Sophie Dervaux

14 juin 2019
Découvrez la biographie de l’exceptionnelle bassoniste Sophie Dervaux :

Catherine Morland: A Failed Gothic Novel Heroine?

12 juin 2019
Catherine Morland: A Failed Gothic Novel Heroine? Posted in Jane Austen News, Jane Austen’s Books and Characters, Jane Austen’s Work, Z-Application Tagged Catherine Morland, Gothic horror, gothic novel, Northanger Abbey Catherine Morland: A Failed Gothic Novel Heroine? – A guest essay by Lucie Rivet Jane Austen is famed for creating literary characters who feel real to the reader. Perhaps for this reason, even two hundred years after her death, film adaptations, sequels and fan fictions are still being created based upon her work, and Jane Austen has never before been read by so many people in so many countries around the world. Austen was from a family of opinionated readers, and had very little patience with some literary trends that she found ridiculous, and with readers who couldn’t tell reality from fiction. One of her most interesting literary characters is Catherine Morland, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, which was the first novel that Jane Austen completed, even though it was only published after her death. Catherine Morland’s story is inspired by these strong beliefs concerning novels, readers, and literature. At the beginning of the book, Catherine Morland is introduced as an anti-heroine, being really quite plain, and having nothing interesting in her family history, nor in her character. Hence, the famous first sentences of the novel: “No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.” As a teenager, Catherine becomes a little bit more “accomplished – but she mainly spends her time reading gothic novels, that were fashionable among young girls of the Gentry, Aristocracy and rising Bourgeoisie at the time. Catherine is then invited in Bath, where she meets the Tilney family. During a walk, Catherine and her new friends talk about novels. Henry Tilney shows he can enjoy a good gothic novel, or any novel, without ever mistaking it for reality, whereas Catherine shows that she is somewhat confused with this distinction. Jane Austen will amplify this aspect of Catherine when she is invited to stay at Northanger Abbey, the Tilney family’s home. Her imagination is unleashed, in a place that looks so much like the castles of her gothic novels. She thinks she is going to find suspicious parchments in the chest of her room. She interprets what people tell her as if they were characters of a gothic novels. She even goes as far as sneaking into Henry’s late mother’s room in the hope of finding something that could confirm that she was killed by Henry’s father. Catherine has indeed grown convinced that Henry’s father is in fact as terrible as the villains of her gothic novels. Henry surprises her in his mother’s room, and is shocked and disappointed that she has thought his father capable of murder. His shock helps Catherine to understand the difference between novels and reality, as Henry is both quite harsh and also understanding. From this moment, Catherine

French for beginners

29 janvier 2019
For dynamic and successful learning! The brainchild of passionate and experienced authors, Entre Nous is a modern and realistic teaching method, the result of the hard work, experience, and dedication of numerous FLE teachers worldwide. * The accompanying handbook for English-speaking students * All of the grammatical explanations, strategies, and cultural notes in English * Specialized activities that address the difficulties of learning French found by English speakers * Comparative notes and tips * Intercultural point of view: Draws parallels between English and francophone cultures and takes a closer look at the English speaking presence in France Order it here

Écrire la danse

4 décembre 2017
La directrice de l’Académie de danse de Rambouillet m’a commandé l’idée originale et la scénarisation du ballet de juin 2018. Impossible d’en dévoiler plus pour l’instant, mais je partage avec vous cette image que j’ai créée en y songeant, pendant un atelier d’art où j’ai été invitée, au CPP. J’ai été très honorée que les danseurs du ballet du Capitole de Toulouse l’aient publiée sur leur compte Instagram … j’y vois un heureux présage pour l’écriture du ballet … J’aime énormément l’écriture de la danse, même quand c’est simplement pour créer de petits textes promotionnels, comme celui-ci : Gala d’étoiles au Palais des rois de Majorque

Infinitude of the private man

20 mai 2017
Beauty in the ordinary by Lucie Rivet, philosopher published on the website : the Art of Maud When I first saw Maud’s drawings, I was inspired to revisit the work of the 19th century American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson believed that humankind had the ability to realise almost anything. He saw the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world as the most valuable thing in life. Emerson described the central doctrine of his work to be ‘the infinitude of the private man’ and it was these words that immediately came to me on seeing Maud’s work. Maud explores the infinitude of everyday life, and we can find a narrative throughout her work. Her stories are revealed to us as she captures a moment in time, such as the shadows of glasses in a bar or cats playing on a rooftop. She considers and sees the beauty of her surroundings and is moved by the smallest of details, like a loved one’s ankles crossed under the table at breakfast. In Road going up to Streatham we see two Vespas parked side by side, and can imagine them in conversation like two Italian friends. Maud’s drawings show us the wholesomeness of a moment and share the richness of life we so often miss. She focuses our attention on the present and encourages us to appreciate life, to see and enjoy our immediate environment and find the wonder in the tiniest of details. The drawings connect us to our daily life. Maud’s fine pen marks re-create on paper her observations, as if she sees every particle in her universe whilst simultaneously she invites us to see the beauty in the ordinary and mundane. Cafe Laville, 2015, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm Glass and Joinery, 2015, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm Monday morning routine, 2017, ink on paper, 65 × 50 cm « When I signed up on social media, I was immediately intrigued and fascinated by these women who spend a substantial amount of their time working out, sculpting their bodies, in the aim which seems to be their own satisfaction. I was struck by the way they contort their bodies to get the perfect selfie while looking at themselves taking it. I then worked on a drawing that would illustrate my view: a woman with a satisfied and serene look, in her bedroom, her face hit by a soft light, the whole atmosphere in the fashion of the fifteenth century Italian paintings, specifically the ones of Botticelli. » Escape, 2016, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm Home, 2016, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm Akerman Road, 2016, ink on paper, 65 × 50 cm Saint Maclou’s church, 2016, ink on paper, 65 × 50 cm Road going up to Streatham, 2015, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm In the meantime, 2017, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm Rue du Général Leclerc, 2017, ink on paper, 50 × 65 cm

Flow : abstract of my master thesis

17 octobre 2016
Depressive states are not simply or even mainly sadness. They are more centrally a deep form of psychic withdrawal or disengagement from your life. Thus the importance of engagement comes to the fore in the treatment of depressive states. An American psychologist who is one of the founding father of positive psychology therefore got the idea to explore the phenomena of profound engagement into an activity, that he named : « flow » as so many of the people that he interviewed described this feeling of fluidity and continuity in concentration and action as a spontaneous flow. And it happens in different fields. Csikszentmihalyi first studied these states among jazz musicians. He found it amazing that these artists could spend hours and hours completely absorbed into their activity, forgetting everything else.   He spent years to study this phenomena, among other people too, such as chess players, surgeons, rock climbers … and established that there were nine characteristics of this altered state of consciousness, that he calls flow, or, due to its pervasive positivity : optimal experience.     So, these nine factors are : clear goals; immediate feedback; high challenges matched with adequate personal skills; merging of action and awareness; concentration on the task at hand; perceived control of the situation; loss of self-consciousness; altered sense of time; intrinsic motivation. When you are really completely engaged into something, you don’t have enough attention left over to think of your problems at home, nor wonder how your body feels. You sometimes can’t even feel that you are thirsty or sore. Both your identity and your body disappear from your consciousness. So, flow is really a kind of « ecstasy », originally meaning in Greek : standing to the side of something. Ecstasy became a word for a mental state where you are out of your mundane existence, of your everyday routine : it is like a stepping into another reality. And this is mainly due to a sense of dissatisfaction towards their daily lives, and depressive states that people turn towards ways to experience some kinds of ecstatic or blissful feelings. Unfortunately, without any education about how to turn these attempts into positive experiences, they often turns into disruptive ones : taking drugs, having extra wild unsafe sex, binge-drinking or even scarification … Those experiences are damaging for your health and potentially to others’ and may very quickly turn into addictive behaviors that may even threaten the integrity of your very life, or again, of others’. This is one of the strong assessments of positive psychology that happiness can is a learnable skill, or, as Csikszentmihalyi puts is : “What I “discovered” was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person.


16 septembre 2016
Vous pouvez lire mon interview en page 7 du magazine Zélie en cliquant ici ou ci-contre.   J’y présente une très belle structure avec laquelle je collabore étroitement pour faciliter le raccrochage scolaire  de jeunes de 10 à 20 ans.

Dressette : the story behind the dress

16 septembre 2016
When I was teaching fashion at the Institut catholique de Paris, I met many talented and inspiring people. Among them : Henriette Bonde, who created a webzine about fashion. She asked me to write about my dresses, and more precisely the story behind the dress. Here is my first story It is called : Love Letter from Paris. I found the dress in Saint-Germain-des-Près – near my neighborhood in the heart of Paris. I found it in a beautiful shop called Axara which I particularly love, because most of the dresses look like they are from the French fairytale Peau d’Ane. A fairytale brought to life by the French movie maker Jacques Demy, who has worked a lot with the French composer Michel Legrand. I fell in love with the dress immediately! And I decided that, this is the dress I will wear for the wedding I was going to. Love, and a broken heart My late Aunts beloved partner, thus my former Uncle, was getting married again, and I was so happy for him. The love in the wedding reminded me of my dear Aunt. She passed away after a painful and difficult disease, and she was the person I knew who loved Jacques Demy’s movies and Michel Legrand’s music the most. At her funeral we even sang one of his songs. I loved her so much… I think Michel Legrand and his muses heard us, because, when I flew to the other end of the world short after my Aunt left this world (I went to the continent she had grew up in: Oceania) and there I fell in love with… the grandson of Stan Kenton (a jazz musician who inspired the previously mentioned Michel Legrand). I think maybe the God of artists and musicians heard my broken heart and soothed it with this fortunate rendez vous, that healed me from my dreadful loss. Personal touch  So, when my Uncle got married again, I thought I had to come to the wedding and wear a Peau d’Ane kind of dress. Plus, my Uncle hosted the wedding at le musée de la chasse et de la nature, so I thought it would make good sense to wear a green dress. The bracelet comes from New Caledonia (France’s largest overseas territory near New Zealand), where my Aunt grew up. The earrings are made of pearls from the sea. My dear Aunt gave them to me for my birthday. And my ring was given to me by my grandmother. The hat was made by a friend of mine, from an old hat she found on an antique market. She added the feather. The Chanel pochette is my Mum’s. The shoes were bought on one of my trips to New Zealand. I can actually walk and dance in them and never be in pain. Kiwis’ pragmatism: creating shoes you can actually walk in! I love them. A Kiwi friend of mine, Charlie Ryder, once told me:   Never let anyone stop you from wearing high heels – even on the beach!   So I didn’t. Even so, at this wedding

Souvenirs de Vienne

22 mai 2016
  « La « crème de la crème » … mais à base de … fleurs, et … d’escrime … »   La scène se déroule dans un appartement viennois.   Isabel Kranz est l’auteur de Spechende Blumen, un superbe abécédaire illustré de planches colorées.   Oui les fleurs parlent. Au moins dans la musique, la littérature, le cinéma … Nous discutons l’adaptation française …     Recherche d’inspiration au château de Schonbrunn. Dégustations d’agrumes insolites, promenade dans les jardins et jeux dans les guérites. Les calèches … Jamais je n’ai vu chevaux attelés si élégants. L’opéra : Mayerling.   Promenade au clair de lune, à l’intérieur de l’anneau, avec ma cousine Sophie (photo de Benedikt Dinkhauser) Endormissement dans la chambre de l’appartement de la vieille ville. Mon reflet dans le piano, et toujours cette question : une métaphore fleurie pour évoquer un joyau … Vitales frühstück au café central. Ouverture à 10.00. Les sabots des lippizzans qui claquent sur le bitume. Serveurs adorables. Conversation vibrante et revigorante avec ma chère cousine, que je dois heureusement revoir, et entendre, quelques jours plus tard à l’occasion de son passage à la maison de la radio, à Paris. Journée d’adaptation, passée entre fleurs et mots.   Le soir, cocktail avec compositeur et musiciens. Sophie revient d’un concert inspiré par une Aphrodite de Boticelli. L’Institut français de Vienne, un des plus beaux palais de la France à l’étranger, fleuron de la diplomatie. Fleuron … Merci! Comment? Vendu au Qatar? Mais non? Mais pourquoi? Son patrimoine, n’est-ce pas justement ce qui fait tout le charme du vieux continent aux yeux des autres? Ah oui, les avions, ah oui, les armes, ah oui, les industries agroalimentaire et automobile … Oui c’est vrai … Dans l’appartement viennois, qui fut jadis occupé par un diplomate, puis un docteur de philosophie et aujourd’hui par une grande musicienne, presque tout le monde parle français autour de la table … Pourquoi ont-ils appris cette langue? Par amour j’imagine … Par amour des palais, de la musique, de la littérature … Comme on apprend l’anglais de Jane Austen, l’allemand d’Hölderlin et des frères Grimm, ou celui de Schnitzler, l’espagnol de Pedro Almodovar et de Cervantes, ou celui de Luis Sepùlveda…. Peut-être les Qataris prendront-ils grand soin de ce palais et lui permettront-ils de perdurer … Peut-être pourra-t-on toujours en admirer la façade, peut-être les jardins … Peut-être lui rendront-ils sa splendeur passée?   (Audrey est habillée par Givenchy)  

Misa Tango

2 avril 2016
When I moved back to Paris, almost three months ago, the lovely woman who accepted to rent me her flat asked me what I was doing to earn a living. It is always complicated for me to answer this question as I am more often than not doing several things at the same time, that nourish each other. Mornings, I help children with special needs who try and learn in a really special place one street from the apartment. At the moment, I am mainly creating written media for them. It is a few steps from the Esplanade des Invalides, and I can see the Eiffel Tower from my street (and from the upper floor) Afternoons and week-ends, I do more cultural activities : I am  collaborating with a European Spain-based publishing company to create a handbook for English-speaking persons with a desire to learn French, leading writing workshops, trying to finish a book on writing that I started years ago … So, I answered : « I am a writer.  »  In all the things I have been doing professionally these last years, words, book and languages were involved, more than anything else. She seemed a bit scared and asked me whether « I was suffering » In France, we have this tradition of « poètes maudits » : romantic poets who are doomed : they suffer a lot, are always close from madness, drink, smoke and do not live long. To me, writing can be a healthy and vivifying activity : a way to share things you are grateful about, for instance. This is what Brenda Ueland explains in her amazingly inspiring book : If you want to write, that I have finished to adapt and that I am currently arranging. Writing, for her, is a generous act : you have felt something beautiful, then you want to communicate it to others. There are many ways to do so : painting, acting, dancing, playing music, just telling people the beauty of what you’ve experienced … The reason why I woke up today with a need to write is because yesterday night, I have experienced a peak of ecstasy like I had not felt in a very long time. For months, I had been doing way too many things for others : worked too much, did too many activities that I did not enjoy just to please others, had food and drinks that did not support me, just to « be nice », accepted invitations that I did not really feel like accepting, did not respect my biological needs … and well … same things as usual happened : I grew exhausted, depleted, frustrated, sad ; I put on weight … And I ended up hating everybody (myself first). That’s always the way it works. So, for a few weeks, I had tried to support my body better : I did infra-red sauna once a week, fed on a vegetable and fruit fast, went back to exercising and walking outside once a day … and all of these