trying to understand Diderot

Quelle est le livre pour ce mois? C’est le ‘Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville’ Par Diderot. Le livre est à propos un dialogue entre A et B, discutent du Voyage autour du monde du navigateur français Louis Antoine de Bougainville. En fait, le livre était inspiré par ces voyages. Je me demande combien du livre est vérité et combien est seulement des pensées philosophiques?

What is the book for this month? It is the ‘Bougainville Travel Supplement’ by Diderot. The book is about a dialogue between A and B, discussing the travel around the world of the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville. In fact, the book was inspired by his travels. I wonder how much of the book is reality and how much is only philosophical thoughts?

B propose de parcourir un prétendu Supplément qui remet en question certaines prétendues évidences énoncées par Bougainville, premier français ayant fait le tour du monde. Deux passages de ce Supplément sont enchâssés dans la discussion : Les adieux du vieillard, et le long Entretien de l’aumônier et d’Orou. (info merci à wikipedia)

B proposes to go through a so-called Supplement which calls into question certain alleged evidences set out by Bougainville, the first Frenchman to have traveled all over the world. Two passages of this Supplement are enshrined in the discussion: The old man’s farewells, and the long Chaplain’s and Orou’s talk. (info thanks to wikipedia)

Je dois mentionner que le livre était très engagée est montait beaucoup de choses de la société pendant le 18éme siècle. Ce livre a été une déception où les femmes sont considéres comme des objects pour faire des enfants et les noires comme une sous-race, mais encore c’est à cause des vuesà l’époque. Bien que les idées présentées ici soient intéressantes et j’apprécie la vue des Otaïtiens comme plus civilisés que les Européans , les vues de femmes étaient désagréable et je voudrais penser que la France a évolue depuis.

I have to mention that the book was very much engaged and showed lots of things about society during the 18th century. This book was a disappointment where women are considered objects to make children and blacks as a sub-race, but again it is due to the views of the time. Although the ideas presented here are interesting and I appreciate the view of Otaïtiens as more civilized than the Europeans, the views of women were unpleasant and I would like to think that France has evolved since. 

Dans conclusion, le livre est digne de recogniser les aspects de la société qui a besoin d’améliorer. Un critique des structures politique and social en France précédent la Revolution à la fin du 18éme siècle. Un bon livre pour ceux-qui aiment l’histoire et le français (c’est moi)!

In conclusion, the book is worthy of recognizing the aspects of society that need to improve. A critique of political and social structures in France preceding the Revolution at the end of the 18th century. A good book for those who love history and French (it’s me)!

Now to let you in on the continuation of this book club. I didn’t think it would be this hard to choose a book to read every month but it was SO much harder than I thought it would be given that I want to write about books that are engaging but also a level of French that could be understood by a lot of people. I said I’d do the book club (or maybe I didn’t say but I’m saying it now) for a year and I think with college work and revision for A Levels becoming more important next year opposed to fun French reading that is going to stay that way. It means that I’m either going to do 12 books and make it a year of French books or just 12 posts and given that I’ve already decided two last books I think it’ll be 12 posts. So… what is the penultimate book? I’ve decided on ‘La Peste’ by Albert Camus. This book is probably my favourite books ever in existence. I read it first in English and I’m currently reading it in French and I think the translation I read stays pretty true to the French original so I would highly recommend you buy either copy because what Camus says about society is just STUNNING. It’s an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France during World War Two in the form of a plague that comes to the town of Oran and gah I can’t say anymore because I urge you to read it and devour it and let me know your thoughts next month.

Have you heard of Diderot before and have you read any of his works? I’m not sure if they’re the type of book I would choose to read every day as it was definitely more politically charged that I thought given I hadn’t really seen or read any background information on the book before I’d read it. Nevertheless, it was nice to read something new from a typical fiction book.

lots of love, eleanor x

1 Comment

  1. Ella Jones 6th October 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I have never tried translating a book from another language, I’m sure if I put in lots of effort I could use my past French skills to decipher the general ideas and plotlines!


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