Chantal Hébert’s first book is both a post-mortem of the Canadian federation that died on January 23, 2006, the night of the last federal election, as well as a brilliant examination of our changing political future, one that involves living with Quebec rather than just wooing it. On that night, award-winning political writer and broadcaster Chantal Hébert stood in a Calgary convention hall with 2,000 Alberta Conservatives, who were raucously cheering the election of ten Tory MPs from Quebec. The Conservatives would not have gotten their man in office without Quebec, and now the future success of the Harper government hinges on turning this one-night stand into a long-term relationship. More than ten years ago, the Quebec-Alberta coalition cobbled together by Brian Mulroney dissolved, leading to the births of the Bloc Québecois and the Reform Party. As a result, Alberta and Quebec took their marbles out of federal play, and Ontario got to run Canada. Have we now come full circle? By the time this book is published, the Liberal Party of Canada may have morphed into the Liberal Party of Ontario (or Toronto). And the Canadian Left will have chosen a camp in preparation for a decisive federal election battle. Provocative and always worth listening to, Chantal Hébert is at her savvy and insightful best in French Kiss. No Canadian can be truly informed on the subject of Canadian politics without the benefit of her non-partisan commentary.
In FRENCH KISSES George East, our world famous raconteur, funny man and the ultimate innocent abroad encounters another array of weird characters and situations as the notorious Fox of Cotentin nobbles the local chicken show, and a fishing boat disguised as a carrot runs aground in a village square. Elsewhere, a Parisian clock-repairer poses as the Prince of Darkness, while a synchronised drinking team clashes with the baton-dropping champions of all Normandy. There's also the descendant of Nostradamus who makes his predictions after rather than before the event.If you like to laugh at life and the foibles and follies of human nature anywhere, just relax, pucker up and enjoy some affectionate embraces from a master story-teller...George East is the present day guru of French Living and Life with the French countrypeople.
How and when did the kiss become a vital sign of romance and love? In this wide-ranging book, pop culture expert Marcel Danesi takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history of the kiss, from poetry and painting to movies and popular songs, and argues that its romantic incarnation signaled the birth of popular culture.
How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me & Nearly Broke My Heart
Author: William Alexander
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In this “charming memoir,” a determined Francophile pursues fluency in the language he loves—and we read along to find out if it will ever love him back (Kirkus Reviews). William Alexander is more than a Francophile. He wants to be French. If only he could speak the language. In Flirting with French, Alexander eats, breathes, and sleeps au français. He travels to France, where mistranslations send him bicycling off in all sorts of wrong directions. At an immersion class in Provence where he faces the riddle of masculine breasts, feminine beards, and a turkey cutlet of uncertain gender, he wonders if he should’ve taken up golf instead. While playing hooky from grammar lessons and memory techniques, Alexander reports on the riotous workings of the Académie Française, the centuries-old institution charged with keeping the language pure; explores the science of human communication, learning why it’s harder for fifty-year-olds to learn a second language than it is for five-year-olds. Never giving up his quest for fluency, Alexander discovers that studying French may have had a far greater impact on his life than actually learning to speak it ever would. “Alexander proves that learning a new language is an adventure of its own—with all the unexpected obstacles, surprising breakthroughs and moments of sublime pleasure traveling brings.” —Julie Barlow, author of The Bonjour Effect
"Madness, Masks, and Laughter: An Essay on Comedy is an exploration of narrative and dramatic comedy as a laughter-inducing phenomenon. The theatrical metaphors of mask, appearance, and illusion are used as structural linchpins in an attempt to categorize the many and extremely varied manifestations of comedy and to find out what they may have in common with one another. As this reliance on metaphor suggests, the purpose is less to produce The Truth about comedy than to look at how it is related to our understanding of the world and to ways of understanding our understanding. Previous theories of comedy or laughter (such as those advanced by Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Bergson, Freud, and Bakhtin) as well as more general philosophical considerations are discussed insofar as they shed light on this approach. The limitations of the metaphors themselves mean that sight is never lost of the deep-seated ambiguity that has made laughter so notoriously difficult to pin down in the past." "The first half of the volume focuses in particular on traditional comic masks and the pleasures of repetition and recognition, on the comedy of imposture, disguise, and deception, on dramatic and verbal irony, on social and theatrical role-playing and the comic possibilities of plays-within-plays and "metatheatre," as well as on the cliches, puns, witticisms, and torrents of gibberish which betray that language itself may be understood as a sort of mask. The second half of the book moves to the other side of the footlights to show how the spectators themselves, identifying with the comic spectacle, may be induced to "drop" their own roles and postures, laughter here operating as something akin to a ventilatory release from the pressures of social or cognitive performance. Here the essay examines the subversive madness inherent in comedy, its displaced anti-authoritarianism, as well as the violence, sexuality, and bodily grotesqueness it may bring to light. The structural tensions in this broadly Hobbesian or Freudian model of a social mask concealing an anti-social self are reflected in comedy's own ambivalences, and emerge especially in the ambiguous concepts of madness and folly, which may be either celebrated as festive fun or derided as sinfulness. The study concludes by considering the ways in which nonsense and the grotesque may infringe our cognitive limitations, here extending the distinction between appearance and reality to a metaphysical level which is nonetheless prey to unresolvable ambiguities." "The scope of the comic material ranges over time from Aristophanes to Martin Amis, from Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais, and Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde, Joe Orton, John Barth, and Philip Roth. Alongside mainly Old Greek, Italian, French, Irish, English, and American examples, a number of relatively little-known German plays (by Grabbe, Tieck, Buchner, and others) are also taken into consideration."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved