A grammatical and linguistic analysis of the poem “Tristesse” by Alfred de Musset, with special emphasis on the use of the passé composé, and an English translation.
A fairly easy text for practice reading French: a selection of maxims by that king of the form, the 17th-century French moraliste François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680). Introduced, glossed, and translated.
A dialogue purporting to be the oral examination of a French student being tested on André Gide’s la Symphonie pastorale. Good and easy practice of French question-forms. Also, a funny satire highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the French educational system.
The first poem in Le Spleen de Paris (1869), Baudelaire's collection of poems in prose, and the easiest poem he ever wrote. A series of questions and answers that, according to a likely interpretation, examine the nature of the poet.
Poem 33 in Baudelaire’s collection of prose poems le Spleen de Paris. Short and simple, this text embodies the poet’s rage to escape from this world by any means.
Prose poem #48, in which Baudelaire presents himself searching throughout the world for a place where his soul and he can be at peace. (It turns out there is no such place.)
Questions of the sort that a French lycéen(ne) is altogether likely to encounter. Or not.
A selection of dark but memorable aphorisms from Emil Cioran’s 1973 De l’inconvénient d’être né. With glosses and English translation.