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  • Une linguiste associée avec une artiste ! Mado fait de la peinture et moi, je m'exerce au journalisme, à la traduction et à l’écriture pour le plaisir des mots et des couleurs.

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offert par mon amie Jeanne Fa Do SI
pour mon regard fouillé sur les coutumes et la nature autrichienne.
Merci Jeanne

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6 juin 2009 6 06 /06 /juin /2009 17:33

 

 

Les mélèzes sont des grands arbres élancés, au tronc bien droit et à la cime étroite. Ils se distinguent des autres conifères car ils perdent leur feuillage (aiguilles) à chaque automne.

 

L'écorce est écailleuse avec un liber rouge pourpre.


Nul doute que si vous aimerez la majesté du bois du mélèze rouge des Alpes et que vous observerez l’empreinte laissée par la tronçonneuse dans la coupe... qui ressemble à un demi-cœur blessé…

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5 juin 2009 5 05 /06 /juin /2009 17:01

 

En visitant mon amie mimipalitaf, j’ai été inspirée par ses photographies de fleurs « au-coeur-du-mandala ».

 

Il est vrai que la nature est souvent source d’inspiration et qu’elle produit des mandalas sublimes, naturels, sans contrefaçon. Ainsi, il ne restait plus qu’à se laisser porter par Dame Nature.


J’ai associé une fleur rencontrée au détour du chemin


avec le soleil de fin de journée sur le lac de Garde (Italie)


et un bijou que j'avais depuis des lustres.

 

Rayonnement de la vie (peinture acrylique sur toile)

 

Pour un mandala qui s’appelle tout simplement : Rayonnement de la vie
et qui est dédié à toutes les personnes
qui connaissent/ont connu l'isolement de la curie thérapie.

 

 

 

voir d'autres mandalas : Mandalas Mandalas

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3 juin 2009 3 03 /06 /juin /2009 21:21

Pourquoi le Haflinger a-t-il autant de succès ?

Voici une question qui n'est pas facile à définir, car le succès du Haflinger a beaucoup de raisons. Sa réussite comme cheval de selle est sans doute du à son caractère qui correspond bien à l'être humain mais aussi à ses incroyables performances, faisant de lui un cheval polyvalent.

 

 

Toujours attentif !

Haflinger patient comme un ange aux cheveux blonds

 

Sans aucun doute, son esthétique extérieure avec sa crinière blonde séduit et sa magnifique robe rousse renforce sa popularité dans le cœur des cavaliers. De plus, le Haflinger se prête très bien à l'élevage et apprendre très vite, ce qui fait de lui un cheval sur lequel on peut compter. ET, le Haflinger a beaucoup d’atout : sportif, fiable, fidèle compagnon de loisirs, ayant une taille idéale entre poney et cheval, parfait pour les enfants comme pour les adultes.

 

Haflinger au Tyrol

 

Il a de profondes racines dans la région du Tyrol du Sud (Haut-Adige - Italie), dans la culture des paysans et les traditions du pays. C'est pourquoi le Haflinger n'est pas seulement une race parmi beaucoup d’autres mais la race par excellence dans cette région.

 

Haflinger-le-grand-blond.JPG

 

Son histoire est étonnante :

Un étalon oriental " El Bedavi XXII 133 " a été couplé à une jument de Galice en 1874 par l’éleveur Josef Folie in Schluderns (Tyrol du Sud) qui donna naissance à un poulain qui porta le nom de la famille : FOLIE.

Folie qui veut dire feuille d'or était de la couleur d’un renard comme sa mère avec les caractéristiques esthétiques de son père. En lui se sont associées la vigueur héritée de sa mère, cheval de travail en montagne, et la noblesse et l'élégance de son père.

 

Haflinger-peint-sur-une-maison-a-Leutasch.JPG

Haflinger peint sur une maison à Leutasch (Tyrol du Nord - A)

 

Haflinger sur une maison à Trens

Haflinger peint sur une maison à Trens Haut-Adige


D’où vient le nom Haflinger ?

Anciennement, dans le Tyrol du Sud, la demande de jeunes chevaux pour le travail et pour le transport était grande. Originairement, il fut surtout le cheval des paysans et des commerçants de Tschöggelberg et de Hafling (Tyrol du Sud - Haut-Adige) qui souvent l’achetaient pour le travail. C’est ainsi que le nom de Haflinger est né au fil du temps. La dénomination de la race « Haflinger » a été adoptée plus tard par le ministère de l’agriculture de la monarchie des Habsbourg le 2 mai 1898.

 


Haflinger au Tyrol du Nord


Contrairement à de nombreuses autres races, un profane peut reconnaître un Haflinger au premier regard. Ses origines de cheval de montagne lui confèrent un pas sûr et une santé de fer. Le Haflinger est un cheval fiable avec des nerfs solides, sinon il n’aurait probablement pas résisté à la vie rude aux champs ou dans l'armée.

 

Haflinger-dans-l-armee-autrichienne.JPG

 

L'image des chevaux sauvages des Alpes est un peu surfaite. Les chevaux sont menés dans les alpages et laissés en liberté l'été. L'hiver, ils rentrent à l'écurie.

 

Haflinger-dans-les-alpages.JPGHaflinger dans les alpâges

 

Qui a eu la chance de monter ce magnifique poney, de s’accrocher à sa crinière blonde, de couvrir les alpages, de galoper au travers des prairies verdoyantes, de ressentir le vent balayé sa crinière soyeuse, de voir le soleil chatoyé sur sa robe brillante n’oubliera jamais cette rencontre.

 

Haflinger-le-poney-a-la-criniere-blonde.JPG


J’espère vous avoir fait découvrir un cheval né dans ma région d’adoption, le Tyrol.



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1 juin 2009 1 01 /06 /juin /2009 23:08

Le lac de Garde en Italie n'est seulement qu'à deux heures de la frontière autrichienne en voiture. Il est considéré par les Autrichiens et surtout les Tyroliens comme leur refuge et leur mer.



Pour info : La superficie du lac de Garde est de 369,98 km², sa longueur maximale de 51,6 km et sa plus grande largeur de 17,2 km, pour un périmètre de 158,4 km. Sa profondeur maximale est de 346 m, et l'altitude du plan d'eau de 65 m au-dessus du niveau de la mer.

Photographies prises le lundi 1er Juin 2009 à 19 h 30
lors d'une promenade à Bardolino où j'ai découvert une porte extraordinaire.


En s'approchant un peu, on peut découvrir les faiences


C'est qu'il a de la ressource, notre moine !
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1 juin 2009 1 01 /06 /juin /2009 15:24


Research paper on

 

Soap Operas: A Mirror of its Time?

-----

”An Example of a Culture in Transition”

 

(This research paper was written by a non-native speaker, it could content some spelling mistakes. Feel free to take some ideas for further research, but do not use this text as your own. Your teacher could see it as a plagiary).

(Cet essai a été réalisé par un locuteur de langue française. Il peut contenir des erreurs mais il sera pour vous une source d'idées et d'informations pour de futures recherches. Ne l'utilisez pas dans son ensemble, car votre professeur pourrait vous accuser de plagiat).

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Page

Introduction

2

Watching TV

2

A Popular Genre: Soap Operas

3

Reasons why people watch Soap Operas

4

Coronation Street

5

EastEnders

6

Audience

6

Expectations of soap operas

7

Social interaction

8

Social Issues

8

Representation of multiculturalism in EastEnders

9

Conclusion

10

Works cited

 


Introduction

Watching TV plays an important part in our every day life. Even so, do we really know why we watch TV? As viewers, we primarily satisfy a need for entertainment and information, but we may actually be getting far more than we bargain for.

In this essay, I would like to explore the British soap opera genre, its context and its effects. Unlike American soap operas, British soap operas’ key point is realism, as they tackle typical issues of everyday life. After enumerating the reasons for watching soap operas, a short overview of the two most famous British soap operas, Coronation Street and EastEnders, will follow. Audience of course plays an important role in the success of soap operas, as they have strong expectations in terms of storylines, characters, etc. Also, the role played by soap operas in social interaction is not to be overlooked, as they allows viewers to discuss various social issues with their family, colleagues or friends.

While all soap operas vehemently claim that they are not issue-led series, I will nonetheless investigate the representation of multiculturalism in one of the most famous soaps and ask which place TV and soap operas have in our lives.

Watching TV

A quick search on the internet convinced me that nowadays, watching TV has to be considered as a hobby. Most TV viewers declare that it is very relaxing for the brain and you do not even have to think when watching after long working hours. In addition, watching TV is also one of children’s favourite after-school activities.

According to Daniel Chandler, creator of the MCS site, “which is an award-winning portal or ‘meta index’ to internet-based resources useful in the academic study of media and communication”, hosted by the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, audiences generally watch more TV than they intend to when they first sit in front of the television set. In his article “Why do People Watch Television?” Chandler refers to the approach of “uses and gratifications” which “focuses on why people use particular media rather than on content”. “U & G arose originally in the 1940s and underwent a revival in the 1970s amd [sic] 1980s. ( . . .) It presents the use of media in terms of the gratification of social or psychological needs of the individual”. Thus, TV programmes may “gratify different needs for different individuals” and influence their mood. For example, boredom will drive TV watchers towards exciting content while stress will steer viewers to a more relaxing one (Chandler).

In their search for information, TV viewers will satisfy their curiosity and general interest by watching news, debates or education programmes. However, to develop or reinforce their personal identity, viewers will seek models of behaviour and values. In my opinion, this can be achieved by watching series or soap operas. They provide integration such as identification with others and sense of belonging. In addition, they can lead to social interaction in the real world, as they provide common ground for conversation and discussion. Lastly, TV programmes clearly provide entertainment, allowing spectators to have a break from routine or with a diversion from problems (Chandler). Personally, I think that relaxing is certainly one of the most frequent words when people give an answer to the question: “Why do you watch TV?” But Chandler adds another dimension to the “social uses of television” by saying that the television set frequently produces a background noise in the household that provides companionship or allows the reduction of anxiety, etc. (Chandler). However, it would be inaccurate to restrict the role of TV to merely that of companionship, particularly where soap operas are concerned.

A Popular Genre: Soap Operas

Television soap operas are long-running serials which are potentially endless. They share certain features with melodrama, such as “moral polarization, strong emotions, female orientation, unlikely coincidences, and excess” and with literary romance such as “simplified characters, female orientation and episodic narrative” but do not have a “happy ending”. British soaps have a “social realist tradition” and have an “emphasis on contemporary social problems” but I think that sometimes they have an over-dramatised approach (Chandler).

However, gossiping is a key feature in soaps which is usually absent from other genres. In addition, the “viewers are also in an omniscient position” which allows them to speculate about the possible turn of events. Storylines are designed especially in order to ensure that any new viewer can join at any time and will understand the story thanks to the continual and symbolic references to the past. Soap operas are often panned by critics and viewers alike because of the repetitive clichés and stereotypes so commonly found in them. However, the great number of characters and the fact that there is usually “no single ‘hero’” offers spectators “a great deal of choice regarding those with which they might identify”. (Chandler).

Reasons why people watch Soap Operas

Watching soap operas is often seen as an “entertaining reward for work” and is “part of domestic routine”. I believe that both “identification and involvement with characters” are very significant, particularly with British soap operas such as EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Brookside, etc. This is chiefly because these programmes reflect everyday life and depict the working class, whereas American soap operas often portray rich people of the upper class (Chandler).

In 2002, the Broadcasting Standards Commission conducted research in order to examine the role of soap operas within the family in 2002. According to the findings, the first reason for watching soap operas is a pure escapism from daily routine. They also give an element of comparison with the characters’ lives and your own. In addition, increasing opportunities for social interaction are also mentioned by the respondents. (Broadcasting... 7)

Often, audiences of soap operas do not know the names of the artists and call the actors by their characters’ names, thus extending the fiction and reinforcing the idea that the characters are real. Even when actors are recognised on the street, the are often called by their characters’ name. In addition, British soap operas focus “on topical issues,” involving situations such as marital or family discord, extra-marital affairs, marriage breakdown, genuine love etc. (Chandler). They also tackle social issues such as racism, homosexuality, illness (AIDS, cancer, etc.), alcoholism, financial problems etc.


Coronation Street

First shown on 9th December 1960 on ITV, Coronation Street is the longest-running British TV soap opera. One-third of the British population regularly watching “Street” is composed of rather more women than men, the elderly and people issued from lower socio-economic groups.

Street “includes strong and positive middle-aged female” characters, and most of the time, deals more with personal events than political and social ones. Street is set in a fictional street with seven terraced houses in the imaginary industrial town of Weatherfield. Naturally, the local community meets in the corner shop and in the pub “The Rovers Return” to comment on all events.

The storylines focus on the experiences of families and their interaction, and on relationships between people of different ages, classes and social structures. However, it has been “criticised for the minimal role of non-white[.]” characters. When an attempt was made to introduce more contemporary themes, “viewing ratings dropped” and “there was then a move towards a lighter, more humorous style”. That why it is said that Street is funnier than EastEnders. (Chandler).


EastEnders

EastEnders is one of the rivals of Coronation Street and was first broadcast in 1985. While “it is watched by a little under a third of the British population, by more women than men, and more by those in lower socio-economic groups” but it also attracts teenage viewers.

The characters tend to be mainly working class. In addition to adult women, young female as well as male characters are given strong roles, thus broadening the potential audience. The show focuses on the lives of the inhabitants of the fictional Albert Square in east London. Several small shops, a hairdresser and a beauty salon, market stalls, a pavement café, a fish and chip shop, and the pub “The Queen Vic” complete the settings.

EastEnders entertains audiences with dramatic storylines focusing on real-life situations and tackles homosexuality, rape, unemployment, racial prejudice, etc. in a believable context avoiding “politics and swearing”. Focusing on melodrama with death, mental breakdown, disappearances, muggings, accidents and murder, EastEnders is often “criticised for being bleak” (Chandler).

Audience

According to a survey published by national STATISTICS, men actually watch more TV than women do, spending an average of over 150 minutes per day on TV and radio, while women generally spend  less than 150 minutes (Lifestyles…).

According to the bbc.co.uk Commissioning website, families who watch sports are also likely to watch drama and soaps. The soap operas come in first and second place with EastEnders and Coronation Street, followed by international football matches in third place (What is the role of TV?).

In keeping with Chandler’s comments, soaps in general have a predominantly female audience because of the female characters’ portrayal. In my opinion, the fact that the first radio series were aimed at housewives has surely contributed to the reputation of the soap operas being made for women. But I totally disagree with the comment of David Morley, in Chandler’s article, where he states that “the competences necessary for reading soap opera are most likely to have been acquired by those persons culturally constructed through discourses of femininity” because there are also soap operas and series designed for men. EastEnders, for instance, has always introduced strong male characters throughout the series, including several villains and even gangsters, which certainly attract more male viewers than female ones. Even, the soap opera sometimes shifts a little towards the “genre of the crime series” in order to please male viewers (Chandler).

As in the extremely interesting report of the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the levels of viewers’ engagement with soap operas show how involved people are. Generally, 26% of all respondents “really enjoy watching soap operas”. But the statistics show that 38% of women versus 14% of men responded this way, confirming the notion that soap operas have more female viewers than male ones. Furthermore, the report reveals that more women (7%) are more addicted to soap operas than men (3%), and that 9% of female viewers claim they could not bear to miss an episode against only 3% of male viewers. Generally speaking, women are more committed to soap operas than men are. However, these findings may be due to women being more likely to admit their addiction to the genre. Men tend to say that they watch the soap because the other members of the family watch it (Broadcasting... 14). Furthermore, 68% of all British adults watch EastEnders; 67% watch Coronation Street followed by Emmerdale (52%) and Brookside (31%) statistics that confirm that watching soap operas is extremely popular in Britain (Broadcasting... 21).

Expectations of soap operas

Entertainment is the first expectation when watching a soap opera with 38 % of all respondents in favour of this answer, followed by 29% of strong storylines “underlining the importance of the soap opera[s] as a way of ‘switching off’ for a period of time”. Between 19% and 26% of the interviewees think that a soap opera should include humour, true-to-life situations and highly dramatised scenes. To my surprise only 7% expect that issues are going to be explored (Broadcasting... 23).

However, the expectations of the audience diverge from one soap to another. On one hand, Coronation Street and Emmerdale are more watched because of their entertaining and humorous storylines. On the other hand, EastEnders is a place “where a large number of gloomy things happen” and which features “highly dramatised scenes”. Though viewers look forward to believable situations in the soaps, they do not focus on viewing something which makes them think or learn. (Broadcasting...  26)

Social interaction

When members of the family watch soaps together, it may lead to social interaction after the viewing, such as comments on the storylines and the characters, or analysis of the issues, etc. However, this sort of interaction also occurs outside the home, such as in the workplace, secondary schools, when meeting friends, etc. (Broadcasting...  28). From my own experience, I noticed that first thing in the morning at work, women and men discussed the last episode of their favourite soaps. To be included in the conversation, it was necessary to be acquainted with the soaps. That is why Chandler says: “Some had begun watching simply because they had discovered how central it seemed to be in lunchtime discussions”. If my deductions are correct, the soap operas have a major place in the social interaction of the British community. (Chandler)

Social Issues

“Despite the fact that soap operas are recognised primarily as vehicles for entertainment, the use of the genre as a way of discussing social issues is recognised by many.” Even so, several soap opera producers refuse to have their programmes catalogued as issue-led. However, for 54% of the interviewees, social issues must be factually correct and presented realistically if tackled. Many respondents are concerned with the broader implications of the topics, and think that episodes involving violence, rape, illness, etc. should be followed by information on telephone helplines. This has already been done: for example, after an episode dealing with spousal/domestic abuse, EastEnders informed the viewers that if they were confronted with one of the issues they could call a helpline that provides advice and information about it (Broadcasting... 31-32).

Representation of multiculturalism in EastEnders

Race and ethnicity can be a difficult subject with soap opera audiences. Though efforts to include more minority characters have been made in recent years, “participants from non-white backgrounds particularly voice a concern about tokenism,” adding that “the importance of creating culturally authentic characters is a key issue for them”. Broadcasters have already made some progress and created “more authentic and relevant characters and storylines”. On one hand, the Broadcasting Standards Commission states in its report that “[t]he advances made in EastEnders ( . . .) are recognised by many” (Broadcasting...  34-35). On the other hand, Hannah Pool, a journalist at The Guardian asked Diane Parish, a black actress who plays Denise in EastEnders, how she felt about being part of a soap that has “such a bad reputation among black viewers”. For Diane Parish, portraying a single mum with two daughters is beyond being black and issue-based. However, she does feel a certain pressure from her community, because, as she points out… “when you see a black actor on the screen you want to say: ‘Please be good’” (Pool).

In my opinion, one of the worse storylines in EastEnders was the introduction of the Ferreiras’ family. Bad acting, stereotypes, involvement with gangsters, fraud, unrealistic storylines, etc. lead to the disappearance of the family after only 5 months of presence. The Ferreiras were EastEnders’ first Asian family but were not cast “as Hindu, Muslim or even Sikh, but Christian from Goa – hardly an obvious choice for a show claiming to give a realistic representation of the capital’s ethnic mix rooted in mainstream India, Pakistan and Bangladesh”. Also, Hannah Pool voices in her article that black character are oft “gangster[s] or related to one” as for example Rudolph Walker who portrays the father of a gangster in EastEnders and who was awarded an “OBE for services to the acting industry”. Even though Walker has been present in the soap opera for many years, the BBC “managed to leave him out of a book celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary. Urging the BBC to reprint the book, the Voice newspaper said in February last year: ‘This book exposes the hidden discrimination still inherent in British television’” (Pool).

Even so, the actress Diane Parish said in an interview for BBC News Online that the progress made by British television in “its portrayal of different ethnic communities” can be described as “[b]aby steps” and added: “We live in a multi-cultural society but we don't represent it on the screen, sadly” (Webb).

In addition, in a survey published by BBC News Online, it is important to notice that only 37% of the white people answered positively to the question: “Do soaps and dramas accurately reflect the lives of ethnic minorities?”. This answer illustrates that white people themselves are aware of the lack of ethnic minorities’ representation. Furthermore, Black and Asian people (57% and 51% respectively) found that the soaps and dramas do not reflect multiculturalism. A third of the interviewees had no opinion or did not know (Survey).

Conclusion

To sum up, watching TV helps people to unwind after a busy day. Viewers are certainly not aware of the influence of television programmes on their mood, but even so, they use TV as a reward. Programmes such as soap operas also bring the viewers a reinforcement of values and offer models with which people can identify. As I have already stated, British soap operas have a sort of gritty realism with a melodramatic, romantic or humorous touch and tackle contemporary social problems. Thus, they have all the ingredients as a prime entertainment genre because they are not too long (normally half an hour), do not develop the issues too exhaustively (no boredom) and suit the particular needs at the time of day they are aired (entertainment during prime time).

Even if Chandler emphasises that soap opera audiences are predominantly female, the introduction of strong male characters in several soap operas nowadays attracts more male viewers. I personally know several men who regularly watch EastEnders and who are nearly as addicted as their wives are. However, their attitudes and feelings are more detached.

I started to watch EastEnders when I was in England. After a few interruptions, I now regularly watch it and was very surprised that social issues are not a prime expectation (only 7% of the interviewees) because when viewing EastEnders, I am quite aware of the representation of multiculturalism and the realism of social issues. I was nearly on the verge of giving the soap up when the Ferreiras were introduced because I was extremely disappointed by the storylines.

Of course, my personal expectations differ from the group that chooses to watch soap operas as distraction. I am interested in the development of the characters, situations, the community’s involvement and I laugh at the gossiping. I have also adopted a critical attitude when watching and I am aware of the weakness of the genre in its treatment of issues, which is far too superficial for my taste.

Obviously, I see EastEnders as an insight into the British society and the community of the fictional Albert Square and a way of better understanding the culture. However, with the new appearance of three major Black and one minor Asian characters, EastEnders’ broadcasting attempts to better represent the today British society. Finally, as Diane Parish stated in her interview: Progress has to be made in the representation of multiculturalism in British TV.



Works Cited

 

Broadcasting Standards Commission. “Soap box or soft soap? Audience attitudes to the British soap opera“. London. 2002. 07 Jan. 2006 <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/bsc/pdfs/research/soap.pdf>

Chandler, Daniel. “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers“. MCS, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. 1995. 05 Feb. 2007 <http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Modules/TF33120/soaps.html>

Chandler, Daniel. “Why do People Watch Television?“. MCS, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. 1995. 05 Jan. 2007 <http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/usegrat.html>

Lifestyles. Men spend more time watching TV than women. national STATISTICS. Time Use Survey 2005 (collected on the NS Omnibus survey), Office for National Statistics; Internet access 2006, (collected on the NS Omnibus Survey), Office for National Statistics. Published on 16 Oct. 2006. 11 Feb. 2007 <http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1659>

Pool, Hannah. “Squaring the circle”. The Guardian. 17 July 2006. 10 Feb. 2007 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/race/story/0,,1822281,00.html>

Survey. “Do soaps and dramas accurately reflect the lives of ethnic minorities?”. Article: “Changing the scenery”. BBC News Online. (no date). 10 Feb. 2007 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/uk/2002/race/changing_the_scenery.stm>. Path under the photography of Sir Trevor MacDonald: Do you think there are enough black and Asian people on the telly? Path: Television and the Media. Path: Do soaps and dramas accurately reflect the lives of ethnic minorities?

Webb, Alex. “Changing the scenery”. BBC News Online. 10 Feb. 2007 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/uk/2002/race/changing_the_scenery.stm>

What is the role of TV? bbc.co.uk Commissioning. British Broadcasting. Corporation © 2002-2005. Page Last Updates 25/07/2006. 11 Feb. 2007. Path: Families, like the rest of the population, watch a lot of drama and soaps. But they are more likely than average to watch Children’s, Reality TV, and Chat Shows. They are far less likely to be watching Current Affairs programmes.  <http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/marketresearch/audiencegroup6.shtml>

 

 

Hereafter referred to as U & G

In “Watching TV”, the citations are from the article “Why do People Watch Television?

In “A Popular Genre: Soap Operas”, the citations are from the article “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers“

In “Reasons why people watch Soap Operas”, the citations are from the article “Why do People Watch Television?

Hereafter referred to as “Street”

In “Coronation Street”, the citations are from the article “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers“

In “EastEnders”, the citations are from the article “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers“

In “Audience”, the citations are from the article “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers”

Own experience made in several large offices in an insurance company in Tunbridge Wells.

In “Social Interaction”, the citations are from the article “The TV Soap Opera Genre and its Viewers”

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1 juin 2009 1 01 /06 /juin /2009 11:29

Après des semaines de suspense, la finale de Britain’s Got Talent a eu lieu samedi 30 mai 2009 regardée par une audience de 18 millions de spectateurs. Les trois meilleures performances ont été ainsi couronnées : 1er Diversity (un groupe de jeunes danseurs), 2e Susan Boyle, 3e Julian Smith (saxophoniste)


 

Susan Boyle a subi une pression hors du commun ces dernières semaines ; portée aux nues dès le début de la compétition, la presse s’est acharnée à la poursuivre même jusque dans son hôtel. La presse à scandales a déchiqueté sa vie, campé dans son village. J’ai même vu sur Internet, un vidéo clip qui haranguait à ne pas voter pour Susan Boyle car elle allait de toute façon gagner. Donc autant voter pour les autres !

La finale a été éprouvante, les rumeurs propagées de démission juste avant la finale l’on rendu Susan Boyle très malheureuse, elle la fille de la campagne, issue d’un petit village écossais du West Lothian, la chanteuse amateur.

Susan Boyle est aujourd’hui selon les médias britanniques à l'hôpital. En raison d’un épuisement physique et psychique, elle a été admise dans une clinique de Londres sur les conseils de son médecin.


" Emotionnellement épuisée ! "

Traduction du commentaire de Pier Morgans sur son blog :

Pour moi, elle a été la plus grande découverte que le show est remarqué.  Et je regrette seulement que l'extraordinaire vague de publicité qu’elle a attiré a agacé bon nombre de personnes ; la Boyle mania a irrité plus qu’elle n’a profité à Susan. Voilà pourquoi les votants ont décidé de ne pas appeler pour elle.

Je crois sincèrement que si elle avait été dans les dernières auditions, plutôt que dans la première, elle aurait gagné facilement.

Je pense qu'elle a chanté absolument magnifiquement la nuit dernière étant donné qu'elle m'a dit qu'elle avait passé l'essentiel de la semaine à pleurer, à ne pas dormir ayant l’estomac s’en cesse retourner, et généralement ressentant une sensation de poids sur la poitrine.

Pour les sceptiques et les critiques qui l’ont dénigrée, je demande simplement : pourquoi?

Ce n'est pas la faute de Susan ! Elle est devenue ce phénomène mondial malgré elle...

J'ai été extrêmement fier de Susan la nuit dernière et j’ai été stupéfait de me réveiller en lisant les titres qui lui prédisait la fin de son rêve « END OF THE DREAM ».

Le rêve de Susan n’était pas de gagner un spectacle d’audition. C’était de faire carrière en tant que chanteuse professionnelle (si vous vous souvenez bien de sa première audition).

Et maintenant, elle va vraiment avoir une carrière. Je prédis qu'elle aura une grande vente d’album dans quelques mois et bien plus encore.

Britain’s Got Talent a été pour elle comme une déchiqueteuse, mais le show lui a permis de vivre et de réaliser son rêve.

Arriver en deuxième place est certainement la meilleure chose qui pouvait lui arriver. Elle peut maintenant se concentrer sur l'enregistrement d'un album sans les pressions et l'attention qu'elle aurait reçus si elle avait gagné l'émission.

 

 

En peu de temps, la timide souris grise aux yeux bleus est devenue une méga star sur Internet, invitée sur les plateaux de télévision. Elle ne s’y attendait pas ! Tout ce qu’elle voulait c’était « chanter devant la reine » !

 

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Bref il est p’tit mais mignon… Une grande place pour les fraises et une toute petite place pour les plantes potagères telles que les courgettes... car il gèle jusqu’au 15 mai. À partir d’octobre, les premières gelées arrivent, donc peu de temps entre la germination et la récolte des légumes.

 

 

De plus, il est vraiment typique de Tyrol, car il y a de grandes fermes et de petits jardins. Les habitants vivent au premier étage alors que l’étable est au rez-de-chaussée. Et devant la ferme, un tout petit jardiner.

 

Il ne manque plus que la fontaine pour arroser le jardin.

Elle est un peu loin de chez moi, donc j'ai acheté un porte-cou...

Fontaine du restaurant Heilligwasser à 1240 m, Patscherkofel (Tyrol, Autriche)

 

De toute façon il fait trop chaud pour jardiner aujourd'hui... je me repose...


 

dans mon jardin. 


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31 mai 2009 7 31 /05 /mai /2009 15:37

Research paper on:

Lewis Grassic Gibbon
The Concept of Change in “Sunset Song”

------

Scottish Literature

 

(This research paper was written by a non-native speaker, it could content some spelling mistakes. Feel free to take some ideas for further research, but do not use this text as your own. Your teacher could see it as a plagiary).

(Cet essai a été réalisé par un locuteur de langue française. Il peut contenir des erreurs mais il sera pour vous une source d'idées et d'informations pour de futures recherches. Ne l'utilisez pas dans son ensemble, car votre professeur pourrait vous accuser de plagiat).

 

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

 

  1. Introduction

Page 2

  1. Land & Peasantry

3

  1. Chris Guthrie

4

  1. Nothing Endures

6

  1. Progress and Modernism

6

  1. The Standing Stones

7

  1. Religion

8

  1. First World War

9

  1. Grassic Gibbon’s Concept of Change

10

  1. Conclusion

11

  1. Works cited

 

 


Introduction

Lewis Grassic Gibbon was the pseudonym of James Leslie Mitchell who was born in Scotland in 1901 and died in 1935. Grassic Gibbon was a major figure in the Scottish Literary Renaissance and wrote A Scots Quair which is a trilogy of the following novels: Sunset Song (1932), Cloud Howe (1933) and Grey Granite (1934).

A Scots Quair is a chronicle of the vanishing agricultural way of life in North-East Scotland. Grassic Gibbon's writing blended Scots and English languages, reproducing the “cadence and vocabulary of the Scots idiom, giving a new impetus to the development of a vernacular prose literature in Scotland” (Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 119). The trilogy as a whole gives a “powerful account of history and social change in Scotland” between 1911 and 1932 (Watson, The Literature 383). However, for the purpose of this paper, I am going to focus on the first book of the trilogy Sunset Song, where Grassic Gibbon recreated in his own words the landscape and farming life in the Mearns area of North-East Scotland where he grew up. He also portrayed a little fictional community as it was before the First World War.

As Douglas Gifford acknowledged in his article “Contemporary Fiction I: Tradition and Continuity”, the main character of the Sunset Song, Chris Guthrie, acts in Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy as a witness to “Land, Change, and Death”. He even considered her as a passive “Earth Mother” (599). This description is much unexpected although Susanne Hagemann stated in her essay that “[w]omen and nationhood prove to be connected in highly ambiguous ways” in Scottish writing and that A Scots Quair can be “interpreted both as a patriarchal and as a feminist text” (320).

It is true that male writers often placed Scottish women at the centre of the novel as “carrier of essential national identity, [and] as tradition bearer” (Gifford Contemporary 598). Through the narrative, the reader sees how Chris reacts to national identity feeling torn by her self-given two identities, the Scottish Chris and the English Chris. She connects with the land through the Scottish language, its songs, and legends but she can also demonstrate how literate she is conjugating Latin verbs. 

Although the depiction of women in a rural Scottish community as children and mature women is very conventional in the story, in the case of Chris Guthrie, the attitude of the father towards education for girls is progressive. However, Grassic Gibbon created his main character in “connections with landscape, maternity, relationships with men which were boundaries marking the territories women were supposed to occupy, allocated by men” (Gifford Contemporary 601). Predictably, the young Chris has to follow the patriarchal rules until her father’s death, after which, she shows initiative, takes her destiny into her own hands, and defies patriarchal social conditioning.

The following paper focuses on Chris Guthrie, of Sunset Song, as she grows from a child into adulthood and seeks a better understanding of the concept of changes, first, for the land and then from the heroine’s point of view that nothing endures. Progress and modernism greatly contribute to the changes. The role and symbolism of the standing stones will be discussed. In counterpart, religion and understanding of diffusionism followed by a short analysis in the changes brought by the First World War will be examined. Finally, a study of Grassic Gibbon’s concept of change will come as a conclusion to understand all the effects upon Chris as a woman who accepts changes.

Land & Peasantry

In Sunset Song, Scotland is going through inevitable changes. First of all, the prelude (or The Unfurrowed Field) gives the reader some background knowledge and describes the various historical changes from Norman times right up to the Twentieth Century. Then, the “old way of life of the crofter” comes into view, particularly at the beginning of the story, where the hard work of the peasant farmers is described sometimes poetically, sometimes imaginatively, with keeping in mind Grassic Gibbon’s point of view of early age of Scotland (Gifford Scottish 586).

But Sunset Song “portrays a harsh, cruel world” particularly well envisioned by Chris’s following thoughts of Scotland (Bold 130) as for example: just after singing The Flowers of the Forest at her marriage, Chris Guthrie-Tavendale feels “how strange was the sadness of Scotland’s singing, made for the sadness of the land and sky in dark autumn evenings” (Sunset Song 165).

In addition, indicative of the vulnerability and the dependency of the crofters, weather and seasons play an important role in the narrative. The last sentence of chapter one reveals the farmers’ expectation from Mother Nature: “the drought had broken at last” (SS 62).

The authentic depiction of the country and the hardships of farming life are due to Grassic Gibbon’s upbringing on crofts in the “Howe of the Mearns, especially at Bloomfield above Inverbervie, later fictionalised as ‘Blawearie in the parish of ‘Kinraddie’” (Watson, The Literature 384). Grassic Gibbon liked to recall that he was from a peasant background and he often expressed his pride that the land was so closely and intimately his (Watson, The Literature 384). However, he developed what Watson described in his article as a love-hate relationship with the land and Chris took shape as his “spokesperson and [became] the vessel for his own imaginative spirit” in order to express these ambivalent love-hatred feelings (The Literature 386).

Therefore, by the end of the First World War, the small farmers are passing away due to social changes – newcomers working for larger farms, tractors and machinery replacing horses, battery farming – breaking the traditional cycle. (Gifford Scottish 586). The First World War’s impact can be seen plainly on the Scots countryside as for example the trees are merely cut down for the war industry. The first one to notice the change is Chae (a minor character):  first, from his house when he looks out of the window and says that the woodmen have ruined his “land”, and then when he wandered around Kinraddie, he found it “a strange place and desolate” one (SS 202-204).

From the point of view of Chris’ brother, Will, Scotland is “dead” or “dying” (SS 216). On the contrary, Chris believes in Scotland saying to herself “Scotland lived, she could never die, the land would outlast them all” (SS 217). Here, Chris’s profound attachment to her country is expressed when she “equates [Scotland] with the land, with nature” in contrast with her brother who “thinks of Scotland in terms of human beings and their activities” (Hagemann 320).

However, it is noticed that Grassic Gibbon throughout all his works expressed his regrets that the “traditional community and its intimate connection with the land” was coming to an end (Gifford Scottish 585).

Chris Guthrie

In Sunset Song, Grassic Gibbon created “a strong female protagonist” which shows a “new and Modernist perception of the condition of women in society” (Gifford, Scottish 594). Surprisingly, he characterised Chris as a strong-minded woman who describes herself as having a dual personality “two Chrissies”, letting us think that she has some psychophrenic tendencies. Chris Guthrie identifies her “Scottish Chris” with the land but also with “the speak of the folk around her” and her “English Chris” with education (Watson, A History 417). She even says to herself (and tells the reader) that they “fought for her heart and tormented her” (SS 32). Roderick Watson is, nevertheless, amazed that the main character, who shows integrity, does not choose to become a teacher after being free of the shackles of patriarchy and poverty (Watson, A History 417). Therefore, Watson argues that it is perhaps because her home parish offers the security of an extended family circle (Watson, The Literature 387).

Furthermore, the “patriarchal stereotype linking women with nature and men with culture remains intact” through the novel (Hagemann, 320). And then, Douglas Gifford alleges that women act as guardians of national soul and tend to be “enduring witnesses rather than agents of significant change” (A History 598).

Throughout the narrative, the heroine faces “so much adversity and loss” but her “perceptiveness and cool detachment” marked her as an “intellectual and [also as a] spiritual centre of the trilogy” (Gifford, Scottish 594). It is said that she is intellectual, because she goes to college in the “Ploughing” chapter, learns French, Latin and Greek, and spiritual because she connects with nature. However, the “Chris of the land” is also sitting at the college, thinking of traditional myths which appear in the form of a heraldic animal carved into the main building (SS 44).

“Chris Guthrie represents Scotland in many ways” and can be seen as its incarnation (MacDiarmid 123). As mentioned earlier in this paper, the two Chrissies, one from Highland and one from Lowland Scot, go to Duncairn’s college each morning letting us think that the “English Chris” has more importance than the “Scot Chris”. Nevertheless, a passage suggests that she instinctively turns to the “Chris of the land” without further thinking as for example when the narrator says: “Chris took a bit peep or so in Religio Medici and nearly yawned her head off with the reading of it, it was better fun on a spare, slow day to help mother wash the blankets” (SS 59). MacDiarmid even argues that there is another level of this split suggested by “the English Chris”, the Chris, who wins the bursary, conjugates Latin verbs and pleases the Dominie. For him, there is no doubt which of these “two Chrissies wins out”; it is the “active Chris, the Chris of the soil, and the Scots Chris” (MacDiarmid 123).

However, Chris’s life is “dramatically altered by three events” in Sunset Song. First, her mother commits suicide and takes the lives of the twins, then her father dies and her husband is killed in the war (Bold 132). These highly melodramatic incidents often cause Chris to reflect upon life and its meaning. Even if she feels free after her father’s death and thinks of studying again, she chooses to listen to her own inner voice “the Chris of the land” and stays in Kinraddie. Gifford writes, “it seems that […] Chris’s role is to remain passive – to observe, to reflect, to endure all kinds of displacement” – and that she does not try to elevate her condition (Scottish 595).

As far as the topic of displacement is concerned, Chris moves with her parents from Echt, a fine land for rain, to Kinraddie, with moors and hot summer. There, she steps out of childhood turning into a mature woman in a gradual transition, moving from wife to mother to widow. Something, however, distinguishes Chris: her own “determination to remain spiritually and mentally her own person in the face of the community” but she also appears as a “solitary figure” (Watson, The Literature, 389).

Nothing Endures

Chris recognises throughout her life that “nothing endures” (SS 46). She says it, for the first time, just after the kiss given by her classmate Marget. She enjoys the sweet kiss but is embarrassed too. Despite her young age, she is aware that shyness, shame, even thrilling sensations do not last. The second time, “she minded Greek words of forgotten lessons, Παντα ρει, Nothing endures“ thinking of the land and nature, and mentioning the Pictish folk, their “sailing and passing” (SS 119). Everything is in movement, the landscape under the crofter’s hand and even her, balancing from one Chris to the other one. Speaking of the land, she questions herself if “her love might hardly endure” as she also experiences feelings of hatred like the author (SS 120).

As Ian Campbell acknowledged in his essay “Chris Caledonia: The Search for an Identity”, Grassic Gibbon offers an “opportunity to analyse a Scottish dilemma” (Campbell  130). Chris is the personification of this dilemma, torn between Scotland and England, in the flesh of a girl of the land and the educated one, going from one side to this other. She “embodies feelings [Grassic Gibbon’s own feeling which he] had known all his life and knew to be shared by his readers”, as a personal conflict (Campbell 130).

Progress and Modernism

Grassic Gibbon’s personality and experiences with farming life are extremely intricate in the trilogy. He shows in Sunset Song that the life was hard in rural Scotland at the beginning of the 20th century but also that Sunset Song is the depiction of a fading peasant age. “He dismisses the idea that civilisation is civilising and contrasts the kindness of the Old Stone Age with the cruelty of contemporary Europe” (Bold 125).

Then, Macaree points out that besides the personal story of Chris, there is another time scheme in operation. Folks have battled against the natural difficulties to settle in Scotland, as the reader follows Chris migrating with her family “through darkness to an unknown destiny“. However, the social organisation around Chris has “after eight centuries of existence” collapsed through its “own debility in the face of changes” in the outside world as for example the impoverishment of its forests through the destruction of trees in woodlands (125).

New technologies also have a symbolism in the rural novel. Even in the introductory descriptive passage, there is the “alien technological image of the motor-car” shooming through the roads (Palmer McCulloch). The motor-car is intruding in the life of the community. They are associated with danger; first, John Guthrie is evicted from his farm because of an altercation with a female motorist, then Chae’s child is nearly killed by a car. Following this argument, Chae has been summoned and fined for assault at Stonehaven. When he comes out of the courthouse, he says there was “no justice under capitalism” (SS 27). Palmer McCulloch writes that Grassic Gibbon unobtrusively introduces the “ideological context of the novel alongside its modernistic descriptive prose and focalisation” (ASLS homepage).

At the end of the novel, the new technologies begin to undermine traditional ways of farming and also new technologies such as incubators appear. The Kinraddie crofters face inexorable changes caused by the “technology in the form of the armaments of war [which] brings the final disintegration of the [peasant] community” (Palmer McCulloch).


The Standing Stones

The standing stones are a very significant symbol in Sunset Song first, because they stand for a connection with the past and secondly because they are for Chris a place of retreat after every turmoil. She often goes there resting next to the ancient stones and the loch which are considerated by Douglas Gifford as “places of mana which connect with [Chris’s] timeless essences”. It is also interesting to notice that he states in his essay that “Scottish women have generally remained sceptical concerning such mystic links between places, history and living beings” (Gifford, A History 590).

As the standing stones remain, the world changes. According to Alan Bold, the novel is “haunted by the tragic impact of civilisation” and the transformations it brings to the lands. “[Grassic Gibbon’s] fervent Diffusionist belief that the Golden Age of the primitive hunter [which] had been destroyed by the curse of civilisation pervades the novel” (125). The Golden Age is voiced by a minister explaining to his community that the first voyagers sailing the sounding coasts brought the heathen idols of the great “Stone Rings” and revealing as it is exactly written in the novel that the “Golden Age was over and past and lust and cruelty trod the world” (SS 53).

According to Bold, the “Stones represent a marker for a way of life that vanished”. However he also considers that they show “a recrudescence of the old Pictish spirit” and that this way of life could come again (Bold 133). In contrast, Young argues that Sunset Song is the story of the last few years of the genuine Pictish folk of the Mearns and their final defeat by the forces of civilisation (Young 127).

So Chris Guthrie seeks refuge at the Standing Stones at the beginning of each chapter. There she feels that she can let her memory flow back over her and can bring to mind her last experiences. Reflecting on the passage of epochs, she sees that life continues despite the deaths. The connection between the standing stones and the passage of time allows Grassic Gibbon to express his “Diffusionist feelings for the timeless value and innocence that […] prevailed when the world was young” (Watson, The Literature 388).

Also at the end of the novel, the two-three stones are used as a War memorial for those who died during the Great War. According to Roderick Watson, the sermon of the minister Colquohoun and the singing of ‘Flowers of the Forest’ serve to “recall once again, older perspectives on mutability and human loss (The Literature 389).

Religion

Already at the beginning of the story, the narrator provides the reader with some negative comments on religion. It starts by criticising the little kirk, which was built in the time of the Roman Catholics by “coarse creatures” and the minister who would glow down at the female organist “more like John Knox than ever” (SS 7). Even the paintings on the windows, which represent some Catholic principles (Faith, Hope and Charity), do not find grace in the narrator’s eyes because they were made by “coarse creatures like Catholics” (SS 8). This shows right at the beginning of the book the intolerance of other beliefs.

As already mentioned, Grassic Gibbon was strongly influenced by the philosophical Diffusionist theory. Brown appreciably says that two points of explanation must be made to understand Grassic Gibbon’s point of view. His “philosophy of life was a belief in original innocence” (before the coming of civilised men). The downfall of original innocence began after the discovery of agriculture in Egypt and with the misuse of worship of tyrannous gods and kings, cults of property and power, and wars by a so-called civilized society (Brown 122). Young adds that Sunset Song is “permeated by the Diffusionist myth” and if the reader does not analyse the book in these terms, much of its significance will be missed (Young 127). In addition, he reveals that Grassic Gibbon was a good anthropologist and consequently he knew that the Standing Stones had a religious function. As a good Diffusionist, he also knew that religion had no place in the Golden Age and came only with the coming of civilisation (Young 127).

The standing stones’ symbolism leave perplexed at the beginning and it can be thought that the story would be about druids and ancient Scottish legends. The narrative leads the reader step by step through a range of issues involved with old practices. But, as Ivor Brown pointedly criticises there is “no place to expound [Grassic Gibbon’s] whole doctrine of the archaic civilisation, its diffusion, and its decay” if the story is not about it (122).

In contrast, John Guthrie’s (Chris’s father) strong belief in God leads us to believe that religion is important for the community but the reader gets to know that Rob of the Mill (a minor character representing the other opinion of the community) does not believe in ministers or kirks. Nevertheless, Guthrie is an extremely respectful believer and God’s name should not be given to beings or misused in his presence. As Young defines it, religion has had a sad effect upon the people of Scotland. “Calvinism […] has been an oppressive force of great magnitude” and the best representation of its inhumanity is portrayed in the brutal, bigoted John Guthrie (Young 127).

During the war, Chris asks Chae (another minor character) when the war is coming to an end and he answers: “God only knows”. Here Chris says “And you still believe in Him?” (SS 205). But, here the reader does not see any foremost changes in the story; some peoples believe, some do not. Expressing Grassic Gibbon’s ideology, only some socialistic or communistic views are uttered. Amazingly, Chris Guthrie does not follow her bigoted father’s belief. For example, at the end of Sunset Song, when Will (Chris’s brother) visits her, she asks him if he will come with her to church. He asks her if she is “getting religious”. By her answer, Chris gives a real good insight of Scots’ faith: “I don’t believe [the Scots] were ever religious […], not really religious like Irish or French or all the rest in the history books. They’ve never BELIEVED. [The kirk is] just a place to collect and argue […] and criticise God” (SS 217).

The standing stones are a symbol to “linked Scottish earth to all enduring and universal things, symbol of the early men who were happy until they missed the way” as Brown said (122). But, Young added that the stones were the reminders of that great and tragic step in Scottish history when men encountered civilisation (127). It is also amazing that they are memorials to the Golden Age and Grassic Gibbon turned them at the end of Sunset Song into a war memorial.

First World War

The war breaks out and with it, destruction. At first, no one pays attention to the war. Chris is not particularly interested; she listens to Chae Strachan and does not pay attention: “a war was on, Britain was to war with Germany”. She really does not care (as she is pregnant) and at this point, her husband does not care either (SS 186). But, the Great War is going to mark and destroy “everyone in the little community” (Watson, The Literature 389).

Men live to fight and Ewan Tavendale (Chris’s husband) goes to fight against the Germans too. Ewan is primarily excused from military service due to his “status as a farmer” (Bold 133). But feeling the village’s pressure and because he does not want people to think of him as a coward, he leaves his family and farm to enlist for war service. But when “Ewan comes back on leave before going to France, he is transformed” into an efficient fighting machine (Blod 133). Chris does not recognise her husband and sees him as a stranger. The kind, shy Ewan Tavendale does not exist any longer and Chris hates him for his brutality.

As the war affects people, it also affects the land. Consequently, changes are seen in the way of life because more commercial farming takes over until the “old peasant crofter-class finally passes away” (Watson, The Literature 389). The First World War provides a climax and with the end of the war comes “the sunset of a people and of a whole way of life. “Civilization seems to have triumphed completely in Kinraddie” (Young 128).

Grassic Gibbon’s Concept of Change

“Just as A Scots Quair was planned in three books, so each book is made to operate on distinct levels” (Bold 133). According to Alan Bold, there are three levels: narrative, poetic and mythical. In addition, the story’s mood is rather emotional and from time to time ironic, and sometimes sounds like a comedy. The narrative level deals with the story of Chris and with the English-Scots prose. The poetic level is concerned with the Scots singing and the mythical one referred to the symbolic meaning in Chris’s life (133). In addition, A Scots Quair trilogy deals with three specific social environments (parish, borough, city); Chris will have three husbands (Ewan Tavendale, Robert Colquohoun, Ake Ogilvie) and each book is concerned with three great social events (First World War, general strike, class war) (Bold 134). According to Bold, Chris will remain the “common factor, the constant and eternal feminine principle of creativity and endurance” (134).

In Sunset Song, the point of view is continually shifting from a defined to an undefined narrator. Grassic Gibbon uses an “incomparable flexibility and ambiguity of point of view”. The narrator can be one of the fictional characters or an anonymous individual or the community itself with a gossiping tone (Young 127).

Grassic Gibbon certainly chose his title carefully. Young thinks that the author chose the sun as symbol of the Golden Age and its disappearance interpreted in the singing sunset (127). The sun is truly present in the story and two examples can be cited: first, the relationship of sun and singing: the sun is “shining bravely” when Rob past whistling the songs “Ladies of Spain and There was a young maiden and The lass that made the bed for me” and secondly, the alliance of sun and past: Chris’s mother is “against the sun as though you peered far down a tunnel of the years” (SS 18 & 26). According to Roderick Watson, “A Scots Quair belongs with the several great books in Scottish literature which have dealt with the theme of the divided self and the spiritual antithesis between ‘masculine’ authority and ‘feminine’ sensitivity” (The Literature 393).

It is important to notice that numerous tragedies happened during Sunset Song and in Chris’s life which correspond to a cycle of birth, life and death (her mother killed herself and her twins, her brutal father passed away and her husband is shot). In addition, three men from the village (included Ewan Tavendale) died in war.

Each chapter of Sunset Song corresponds to farming seasons related to the “fertile cycles” of cultivation: Ploughing, Drilling, Seed-Time, Harvest. It is described as a constant revolution.

Grassic Gibbon liked to destabilise his readers by writing against the Kailyard trend. The idealized picture from Scotland is impeded by the hard work of the peasantry. L. A. G. Strong in his essay reveals that Grassic Gibbon was certainly torn between the desire to depict the life and the landscape realistically and the desire to give an “idealized picture”. According to Strong, the “bewildering changes of tone” and the “lack of organization in the narrative” ensued from this longing (Strong 120).  

And then, Chris can be seen at the end of the book as a survivor. Additionally, Bold sees her as a phenomenon, “a survival of the primitive type” (Bold 133). It seems to me important to keep in mind that Chris is described as the eternal feminine principle of creativity and endurance in the first book (Bold 134).

Conclusion

This paper conveys my great interest in understanding Grassic Gibbon’s diffusionist belief and in appreciating his narrative quality through the description of Chris’s character and the land with a rural realism. I also tried, during the writing of this paper, to start sentences with but, and, so and then as Grassic Gibbon does in Sunset Song in order to feel his writing.

Grassic Gibbon excels in capturing the essences of Scotland, exploring progress, rediscovering ancient tradition and understanding religion. Sunset Song is not just the story of Chris Guthrie and of Kinraddie but a total “critique of human civilization” with its chronic failures, emphasis on time, labour, and wealth (Young 126).

Scotland went through historical changes. In Sunset Song, the land is confronted with agricultural and social changes and from Will’s point of view, “she” is losing “her soul”. But, Chris still believes in it. She sees the changes and knows that folk cannot avoid them. She learns to live with the changes, in herself (from innocent childhood through teenage years right into adulthood) and the ones which happened around her (dislodgment, births, marriage, deaths) and, merely just not accept them. The “Chris of the land” triumphs over the “Chris of the books”. She observes, reflects, endures near the standing stones which act as a mystical anchorage.

Surprisingly, the reader sees her determinism growing throughout the novel, by facing the patriarchal society. As Watson wrote, she is distinguished in the narrative by her determination to “remain spiritually and mentally her own person in the face of a community which offers only the narrowest and most domestic of roles to women” (389). She remains as strong as the standing stones.

Very special words have been said from Sunset Song but the following quotation written in 1934 by Basil Davenport deserves to be the final comment as recap: “this trilogy is an enduring memorial of a land” (Davenport 121).


Works Cited

 

Bold, Alan. Modern Scottish Literature. London: Longman, 1983.

Brown, Ivor. Excerpt from “Lewis Grassic Gibbon”. Essay date 1946. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 122.

Campbell, Ian. Excerpt from “Chris Caledonia: The Search for an Identity”. Essay date 1974. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 130.

Davenport, Basil. Excerpt from “A Novel of the Scottish Lowlands”. Essay date 1934. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 120.

Gifford, Douglas et al. Eds. Scottish Literature. In English and Scots. Edinburgh: University Press, 2002.

Gifford, Douglas. “Contemporary Fiction I: Tradition and Continuity”. A History of Scottish Women’s Writing. Eds. Douglas Gifford and Dorothy McMillan. Edinburgh: University Press, 1997.

Grassic Gibbon, Lewis. Sunset Song. Edinburg: Canongate, 1988.

Hagemann, Susanne. “Women and Nation”. A History of Scottish Women’s Writing. Eds. Douglas Gifford and Dorothy McMillan. Edinburgh: University Press, 1997.

Hall, Sharon K., ed. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981.

Macaree, David. Excerpt from “Myth and Allegory in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s ‘A Scots Quair’”. Essay date 1934. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 120.

MacDiarmid, Hugh. Excerpt from “’Lewis Grassic Gibbon’ in Modern British Writing”. Essay date 1947. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 122-124.

Palmer McCulloch, Margery. “Ideology in Action: Modernism and Marxism in A Scots Quair“. The Association for Scottish Literary Studies. ASLS Conference: 10 Jun. 2001. Glasgow: Department of Scottish Literature, University, 2003.
<
http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/Ideology.html>

Strong, L.A.G. Excerpt from “Fiction: ‘Sunset Song’”. Essay date 1932. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 120.

Watson, Roderick. “’To know Being’: Substance and Spirit in the Work of Nan Shepherd”. A History of Scottish Women’s Writing. Eds. Douglas Gifford and Dorothy McMillan. Edinburgh: University Press, 1997.

Watson, Roderick. The Literature of Scotland. Houndmills: MacMillan Publishers Ltd, 1984.

Young, Douglas F. Excerpt from “in his Beyond the Sunset: A Study of James Leslie Mitchell”. Essay date 1967. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall Vol 4. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1981. 126-128.

 

 

Only in quotation, hereafter referred to as “SS”

From the university of Glasgow

  Mana: Among Polynesian and Melanesian peoples, a supernatural force or power that may be ascribed to persons, spirits, or inanimate objects. (http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9371115)

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29 mai 2009 5 29 /05 /mai /2009 17:15
Vous avez un grand yucca qui vous encombre, mais vous ne voulez pas le jeter car il est si beau. Et bien raccourcissez le ! Cela n’est pas bien difficile et vous y gagnerez en place, la plante mère est sauvegardée et vous avez de nouvelles plantes.

 

 



Deine Bilder und Fotos in einer Slideshow auf MySpace, Knuddels oder deiner Homepage!alle Bilder dieser Slideshow anzeigen

 

  1. Coupez le yucca avec une scie (à métaux) à la hauteur que vous souhaitez, une coupe bien nette est nécessaire.
  2. Pour que le tronçon de la plante mère ne se dessèche pas et que des rejetons poussent, faites fondre de la cire et recouvrez bien le dessus de la coupe, en faisant déborder sur les côtés. (il faut que le tronçon soit vraiment bien protégé du dessèchement par la paraffine).
  3. Continuez d’arroser votre plante mère comme vous avez l’habitude selon la température de la pièce.
  4. Si la cire se fendille après quelques jours, refaites une application. Il est important que la coupe ne se dessèche pas. Si le mal est fait, recoupez deux centimètres.

 

Occupons nous maintenant de la branche coupée.

  1. Coupez la en tronçon d’environ 20 centimètres  ; mais vous pouvez toujours décider de couper beaucoup plus long, mais pas plus court. La tête est malheureusement à jeter.
  2. Appliquez de la cire sur un côté. C’est celui qui se trouvera donc vers le haut et vous planterez celui du bas sans aucun traitement (si vous avez de l’hormone de croissance pour enracinement rapide, pourquoi pas, mais ce n’est pas nécessaire),
  3. Plantez vos bâtonnets ainsi obtenus dans une terre pour palmiers (plutôt meuble) et mouillez légèrement la terre. Arrosez tous les jours un petit peu et vous aurez le plaisir après plus de 4 - 6 semaines de patience de voir les premières nouvelles pousses.

Bonne chance !

voir l'article

Plantez votre orangeraie dès maintenant...

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28 mai 2009 4 28 /05 /mai /2009 16:15

D’après Gerhard Huber, chercheur spécialisé ès sport à l’université de Heidelberg, la plupart des diabétiques peuvent contrer leur diabète de type 2 grâce au sport. Il ajoute que le diabète mellites est une maladie à laquelle on peut « échapper ».


Les effets positifs de l’activité physique sont bien connus. En règle générale, le sport aide non seulement à ralentir l’évolution d’une maladie mais aussi sert à améliorer le bien-être et donc la qualité de vie. 

 


Donc la pendule peut être remise à l’heure et cesser d’avancer puisque Gerhard Huber a conduit une enquête sur plus de 250 diabétiques et que cette étude s’est révélée positive.

 

De plus, une nouvelle étude américaine a démontré clairement et nettement que le diabète de type 2 entraîne une augmentation de la tension et des valeurs lipidiques. Un groupe de patients a donc été divisé en deux : le premier groupe a reçu une médication normale ; le deuxième groupe a reçu une médication associée à la visualisation d’un film comique pendant 30 minutes. Ces derniers patients ont montré après deux mois de ce traitement hilarant une réduction de la concentration d’hormone du stress. Ces diabétiques ont même vu après un an leur taux de cholestérol HDL (le bon cholestérol) augmenté d’un quart. L’autre groupe n’a pratiquement pas constaté de changement.

 

Alors qu’attendez-vous pour bouger et rigoler !

ça a l'air si simple...

 

 

Source TT 20/05/2009 & 29/04/2009 N° 111

 

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