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


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.


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 p.m.  
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 p.m.  

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