lunedì 24 settembre 2018


When and where the rooster does not get to rule the roost and the hens run the hen house 

Quand et où le coq ne parvient pas à régner sur le perchoir et que les poules dirigent le poulailler 
Quando e dove il gallo non arriva a spadroneggiare e quando i polli dirigono il pollaio

The Breton Sisters (Les demoiselles de Concarneau) presents a misogynistic portrait of three sisters who severely constrain their only brother. These middle-aged Guérecs (Céline, Florence, Marthe, and Jules) inhabited a “mixed” residential and business establishment where they had grown up in a Brittany fishing port. The only married sister had escaped—partially—for she returned there every day and came to dinner three times a week. The three “had all been raised by nuns in a convent and “were true young ladies who made themselves respectable.” The wealthy family owned a market and café, staffed by the sisters, and three fishing boats, managed by the brother, but named after the women, symbolizing their dominance. 
The sisters simultaneously babied and bossed their ‘little’ brother from his birth on. Of the threeCélinewho was “more intelligent, basically ran the house, Francoise, who was “easy to fool,” did the household chores, and Marthe, who “no longer had the least desire for independence, had recently moved out. Celine functioned as the primary spokeswoman for the three of them in laying out the rules for JulesFor example, when Florence once wondered out loud, “Maybe you should not have contested” something Jules had done, Celine squelched that idea with “It’s a principle. If wlet him do something once, he’ll get in the habit.” The gamut of oppressive restrictions was widespread, extending from minor to major: “They obliged him to wear a scarf” when going out. “Hdidn’t smoke at all because his sisters prohibited it.” With complaints of not “talking to us about it” and not “telling us anything” raining down upon him after the fact, their routine contesting of his decisions and actions frightened, inhibited, and almost paralyzed him. 
Most important was the way the sisters interfered with Jules behaving like a man sexuallyNeither Céline nor Françoise “had truly been women,” the “proof” being that “no man had courted them” whereas Marthe “had had two fiancés and had found a husband.” Relying on prostitutes for gratification, Jules was never satisfied with what he encountered” primarily because he had to conceal this activity from hisisters. In his 20s, when Jules impregnated a young womanCéline took over with a “let me handle it” and bought the girl off. The sisters rubbed his nose in that “lamentable history” ever after. In his 40s, when Jules proposed to a single mother he pitied, Céline blocked that marriage by again buying the intended bride off. 
Despite the primary goal of avoiding scandal, several did develop. Their solution was to make a clean break, and so the unmarried trio sold everything and moved away. The sisters abandoned their Breton costumes for dresses and the brother exchanged his Breton cap for a bowler hat, but they had little to do and “no friends” or even “acquaintances. Outwardly content but internally unhappy, leading “a life of small courtesies and disputes” with their inheritance “melting away,” they vegetatedBut “why resent each other since the three of them were condemned to live together?’’ Françoise died, leaving “a strange, jealous and affectionate couple and, once Céline died, Jules was predictably destined to “return to his last sister.” 

David P Simmons 

domenica 23 settembre 2018


 De Lucas à Joseph, en passant par Pardon… 
 Da Lucas a Joseph, passando via Pardon...
• From Lucas to Joseph, via Pardon… 


Le Dr Pardon apparaît pour la première fois dans Le revolver de MaigretIl reviendra dans 25 autres romans. Maigret fait sa connaissance au cours d'un dîner entre médecins, où le commissaire a aussi été invité. Très vite, Pardon et Maigret sympathisent, partageant une même vision de la vie et une même passion pour la gastronomie. Cette sympathie se transforme rapidement en amitié: "En dehors de ses collaborateurs les plus proches, comme Lucas, Janvier, Torrence et, plus récemment, le jeune Lapointe, pour lesquels Maigret avait une réelle affection, le commissaire n'avait pour ami que le docteur Pardon." (Maigret et l'affaire Nahour). Pardon est un simple médecin de quartier, mais le commissaire demande volontiers son avis dans les affaires difficiles. Pardon est non seulement l'ami de Maigret, mais il est aussi son médecin traitant. C'est sur ses conseils que le commissaire essaie de réduire, tant bien que mal, sa consommation d'alcool… C'est un personnage qui a été peu exploité dans les adaptations, et quand il y est apparu, ce n'était pas toujours le même acteur qui interprétait le rôle d'un épisode à l'autre d'une même série. 

Il dottor Pardon appare per la prima volta ne La rivoltella di Maigret. Tornerà poi in altri 25 romanzi. Maigret fà la sua conoscenza in occasione di un cena tra medici, alla quale anche il commmissario era stato invitato. Maigret e Pardon familiarizzano assai in fretta, condividendo una stessa visone della vita e una inedita passione per la gastronomia. Questa simpatia si trasformerà rapidamente in amicizia: «Al di là dei suoi collaboratori più vicini, come Lucas, Janvier e Torrence, e poi in seguito anche Lapointe, per i quali Maigret nutre un reale affetto, il commissario non ha per amico che il dottor Pardon» (Maigret e il caso Nahour). Pardon è un semplice medico di quartiere, ma il commissario richiede volentieri il suo parere nei casi più difficili. Pardon non è soltanto l’amico di Maigret, ma anche il suo medico personale. E’ attraverso i suo consigli che Maigret tenta di ridurre, in qualche modo, il suo consumo di alcool…E’ un personaggio che è stato poco valorizzato negli adattamenti e quando è apparso, non era sempre lo stesso attore che lo interpretava, uno in un episodio, uno diverso in un altro della stessa serie. 

Dr Pardon appeared for the first time in Maigret's Revolver. He would be present in 25 other novels. Maigret met him during a dinner with doctors, where the Chief Inspector had also been invited. Pardon and Maigret quickly sympathised, for they shared a same view on life and a same passion for gastronomy. This sympathy turned into friendship: "Apart from his closest collaborators, like Lucas, Janvier, Torrence and lately young Lapointe, for which Maigret felt a real affection, the Chief Inspector's only friend was Dr Pardon." (Maigret and the Nahour Case). Pardon is a simple neighbourhood doctor, yet the Chief Inspector often asks for his opinion about difficult cases. Pardon is not only Maigret's friend, but he's also his family doctor. It's on Pardon's advice that the Chief Inspector tries to reduce, somehow, his consumption of alcohol… Pardon is a character that has been little used in the adaptations, and when he appeared, it was not always the same actor that played the role from an episode to the other within the same series.

by Murielle Wenger