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Blog Posts by Subject: French Literature

Célébrons le mois de l'histoire des noirs

En commémoration du mois de l’histoire des noirs on vous propose ces titres dont vous trouvez dans le catalogue de NYPL. Réservez-les et cherchez-les à votre bibliothèque de quartier la plus proche.Read More ›

Il y a de l'amour dans l'air !

Amour, passion, suspense… Laissez-vous emporter par des émotions à vous couper le souffle avec cette sélection de romans dont vous trouvez dans le catalogue de NYPL. Réservez-les et cherchez-les à votre bibliothèque de quartier la plus proche.Read More ›

Book Discussion at Epiphany, "The Wine of Solitude" by Irène Némirovsky

Irène Némirovsky is a well known French writer who became popular in the United States after the posthumous publication of her book Suite Francaise. The book group has read her work once before and decided to revisit her for our September meeting. This time around we read The Wine of Solitude.

At least semi-autobiographical, the book 

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Hommage à Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Mandela, Un destin. Par Bernard Violet.Le héros sud-africain, Nelson Mandela est décédé le soir du 5 décembre 2013 à l'âge de 95 ans à son domicile de Johannesburg. Ses funérailles auront lieu le 15 décembre prochain à Qunu, son village natal.

Voici quelques articles d'actualité sur le sujet disponibles en ligne:   Mort de Nelson Mandela, l'Africain capital. Le Monde.  ... Read More ›

Recommandations de lecture pour l'été 2013

Laissez-vous emporter par votre imagination à l’aide de nos sélections de lecture estivales. Faites le plein de livres auprès de votre bibliothèque de quartier pour un été rempli d'émotions. En espérant éveiller votre curiosité, on vous propose passion, suspense, fantaisie, tragédie, espérance et bien au-delà.

Livres pour adultes (PDF) Romans

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Commémorons la prise de la Bastille!

En 1880, la IIIe République choisi le 14 juillet comme fête nationale de la France, sous le symbole de la prise de la Bastille.

« La prise de la Bastille est provoquée par la concentration des troupes royales autour de Paris et de Versailles et, surtout, par le renvoi de Necker (11 juillet). La nouvelle, connue à Paris le 12, provoque la fermeture de la Bourse, tandis que des orateurs improvisés – tel Camille Desmoulins au Palais-Royal – annoncent une « Saint-Barthélemy des patriotes ». 

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Vegetable Drolleries

Revolt at the Salad BarHave you seen the Library's long-running exhibition "Lunch Hour" yet? If not, this is your last chance, for it closes on Sunday, February 17. To whet your appetite, I'd like to present a delightful volume that was recently added to the Spencer Collection.

The work is Drôleries végétales (Vegetable Drolleries), also known as L'Empire des 

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Words or Music, Part 4: Macbeth and Manon

I have spent a lifetime reading books and perhaps half a lifetime going to the opera. Each is a very real pleasure — neither can be done without — yet both offer different kinds of satisfaction. Words? Music? Which is more important? Fortunately, I am not in the position of having to choose. Books can sometimes lead to opera; opera can sometimes find its way back into books. Since the library specializes in both these worlds of artistic expression, it might be intriguing to look briefly at some of the places they intersect.

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The Ticketless Traveler: Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Spring just sounds fantastic doesn’t it? It could be argued that adding "Springtime" to anything can make it sound lovely, just ask The Producers... though Paris alone is a good selling point. We can begin planning our trip of a lifetime by researching affordable travel deals in the most recent issues of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, full electronic access is available onsite at any 

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The Pompadour's Book: A Mystery Manuscript Owned by Madame de Pompadour

It's a small volume, neatly but unostentatiously bound in mottled calf. The gilt ornamentation is discreet, except for an impressive coat of arms on both boards. That becomes even more impressive when we identify it as the blazon of one of the standout personalities of 18th-century France, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour — elevated from her haute-bourgeois background and a boring union with a certain M. Lenormand d'Étioles (nephew of her mother's lover) to become the official maîtresse-en-titre to 

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The Jefferson Market Library Free Classroom: Spring 2012

Jefferson Market Library, in an effort to offer substantive courses that teach the subjects you want to learn, is thrilled to offer its Spring Semester! Each course offers multiple sessions so students can build their knowledge as the course advances, class by class, guided by an experienced professor! And it's all free! Take a look:

Remember (just like in college) — for all courses requiring pre-registration — students are expected to attend all sessions to achieve the maximum 

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"Say What?" Look at What the Library Has in Your Language

In the "melting pot" of New York City, people from all over the world come to visit The New York Public Library. Luckily, New Yorkers can get information in languages from all around the world. Check out these databases, available from home.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ 4. Databases are listed in alphabetical order. If you are not accessing the 

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Movable books in the Spencer Collection

Books with movable flaps, pop-up pages, and other "interactive" features are known to librarians as "Toy and movable books" and more than a thousand examples can be found in the Library's catalog. Most are modern children's books, but the genre has a surprisingly long history, pre-dating even the dawn of printing, and most early examples were 

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Happy Birthday, Gérard de Nerval!

Gérard de Nerval was born May 22nd, 1808. A perennial literary figure of the vernal and the surreal, the temporal and the infinite, the accessible and the gnostic, he has fascinated poets, writers and artists for generations. 

Nerval’s real name was Gérard Labrunie. Famous for walking his pet lobster (named Thibault) about Paris, Nerval's eccentric 

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Lacan @ the Library!

Many don’t know it, but New York Public Library has a substantial collection of books by influential French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, as well as his multitudinous acolytes. 

Lacan gave yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, and was a major presence among French intellectuals for the remainder of the twentieth century. Lacan greatly influenced the 

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The Eighteenth-Century Oriental Tale and Candide

Habit of a Turkish standardbearer, in 1749 (NYPL Digital Gallery)In sending Candide off to Constantinople to reunite with Cunégonde, Voltaire invokes the contemporary vogue for oriental tales, stories set in the near and far Easts as well as North Africa that first achieved popularity at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

In 1701, the French Orientalist Antoine Galland published his translation of Sinbad the Sailor, a text he had encountered during his travels in Syria. Sinbad’s favorable reception then led to the publication of a group of texts 

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Candide, or Optimism, Dude: The Challenges of Translating Voltaire's Candide

In 2002, I revised Henry Morley's translation of Candide. What, you might ask, does it mean to revise a translation? Does one go back to the original French, or do you work solely from the translation? What, in fact, gets revised? As the editor of Barnes and Noble's Candide explained when he approached me, this would be a project of tightening up some of the translation work itself and updating the language that Morley had chosen for his nineteenth-century translation. And 

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Diamonds are a Diva's Best Friend

In the third installment (see 1, 2) of the series on "Glitter and Be Gay" from Leonard Bernstein's Candide, we turn to a different perspective: Jody Mullen, a self-proclaimed "coloratura geek" who teaches voice in Manhattan and is interested in the history of coloratura as a form.

Barbara Cook as Cunegonde in the original 1957 production"Glitter and Be Gay," Cunegonde's 

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Cunegonde and Coloratura: Harolyn Blackwell on Musical Technique

Harolyn BlackwellCunegonde's aria "Glitter and Be Gay" from Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide is a performance of a performance, a show-stopping coloratura solo in which the character describes how she has been "forced to bend my soul to a sordid role" of being the caged slave of the Grand Inquisitor and Don Issachar. The character switches back and forth between her disgust at her situation and her temptation at the jewelry, furs, and 

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'You have not known misfortunes such as mine!': Storytelling and Trauma in Candide

Jessica AlpertCandide is a story composed of other stories, as the hero spends much of his world travels listening to others. Few stories are as long and involved as the old woman's in chapters 11 and 12, and she even spurs other characters to tell their stories of misfortune and tragedy at the end of her tale: "I advise you to divert yourself, and prevail upon each passenger to tell his story."


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