three-fer

jumping for awesome

This morning I read a couple of chapters of L’étranger on the subway. I’m about halfway through and I am a fan of how easy it is to read in French but not really a fan of the book per se. I said to my French colleague, “I’m not sure I get the premise. Is he behaving like that because he has Asperger’s or something?” He replied that it was just like an American to jump to a psychological diagnosis and that actually this is a novel about existential ennui or something like that. Not sure I’m convinced.

After work I went to a French conversation Meetup at which I spoke with grilled a woman who had just returned from taking a year off to study French in Strasbourg. It’s a good thing my French sounds so silly because otherwise she may have been intimidated by my rapid fire interrogation: how did she do it, why did she do it, why did she do it when she did it, and every other detail I could suck out of her to inform my own “study abroad” decision.

On the subway ride home I wiped my Duolingo slate clean and started fresh with Spanish, even though I already got through the whole thing last year. I am in a no man’s land at the moment as I’m between one Spanish class and the next, which starts in September. I figured I may as well re-do Duolingo so I don’t lose the past semester’s hard-won progress. I’m looking forward to experiencing once more the haphazard juxtapositions of words that pass for human utterances. (To wit: You drink my cat’s milk.)

Alors, adios y bonne nuit!

[Photo: THX0477]

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2 thoughts on “three-fer

  1. It’s been a long time since I read that book. I was lucky enough that we read that in my AP French class in high school. I need to read it again, but what I remember is it’s about a young guy trying to figure out what to do with his life. His boredom has numbed his emotion, so he loses all empathy.

    It’s significant that it was written by someone who came of age in France between WWI and WWII, and was written at the end of the inter-war period. France was going from colonial superpower to devastated battlefield.

    I know about the desire to want to go and do intensive language study, while responsibilities get in the way. I hope you figure out something great to do!

    • even knowing the context, i’m not the biggest fan. but i plan to read it in english next just to make sure i fully understood it. maybe with additional nuance it will speak to me more.

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