" Marque Page" is our Book Club section. Every month and a half we we will propose a book to read in French and the Lecture is followed by a Zoom discussion related to the book topics . A Great way to express yourself in French or just listen to what attendees' feelings  wants to talk about. The conversation is totally free, all members from any level are welcomed (so don't be shy !) The Discission is animated by our Cultural Director, Randa AL RAHWANJI.

JANUARY/ FEBRUARY - Meeting January 27

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The title character of The Stranger is Meursault, a Frenchman who lives in Algiers (a pied-noir). The novel is famous for its first lines: “Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday, I don’t know.” They capture Meursault’s anomie briefly and brilliantly. After this introduction, the reader follows Meursault through the novel’s first-person narration to Marengo, where he sits vigil at the place of his mother’s death. Despite the expressions of grief around him during his mother’s funeral, Meursault does not show any outward signs of distress. This removed nature continues throughout all of Meursault’s relationships, both platonic and romantic.

Raymond, an unsavoury friend, is eventually arrested for assaulting his mistress and asks Meursault to vouch for him to the police. Meursault agrees without emotion. Raymond soon encounters a group of men, including the brother of his mistress. The brother, referred to as “the Arab,” slashes Raymond with a knife after Raymond strikes the man repeatedly. Meursault happens upon the altercation and shoots the brother dead, not out of revenge but, he says, because of the disorienting heat and vexing brightness of the sun, which blinds him as it reflects off the brother’s knife. This murder is what separates the two parts of the story.

The novel’s second part begins with Meursault’s pretrial questioning, which primarily focuses on the accused’s callousness toward his mother’s funeral and his murder of “the Arab.” His lack of remorse, combined with his lack of sadness expressed toward his mother, works against him and earns him the nickname “Monsieur Antichrist” from the examining magistrate. During the trial itself, Meursault’s character witnesses do more harm than good, because they highlight Meursault’s apparent apathy and disengagement. Eventually, Meursault is found guilty of murder with malice aforethought and is sentenced to death by guillotine. As he waits for his impending death, he obsesses over the possibility of his appeal being accepted. A chaplain visits Meursault against his wishes, only to be greeted by Meursault’s intense atheistic and nihilistic views. In a cathartic explosion of rage, Meursault brings the chaplain to tears. This, however, brings Meursault peace and helps him to accept his death with open arms.

MARCH / APRIL

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The plot is initially the banal daily routine of a rich woman taking her son to piano lessons, and conversing with a working class man in a café, drinking wine all the way, then reaches a scandal at a dinner party in chapter 7, followed by a dénouement in the final chapter. The story concerns the life of a woman, Anne Desbaresdes, and her varying relationships with her child, the piano teacher Mademoiselle Giraud and Chauvin. Chauvin is a working-class man who is currently unemployed and whiles away his time in a café near the apartment where Anne Desbaresdes' child takes piano lessons with Madame Giraud. After the fatal shooting of a woman in the café by her …

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MAY / JUNE

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Guy Roland est un détective qui après la retraite de son patron, Hutte, décide de partir en 1965 à la recherche de sa propre identité qu'il a perdue après un accident mystérieux qui l'a laissé amnésique depuis plus de 15 ans. Remontant les pistes ténues de son passé qui semble s'arrêter pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, il apprend qu'il se nomme Jimmy Pedro Stern, un grec-juif de Salonique vivant à Paris sous un nom d'emprunt, Pedro McEvoy, et travaillant pour la légation de la République dominicaine. Ce Pedro McEvoy était entouré d'amis, Denise Coudreuse un mannequin français qui partage sa vie, Freddie Howard de Luz un Anglais de l'île Maurice, Gay Orlow une danseuse américaine d'origine russe, André Wildmer un ancien jockey anglais, qui tous ensemble décidèrent en 1940 de se rendre à Megève afin de fuir un Paris devenu de plus en plus oppressant sous l'Occupation allemande. Poursuivant ses péripéties à la recherche de ses anciens amis, Il ne reste plus à Guy-Pedro Stern qu'une dernière piste pour renouer les fils de son passé : une adresse qu'il aurait occupée à Rome, dans les années 1930, au 2, rue des Boutiques obscures (Via delle Botteghe Oscure).

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JULY / AUGUST / SEPTEMBRE

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"Le destin passe et repasse à travers nous, comme l'aiguille du cordonnier à travers le cuir qu'il façonne." Pour Tanios, enfant des montagnes libanaises, le destin se marque d'abord dans le mystère qui entoure sa naissance : fils de la trop belle Lamia, des murmures courent le pays sur l'identité de son vrai père. Le destin passera de nouveau, dans ces années 1830 où l'Empire ottoman, l'Egypte, l'Angleterre se disputent ce pays promis aux déchirements, le jour où l'assassinat d'un chef religieux contraindra Tanios à l'exil... Mêlant l'histoire et la légende, la sagesse et la folie des hommes, le romancier de Léon l'Africain et du Premier Siècle après Béatrice nous entraîne dans un prodigieux voyage romanesque qui lui a valu le prix Goncourt 1993. Un merveilleux conteur. Terre bénie de Dieu, mais hostile aux hommes de bonne volonté, le Liban de Tanios est un mélange d'eau de fleurs d'oranger et d'odeur de poudre. En lisant Le Rocher de Tanios, un Orient se rapproche.

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SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER

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2020

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