Wednesday, 24 July 2013

In a corner of Lille ...

It was hot - goodness it was hot. And, given that it was Monday and most of the shops were closed, I had the streets almost to myself.

Which meant I could notice all the quirky things that might normally be hidden in the bustle of city life. For instance, I found a wonderful yellow door, covered in writing. I'm sure it was something to do with the theatre, as there were other theatrical shops around and a sign of a woman with a splendid feather in her hat hanging above the door.

But it was the door that intrigued me, its very yellowness, and all its words.

The problem is: my French is dreadful. So here I need your help. I have here a random four extracts, all scattered in various places on the door - and since I don't know what they mean I have no idea if I've selected nothing but trivia and ignored the deep and meaningful. I suspect these are quotations from plays? If any are truly rude, then I apologise. And, as you will see, the writing crosses lines in the door as if they aren't there, so some bits are quite difficult to see.


Is this something about an outrage? An assassin?


I think I get this - a cousin has said something bizarre - I wonder what? There must be a story there.


Is someone arriving during a quarrel? Why do I need to know that?


This is possibly the most difficult to see - but please tell me it doesn't mean I love your fat bum?

15 comments:

  1. First one says that everything needs to be reevaluated. After such an insult the person is mortally wounded and unable to contain their anger and won't be responsible for their actions.
    number 2 You said bizarre, Cousin, bizarre.
    number 3 in the past if it happened that we quarrelled
    number 4 I love love that goes boom!

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  2. Thank you, Christine. Someone on twitter has told me the first one is from Le Misanthrope, by Moliere. I wonder if anyone knows where the rest of them come from?

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  3. Oh you did make me laugh Jo.You're like me picking out any English words you find and making the rest up.Thank goodness for Christine. With my school French I thought the first one, second line said,I am not myself I am full of rage. But I also went into a shop in a campsite in France and asked in French for lightbulbs instead of matches,no wonder they gave me funny looks.

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  4. Gosh, what interesting things to find!!!Better than X luvs Y. TRust the French!!!

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  5. The Moliere is indeed from the Misanthrope - Act IV Scene iii, to be precise - spoken by Alceste, consumed with jealousy over a letter written by the woman he loves to a rival.

    'Bizarre, bizarre' comes from a 1930s French film called 'Drole de drame'

    The last two extracts are from songs by Boris Vian - the first is 'La Complainte Du Progr├Ęs' and the second, 'Fait Moi Mal Johnny'.

    (Hope that helps...)

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    1. Anonymous - I wish I could give you a name - thanks a million. I can't help wondering how you know this stuff - it's wonderful. You are a star!!

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    2. Hi! Yes, sorry - how remiss of me :) I'm Helena. Well, I've had an interesting life... I studied acting/theatre & voice - with a module in European Theatre - so I recognised the Moliere straight away. And I used to work for a Paris based Art & Design company, so I spent some time in Paris, and mixed with a lot of French people! (Including one who was a big fan of Boris Vian).

      Though (don't tell anyone) I admit I had to check to make sure I got the song -and the film - titles right.

      And it was my pleasure; great fun & brought back some memories!

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    3. Helena - thank you so much for coming back to introduce yourself. Seems like we've all had some fun with this (there's no better response to a blogpost!).

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  6. Lovely, Jo! I think it's great that you can find such literary allusions scrawled on doors like graffiti! In Italy, they do the same with politics. I can respect that :-) Your interpretations were wonderful!

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  7. PS did you like Lille? I have mixed feelings about it.

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    1. I only had a day there, Val, and it was astonishingly hot, so it's hard to judge - but the old city was pretty, and the museum didn't swamp me, so I had a good time. How much there is to do if you have a week there - I'm not sure!

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  8. I too am glad someone else was able to help because my school-girl French was struggling as well. What a fascinating door.

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  9. I love your new look, Jo! It makes me think of sunshine, blue skies and nice places. Very apt considering your book, but dare I say it, I hope you are not thinking of being over the hill yourself! I can't think of anyone less suited to that title x

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    1. The Over the Hill thing began as a joke ... now there's a surprise! To be honest, my head is still somewhere in my twenties, but sometimes my body is several decades ahead of it!

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    2. Very attractive blog, Jo, and serendipity about the door. I can recall love that goes 'boom'!

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