•                          Le "je" de l'écrivain / Le "jeu"de l'écriture                                                  


    je = I

    jeu = game


    Le "je" de l'écrivain : 

    An autobiography is a text in which the author is the narrator, and he/she tells his/her own story.

    A first person narrative is a text in which one of the characters is the narrator.

    A thind person narrative is a text in which the narrator is outside the.


    Le "jeu" de l'écriture : 

    Writers often have fun :

    *** they play with words ( they can invent words )

    *** they play with homophones ( I / eye )

    *** they play with the setting of the text ( acrostyches )

    *** they can write distorted texts, parodies or pastiches


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  •                                                  Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the father of the modern mystery, was born in Boston on January 19, 1809.

    He was educated in Virginia and England as a child. It was during his later years at West Point that he showed a remarkable propensity for writting prose. As early as the age of 15, he wrote these words in memory of a female acquaintance. "The requiem for the loveliest dead that ever died so young".

    Indeed, Edgar Allan Poe's first love was poetry, although he was unable to make a living at it early on, he was able to publish two small volumes during these early years.


    Only after becoming an assistant editor at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia, in 1835 did Poe's literary talents start to blossom. It was at this time in his life that Poe fell in love with his 13-year-old cousin Virginia. Their marriage forced him to find a source of income. When the editor of the Messenger offered employment, Poe eagerly accepted.




    During his tenure at the Messenger, Edgar Allan Poe was an editor as well as a contributor. In early 1836, Poe was credited with "between 80 and 90 reviews, six poems, four essays and three stories, not to mention editorials and commentaries." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)

    Poe was to work for several publications as both editor and contributor. His career as an editor coincided with his growth as a writer. While working in Philadelphia for Burton's "Gentleman's Magazine" in 1839, Poe's work continued to flourish. At this time in his career he still was not secure financially, but his work was being recognized and praised, which helped greatly in furthering his reputation. During his tenure at Burton's he wrote such macabre tales as "The Fall of the House of Usher," and William Wilson. Tales like these psychological thrillers were to become Poe's trademark.

    In 1841, Edgar Allan Poe began working for a man named George Graham, who offered him 0 a year to work for him as an editor. While at Graham's, Poe was preparing his famous work, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," for publication.

    Published in April 1841, this story featured Auguste C. Dupin, the first-ever fictional detective. Poe's "tale of rationation," as he termed it, "inaugurated one of the most popular and entertaining forms of fiction ever conceived." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)

    It was during these years in Philadelphia that Poe published such trademark horror tales as "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Pit and The Pendulum."

    It wasn't until the 1845 publication of Poe's famous poem "The Raven" that he achieved the true rise to fame that had been denied him until then. The public's reaction to the poem brought Poe to a new level of recognition and "could be compared to that of some uproariously successful hit song today."

    In February 1847, Poe's young wife died of consumption. Poe was devastated by her death and penned these words, "Deep in earth my love is lying and I must weep alone."

    During the years following Virginia's death, Poe's life was taking a steady turn downward. He suffered through a suicide attempt, several failed romances and engagements, and a largely unsuccessful attempt to resurrect his failing career after a long bout with alcoholism and depression.

    Poe died at the age of 40 in October 1849 in Baltimore. Although the exact circumstances of his death remain unknown, it seems clear that his death can be attributed to the effects of alcoholism. A contemporary of Poe's at the time remarked, "This death was almost a suicide, a suicide prepared for a long time." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)

     Although he lived a short and tragic life, Edgar Allan Poe remains today one of the most-beloved mystery writers in history. His contributions to literature and the mystery genre cannot be underestimated.













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  •                                                    The fifth Child by Doris Lessing-1998

    Extract 1

    In this novel there are two main characters:  Harriet and David. The scene takes place in the 60s at an office party (place where the two persons met ).

    Harriet is a person who's solidly built. She works in the sales departement of a firm and the other people see them as shy and reserved.

    David has grey-blue eyes, a candid face and soft brown hair. He works in the same building that Harriet but in the architct sector. He is see by the other people as simple and slight.


     In the text we can discover several common point between the main characters: each is shy; conservative; unfashionable and are a love at first sight. Moreover, they view of the "ordinary" as conservative, old-fashioned, timid, hard to please.

     The elements which evoking life in the 60s are: noisy, pounding rhythm and the characteristics of "women". Indeed, concerned with clothes: so bizarre; full of colour then dramatic.

    We can notice that Harriet and David knew the new life which is very dinamic. It's the beginning of the bands with music was Rock and Rolls.

     The narrator use to introduce them as technical : The point of view of the couple "Both". Theysaw all the dancers with the face distorted in screams and grimaces. We can understand that the narrator use a technical of the cinema. The travelling to reveal the scene progressively. Doris Lessing, so the author stop on Harriet and David then zoom on the couple. Harriet and David despise the dancers.

     About Harriet

    Doris Lessing described Harriet with a personnality enough special. Indeed, "she seemed a girl merged with her surroundings" so it's a woman reserved. Moreover she was described as a solidly built ; as a bealthy young woman. 

    The narrator's tone is very ironic. For example Harriet was compared to dried grasses and easily forgotten.

    About David

    Doris Lessing described David with serious grey-blue eyes, a candid face and soft brown hair. Furthermore, he seemed slightly younger man.

    " Both had found out who the other was ": this quotation suggest that Harriet and David were bound to fall in love, that destiny is at work.

    We learn concerning their previous experience : that David had a very love affair but  it's was a bad experience "reluctantly". So, David have already knew a story with a girl. 

    Harriet, says "I don't like all this sleeping around, it's not for me"

    In this paragraph, the story evolve bacause Harriet and David look, then to meet one of the other and finally decide to marry.


    To my mind, the two characters were made for each other because they had several common point. Firstly, they met at a party, love at first side and they were different from the people around them...


    Extract of this novel   (link)


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  •                                                         A Special Article !!!

    Here a specific document about: the Gothic Literature  (link)

    Then, here a document with the link to short story of Poe !!  Short Story  (link)

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  •                                                         The fifth Child by Doris Lessing- 1998

                                                                                 Extract 2

    The scene takes place in the dinning-room and the characters are: Harriet and David / Dorothy and Alice. They are talking about Ben while Harriet is giving Ben bottle. The main issue in this scene is the question prononced by Harriet about her son  " What is he ?". So, the mother defines her own son as a thing.


    Around the kitchen table:

       In this scene everybody talking and looking at him Ben,  that's why he is the main character.

     Moreover, Ben is the center of all conversations because he drinks between 10 and 11 bottles      whereas he has only two months.

      The main question concerning him is "What is he ?". Indeed, he is concerning as a thing instead of a person. Ben appears like a beast. There is any answer to this question. David, Dorothy and Alice said nothing.

     Words about Ben ( while he is having his bottle )

         - emptied        - supporting it with his two fists       - body clenched and unclenched

     Definition :    " Neanderthal baby"= refer to prehistoric man. Indeed, Ben is very aggressive.

    At the doctor's: 

    The doctor's first reaction when Harriet tells him Ben has got milk-infection is " A breast-fed baby shouldn't get infections"( he said). But Ben isn't breasfed unlike the other children. As a consequence, the doctor is surprised because isn't the style of Harriet.

     When Harriet shows the doctor her bruised nipples this one keep the silence. For the first time he is confronted a problem beyond him.

    The doctor thinks and says about Ben " Naughty baby ".

    Question: Can you imagine his intimate thoughts ?

        This baby is really like no other. His aggression are surprising. I think he's different and he never will be kind / gentle as his brothers and sisters. I don't understand his behavior. Moreover, how can a two months old baby, can be as strong.

     The doctor's diagnosis concern Ben noting. He says "There's obviously nothing much wrong". So, for him Ben is normal and no sick.

    The doctor didn't shocked by the fact that Harriet doesn't like the baby because he has already seen people who dislike to a child. 

    The extra-ordinary things does Ben do is : try to get himself on all fours.

    Ben is qualified by his own mother of  "nasty little brute".

    Words showing that Harriet feels guilty

    - insisted           - steadily

    Harriet said nothing but she was smiling unpleasantly and knew it.

    In this passage Harriet doesn't appear as motherly, as she used to be all the other children and that's why the other don't understand her attitude. She is progressively going to be isolated. So, the reader discover in Harriet a woman helpless and discourage.

    Back Home: 

    In the last part of the passage the atmosphere is tense but the joy is dominante. The atmosphere is happy, playing around.

    The people's reaction to that new baby is the joy but too the impatience to meet the future baby. Whole family is very excite.

    The last impression conveyed in the passage is that the child Paul doesn't the same baby. Moreover, Ben became the center of the family.

    Extract of this novel  (link)

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