As you know from last week’s post, for the next week or 2, there will be no videos.

Until my face is fixed!.. ok now I know you are wondering if my face looks like a pear… well, let’s just say that if you keep reading you’ll understand!

Before we start on our sequel post of l’humour français, I have to ask, will you join our next French Truly Salon event on Aug 10th at SIFF? I hope so because this is what it will look like:

siff-ft-la-chevre

1- The Origin & History of French Humor, visual presentation by me.

2- French hors d’oeuvre: wine from J Wines & food from La Parisienne.

3- French Movie La Chèvre, a hilarious comedy in French with English subtitles.

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And now, back to our French pear. For this, we need to go all the way back to 19th century France…

If you have read last week’s post, which focused on the birth of the very word “humor” in 18th century France, you know that humor is a very new and exciting concept in the 19th, not that long ago at all!

By the end of la révolution française (1789 – 1799) humor has spread very fast and has become incredibly popular.The French model their neighbors the English and the Germans and fall in love with satirical newspapers. Hundreds are created! “La Caricature” in 1830,”Le Charivari” in 1832, etc.

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Among this journalistic flood, Honoré Daumier’s caricatures really stand out as they not only amuse but also attack the social and political spheres. Here is one of his most famous caricature called “Les Poires”, the pears. Ah now the title is starting to make sense!

Little context for you here, the man / pear below is Louis-Philippe, King of France from 1830 to 1848 and Daumier really wanted to find a way to ridicule him and represent his quickly growing lack of popularity.

Caricature_Charles_Philipon_pear

But why a pear? Explanation of the author:

“Ce que j’avais prévu arriva. Le peuple saisi par une image moqueuse, une image simple de conception et très simple de forme, se mit à imiter cette image partout où il trouva le moyen de charbonner, barbouiller, de gratter une poire. Les poires couvrirent bientôt toutes les murailles de Paris et se répandirent sur tous les pans de murs de France.”

In English:

What I had foreseen happened. People seized by a mocking image, an image with a simple design and a very simple shape, started to reproduce this image everywhere they found a way to draw with coal, to sketch, to scratch a pear. Pears soon covered and spread across all the walls of Paris and of France.

Clever man this Honoré Daumier!

But the beautiful days of la caricature will not last. The Empire of Napoléon III decides enough is enough and simply puts an end to it. Removed from the newspapers by the censure imposed to political satire in 1835, la caricature will continue to spread as pamphlets hidden under coats! On n’arrête pas la liberté!

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And let’s end with a funny fact: The Académie Française accepted the word “humoristique” in the French dictionary in 1878. And we’ll have to wait until 1932 for the Académie to welcome the word “humor”!

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So what do you think?

Fascinant, n’est-ce pas?

Come and discover all about “l’humour français” on my next French Truly Salon on Aug 10th at SIFF.

siff-ft-la-chevre

The event will take place at the SIFF Film Center & consist of 3 steps:

1- The Origin & History of French Humor, visual presentation by me.

2- French hors d’oeuvre: wine from J Wines & food from La Parisienne.

3- French Movie La Chèvre, a hilarious comedy in French with English subtitles.

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Sign up quick, our last event was sold out! It was such a fun evening! Here are a few pics for our Bastille French Truly Salon at SIFF Film Center:

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That’s me with Clinton, our SIFF Superman!

See all this fun you’ll be having with us!

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