both to live and to work like an Olympian, and as must all champions, she kept in training. She walked and swam vigorously. She smoked and drank very little. She kept her muscles toned with massage. She and Maurice apparently had an athletic sex life. During the summers, she adopted a frugal diet and began losing weight. Back in Paris, she consulted a fashionable quack who gave her blood transfusions - the donor was an attractive young woman - and these, she claimed, improved her vision and increased her vitality. But perhaps her most essential beauty secret was to surround herself with a circle of younger friends, male and female, whose hunger for life helped to recharge her own. “The pleasure I take in contemplating lives on the ascendant reassures me about myself,” she told Germaine Patat. “I see so many people who, as they age, find joy only in their diminution!”

- Judith Thurman, Secrets of the Flesh: a Life of Colette

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Sans faire dans l'angélisme, on constate que la noblesse n'était pas seulement liée à la naissance, mais aussi au mérite, ce qui impliquait un renouvellement constant, mais aussi la transmission d'une éthique du service et une ascèse de la tenue.

- Dominique Venner

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