Lettre à Georges Bernanos
A letter written by Simone Weil in response to Georges Bernanos’s les Grands cimetières sous la lune (1938), in which he commented on events he witnessed in Majorca shortly before (1936-37) during the Spanish Civil War.
Art poétique: Chant Ier
A summary, in modern French prose, of the principal ideas contained in the first part of Nicolas Boileau’s Art poétique (1674).
Réflexions sur la barbarie
A moderately difficult text for French reading practice, this is sketch for an article written by Simone Weil in or around 1939. It gives a very brief overview of “barbarity,” i.e., cruelty, from ancient times to the present.
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort
A text of a scene from Jacques Demy’s les Demoiselles de Rochefort written in alexandrines, with commentary and English translation.
Letter nº 505: À un ami
A letter by George Bernanos dated 1939, written to an imaginary correspondent, a young writer Bernanos conceives of as facing the same doubts and difficulties he himself had known.
Le Siècle de Louis XIV: Introduction (Chapter 1)
Voltaire’s Age of Louis XIV (1751) was one of the works in which he inaugurated a new kind of historiography, one more interested in portraying a total civilization that in detailing kings and their wars.
Concessive Conditions in Les Liaisons dangereuses
An Elegant Construction Still in Use Today
Examples of the conditionnel concessif from Chloderlos de Laclos’s famous epistolary novel of 1782. Some involve the conditional present introduced by quand (rather than the imperfect indicative introduced by si), and some involve the imperfect subjunctive.
Dialogues des Carmélites: The Spiritual Advice of Mother Henriette
Two scenes from Dialogues des Carmélites by Bernanos (†1948), in which Blanche de la Force gets to hear the spiritual doctrine of the Prioress Mother Henriette. With English translation.
Dialogues des Carmélites: The Motion Picture(s)
A videoclip of the scene from the 1984 film version of Dialogues des Carmélites in which Blanche meets with the Prioress, Mère Henriette, for the first time, together with the French text as adapted for this production and an English translation.
History and Dogma: How Doctrine Grows
A passage that sums up Maurice Blondel’s thinking about how Christian teachings develop as they spread through time and space. French text with English translation.