A thirst for knowledge – can ‘la langue française’ quench it?
I’ve been feeling a bit a strange of late. Feeling a bit like my cup is perhaps not half full, but just three quarters full? Despite being very fortunate to gain another position following my internship, I still feel something is missing. I lay in bed after finishing yet another book off my ‘books to read before I die’ list(yes, sad but true) and I randomly thought perhaps I should pick up French again? Be a shame to waste it as once I read a little, it all comes flooding back…
More than anything, I miss speaking French. It has such beautiful tones and a sense of poetry which comes across even in translation. Recently I read of novel called No and Me by Delphine de Vigan; beautiful book, absolutely beautiful there is no other word for it. Despite being an English translation it still has that poetic-french feel. Our narrator for example, thirteen year old Lou Bertinac gives us an insight into the relationship with her parents and their refusal to openly grieve the death of her newborn sister:
“She didn’t touch anything – my father took care of it all. When we talk about the room we don’t call it a bedroom anymore, we call it the office. And the door stays shut.”
This type of language use just sums up the beauty of the French language for me. The actual words she uses are not grand, but she expresses a rather grand, poetic truth about her family life. As Coco Chanel would say “la clé de l’élégance est la simplicité” and she was right. I mean doesn’t that simple sentence just sound pretty and elegant in itself? “La clé de l’élégance est la simplicité”- beautiful!
What I love more is how unlike the English language, the French accent really echoes and enhances the meaning of a word. For example, words such as fort meaning strong, has such a strong exaggerated sound it makes you feel strong just saying it. Isn’t it strange how you can be drawn to certain things such as languages? My love for French started through school and then developed through French cinema and it just grabbed me. Who knows why all of a sudden I want to pick up that passion again. Perhaps it’s because I have been a bit restless as of late, and this thirst for French (or just something) has stemmed from that? Oh and reading French novels such as No and Me of course.
Trouble is fitting such a thirst around mundane work and everyday life! I liked the idea of using Rosetta Stone software but then I thought would I get bored of it? Do I need to get back in a classroom again? Who knows? I am currently reading Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary so perhaps I shall try and read a bit of it in its original form and research into some language learning software. Or better still I’ll just pop over to La France for a holiday? I always say when or if I retire, I am determined to be living in the south of France. I’ll sit in kaftans all day reading, and living off cheese, French stick and red wine! Well, one can dream hey? I’ll keep you posted about re-kindling my French and perhaps when I do retire I will be sitting writing in southern France. With my cheese and wine next to me of course…