French writers insulted by ‘growing attack’ on French language

By February 6, 2019 Language, News

French writers have expressed their distaste at the increasing prevalence of English words unnecessarily invading the French language.

A French book fair ‘Scène Young Adult’ at the Salon du Livre in Paris has drawn the ire of French authors, who say that replacing French words with English is “unbearable act of cultural delinquency”. Scene YA signs and displays read “Le Live”, “Bookroom”, “photobooth” and “bookquizz”, described as “sub-English knowns as globish”.

Well known writers such as Leïla Slimani, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Muriel Barbery and Catherine Millet all took great offence at English infiltrating their literary space and wrote an open letter published in Le Monde expressing their disappointment.

“In the streets, on the web … everywhere, in fact, English tends to replace French, little by little, at the speed of a word a day … But even at a book fair in France? In Paris, in a space dedicated to the book and to literature, is it not possible to speak French? For us, intellectuals, writers, teachers, journalists and lovers of this language from all walks of life, ‘young adult’ represents the straw that broke the camel’s back … This use of ‘young adult’, because it is referring to French literature, because it is deliberately addressing young French people looking for readings, is too much. It has become an aggression, an insult, an unbearable act of cultural delinquency.”

The writers appeal to the organisers of the book fair to exclude the English language when it is not strictly needed and appealed to the Minister of Culture to support their wishes, along with the Minister of Education. The ministers were urged to not allow a “single unnecessary English word” appear in schools. “French lessons must include the rediscovery and the reinvention of our language by students, who are today victims of a stupifying globish,” the letter says.

The authors and writers plead that the attack on the French language is “all the more pernicious because it is happening slowly”.

“We say to those who knowingly collaborate in this replacement that they are committing, either unknowingly or deliberately, a serious attack on a culture and a thought which spans millennia, and which is shared by nearly 300 million French speakers.”

Thanks to the writers passionate letter, the Salon du Livre website has been updated and there are no longer any references to a photobooth, a bookquizz or a bookroom.

A 100-year-old tree stump has been transformed into a free library!

By | Libraries, News | No Comments
The Little Free Library is a non-profit organisation found in over 88 countries who have provided more than 75,000 free libraries- a little place to borrow or drop off a book. One of the latest little free libraries to join this project can be found in Coeur d ‘Alene, Idaho, USA.

Sharalee Armitage Howard, a local artist and librarian, created the most recent Little Free Library after a 110 year old cottonwood tree outside her home was destined for felling. Sharalee decided the hollowed-out trunk would make for a beautiful project.

As well as the books the community can borrow, the little library also has a roof along with indoor and outdoor lighting- almost all the comforts of a regular library. It opened its tiny doors to the public and is now very successful in the neighbourhood, thanks in part to attention gained on social media.

Read More

Armed man disrupts story time at public library

By | Libraries, News | No Comments
A man armed with a gun turned up to a story session at a public library in Houston, Texas despite already being banned for questionable behaviour.

James ‘Doc’ Greene Sr. had previously been banned from the library for taking pictures of children and causing disturbances, so thankfully staff recognised him before he could disturb the children’s stories.

After being arrested the conservative radio show host for Raging Elephants Radio attempted to blame his arrest on ‘being Christian’, and that the librarian was a ‘satanist’. He also accused the police of supporting child sexual assault by allowing the story time to continue.

Read More

Explore the Oldest Jewish Library in the World

By | Libraries | 2 Comments
When you think of Amsterdam, images of canals, cycling, and the Anne Frank House probably come to mind, but did you know that the Dutch city is also home to the oldest, continuously running, Jewish library in the world? In the late 1500’s, many Sephardic Jews left their home countries of Spain and Portugal, where they were required to live as Christians, and came to Amsterdam where they could enjoy religious freedom. There they founded a library/school which still runs to this day. Read More

Kansas Library Receives Request from Parent to Move Transgender Children’s Books

By | Children's Literature, Libraries, News | No Comments
The board of a Kansas public library is being forced to consider a request that books featuring transgender characters be moved out of the children’s section of the library.

Local resident Marci Laffen made the written request to the library asking that the books George, Lily and Dunkin and I am Jazz be moved to either the adult of young adult section of the library citing “sexual content” in her request. In addition, Laffen suggested books with themes of bullying, rebelling against police and refusing to take medications are the reasons the books do not have a place in the child’s section of the Andover Public Library in Kansas.

Read More

The Feminist Library to Open in Peckham After Crowdfunding Success

By | Libraries | No Comments
The Feminist Library will celebrate its 44th birthday in March, and now that date will be the start of an exciting time for the library as the date also signifies the day that the library will move to Peckham after Crowdfunding success.

The library staff have spoken of their relief at raising £35,000 for its move to Peckham and the provisional opening date for the new library is 14th March. It was October when the Feminist Library launched a crowdfunding campaign for its relocation to a community centre in Peckham after being based in Westminster for the last thirty years.

Read More

Finding Love in Literature in NYC

By | Discussion and Recommendations, Libraries | No Comments
The New York Public Library are one of the best literary resources around, even if you’re nowhere near NYC. The library’s online presence is huge, and magical and we’re always drawn to their book lists, recommendations and more!

The library has put together a collection of romantic scenes from literature that took place in New York City and they’ve created an interactive map so you can read your way around the city. It’s invaluable for those who want to indulge in a little literary tourism or those who just want to travel between the pages of a book, take a look below at all the books featured in the map and a link to the map itself!  Read More

Leave a Reply