The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Monday, February 06, 2006

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Sorry to all those who left comments recently: I accidentally clicked "yes" to "moderate comments," but wasn't actually moderating them. It's fixed now, so comment away.
This explains why I hadn't seen comments in over a week. I simply assumed that people lost interest (which wouldn't surprise me :)

For something completely different: I finally resumed my reading of Voltaire's Micromegas en Francais. I knew French very well at one time, and, given the prospects of the PhD, I thought it wise to brush up (more like overhaul) my French. I find Voltaire to be, on the whole, fairly simple. Unless I'm mistaken, it seems to me that French has changed far less in the past 300 years than English. I mean, if the typical literate undergrad English major considers Daniel Defoe unintelligible, I'm having little difficulty with the likes of Voltaire, and I haven't read French in over 8 years. I'm also only now seeing the weakensses of the public education system: I got through high school French very, very easily (I went to french immersion until grade 3), but in retrospect, I learnt little there. We never had to read anything remotely literary or difficult.
I've also procured copies of Racine's Andromaque, Britannicus, Phedre and Iphigenia, along with English translations. That is a more ambitious project, but I'm sure I'll do it sometime: having a somewhat literal translation by my side makes life easier for idiomatic or complicated phrases.
I will soon post something on the differences between English and French comedy.

2 Comments:

Blogger Douglas Chong said...

Just wanted to post for the sake of posting. Hardly on the blogs anymore. Missed a lot of your entries recently. Probably still writing about things I need a dictionary to get through.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Hey dude, you flatter me.
But it's nice to see you're still around. Drop me a line if you wanna do something.

4:30 PM  

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