d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Wed Sep 30 16:38:16 MDT 2009
My favorite American author is ... mmh .. let me see now ... Thoreau ?
(Walden, but I find the first part, "Economy", boring), and Steinbeck ?
(The Grapes of Wrath, Tortilla flat and Of mice and men), the guy who
wrote "Gravity's rainbow" (I'm too drunk to remember his name) and
maybe, Philip Roth.
Contemporary French literature in on a downward trend, and, since the
80s, is clearly surpassed by US literature. They lack adventurousness.
New ideas come from the US.
I would like to add that American TV series (Dexter, Prison Break,
Desperate Housewives, Lost, Weeds, Gray's Anatomy, ... ) now have a
great influence on the way French people see themselves. These series
are expertly crafted so as to make the audience eager to find out what
is going to happen in the next episode. At the same time, they
disseminate typically US ideas and concepts, such as
"guns"/"revenge"/"family"/"work hard for your family"/"be
tough"/"poker"/"beware of conmen"/"your spouse will always support
you"/"check who your kids associate with"/"all problems can be
overcome"/"be positive"/... and more "guns".
French kids (12-19) are so flooded with American TV series that it has
become ingrained in their psyches. Girls talk about : "the real ONE,
love truely destined for me, that I musn't let go by, otherwise, it will
never come again. There is this guy, that I am MEANT to meet. We will
fall in love because it is DESTINED to happen." And boys think : "I must
be smart, I must be tough, tough as nails. I must overcome my
adversaries, come what may. Girls want someone tough."
Already, American TV has destroyed many traditional aspects of French
Take Halloween (in French, la toussaint). Normaly, la toussaint
(Halloween) is a time when families buy flowers and go to the cemeteries
and remember the deceased.
Not anymore. Now, French kids go knocking from door to door, stating "un
bonbon ou je te jette un sort" ("A sweat or I will curse you").
I myself am not a defender of traditional French culture. Like all
cultures, it has its bad sides. And maybe a universal American "tough
guy" culture is preferable. The problem is, it is definetely skewed
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