Alatorre textes prévus en cours
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Alatorre textes prévus en cours

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VERSION CAPES EXTERNE D’ANGLAIS SESSION 2008 Enseignante : Sophie Alatorre 1 CAPES EXTERNE 2007-2008 VERSION 1 After this party, Olivia felt better about being alone in the house all day. She knew the Nawab would come and call on her, and every day she dressed herself in one of her cool, pastel muslins and waited. Douglas always got up at crack of dawn – very quickly, for fear of waking her – to ride out on inspection before the sun got too hot. After that he went to the court-house and to his office and was usually too rushed to come home again till late in the evening and then always with files (how hard they worked their district officers!). By the time Olivia woke up, the servants had cleaned the house and let down all the blinds and shutters. The entire day was her own. In London she had loved having hours and hours to herself – she had always thought of herself as a very introspective person. But here she was beginning to dread these lonely days locked up with the servants who padded around on naked feet and respectfully waited for her to want something. The Nawab came four days after the party. She was playing Chopin and when she heard his car she went on playing with redoubled dash. The servants announced him and when he entered she turned on her piano stool and opened her wide eyes wider: “Why Nawab Sahib, what a lovely surprise.” She got up to greet him, holding out both hands to him ...

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Language English

VERSION CAPES EXTERNE
D’ANGLAIS












SESSION 2008












Enseignante : Sophie Alatorre

1 CAPES EXTERNE 2007-2008


VERSION 1

After this party, Olivia felt better about being alone in the house all day. She knew the
Nawab would come and call on her, and every day she dressed herself in one of her cool,
pastel muslins and waited. Douglas always got up at crack of dawn – very quickly, for fear of
waking her – to ride out on inspection before the sun got too hot. After that he went to the
court-house and to his office and was usually too rushed to come home again till late in the
evening and then always with files (how hard they worked their district officers!). By the time
Olivia woke up, the servants had cleaned the house and let down all the blinds and shutters.
The entire day was her own. In London she had loved having hours and hours to herself – she
had always thought of herself as a very introspective person. But here she was beginning to
dread these lonely days locked up with the servants who padded around on naked feet and
respectfully waited for her to want something.
The Nawab came four days after the party. She was playing Chopin and when she
heard his car she went on playing with redoubled dash. The servants announced him and
when he entered she turned on her piano stool and opened her wide eyes wider: “Why Nawab
Sahib, what a lovely surprise.” She got up to greet him, holding out both hands to him in
welcome.
He had come with a whole party (she was to learn later that he was usually attended).
It included the Englishman, Harry, and then there were various young men from the Palace.
They all made themselves at home in Olivia’s drawing-room, draping themselves in graceful
attitudes over her sofas and rugs. Harry declared himself charmed with her room – he loved
her black and white prints, her Japanese screen, her yellow chairs and lampshades. He flopped
into an armchair and, panting like a man in exhaustion, pretended he had crossed a desert and
had at last reached an oasis. The Nawab also seemed to enjoy being there. They stayed all
day.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust, 1975.

VERSION 2

Yes, and it wasn’t only because I was a writer and needed new experiences that I
wanted to know Dean more, and because my life hanging around the campus had reached the
completion of its cycle and was stultified, but because, somehow, in spite of our difference in
character, he reminded me of some long-lost brother; the sight of his suffering bony face with
the long side-burns and his training muscular sweating neck made me remember my boyhood
in those dye-dumps and swim-holes and riversides of Paterson and the Passaic. His dirty
workclothes clung to him so gracefully, as though you couldn’t buy a better fit from a custom
tailor but only earn it from the Natural Tailor of Natural Joy, as Dean had, in his stresses. And
in his excited way of speaking I heard again the voices of old companions and brothers under
the bridge, among the motorcycles, along the wash-lined neighbourhood and drowsy
doorsteps of afternoon where boys played guitars while their older brothers worked in the
mills. All my other current friends were “intellectuals”. But Dean’s intelligence was every bit
as formal and shining and complete, without the tedious intellectualness. And his
“criminality” was not something that sulked and sneered; it was a wild yea-saying overburst
of American joy; it was Western, the west wind, and ode from the plains, something new,
2 long prophesied, long a-coming (he only stole cars for joy rides). Besides, all my New York
friends were in the negative, nightmare position of putting down society and giving their tired
bookish or political or psychoanalytical reasons, but Dean just raced in society, eager for
bread and love; he didn’t care one way or the other, “ so long’s I can get that lil ole gal”, and
“so long’s we can eat, son, y’ear me? I’m hungry, I’m starving, yet’s eat right now!”—and off
we’d rush to eat, whereof, as saith Ecclesiastes, “It is your portion under the sun”.
A western kinsman of the sun, Dean. Although my aunt warned me that he would get
me in trouble, I could hear a new call and see a new horizon, and believe it at my young age;
and a little bit of trouble or even Dean’s eventual rejection of me as a buddy, putting me
down, as he would later, on starving sidewalks and sickbeds – what did it matter? I was a
young writer and I wanted to take off.
Somewhere along the line I knew there’d be girls, visions, everything; somewhere
along the line the pearl would be handed to me.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957.

VERSION 3

If the bus stopped here, Rose thought, looking down over the side, she would get up. The bus
stopped, and she rose. It was a pity, she thought, as she stepped on to the pavement and
caught a glimpse of her own figure in a tailor’s window, not to dress better, not to look nicer.
Always reach-me-downs, coats and skirts from Whiteleys. But they saved time, and the years
after all—she was over forty—made one care very little what people thought. They used to
say, why don’t you marry? Why don’t you do this or that, interfering. But not any longer.

She paused in one of the little alcoves that were scooped out in the bridge, from habit. People
always stopped to look at the river. […] As she stood there, looking down at the water, some
buried feeling began to arrange the stream into a pattern. The pattern was painful. She
remembered how she had stood there on the night of a certain engagement, crying; her tears
had fallen, her happiness, it seemed to her, had fallen. Then she had turned—here she
turned—and had seen the churches, the masts and roofs of the city. There’s that, she had said
to herself. Indeed it was a splendid view… She looked, and then again she turned. There were
the Houses of Parliament. A queer expression, half frown, half smile, formed on her face and
she threw herself slightly backwards, as if she were leading an army.

“Damned humbugs!” she said aloud, striking her fist on the balustrade. A clerk who was
passing looked at her with surprise. She laughed. She often talked aloud. Why not? That too
was one of the consolations, like the coat and skirt, and the hat she stuck on without giving a
look in the glass. If people chose to laugh, let them. She strode one. She was lunching in
Hyams Place with her cousins. She had asked herself on the spur of the moment, meeting
Maggie in a shop. First she had heard a voice; then seen a hand. And it was odd, considering
how little she knew them—they had lived abroad—how strongly, sitting there at the counter
before Maggie saw her, simply from the sound of her voice, she had felt—she supposed it was
affection?—some feeling bred of blood in common. She had got up and said May I come and
see you? busy as she was, hating to break her day in the middle.

Virginia Woolf, The Years, 1937. SUJET CAPES EXTERNE 2000.

VERSION 4

3 Dora had been in the National Gallery a thousand times and the pictures were almost as
familiar to her as her own face. Passing between them now as through a well-loved grove, she
felt a calm descending on her. She wandered a little, watching with compassion the poor
visitors armed with guide books who were peering anxiously at the masterpieces. Dora did not
need to peer. She could look, as one can at last when one knows a great thing very well,
confronting it with a dignity which it has itself conferred. She felt that the pictures belonged
to her, and reflected ruefully that they were about the only thing that did. Vaguely, consoled
by the presence of something welcoming and responding in the place, her footsteps took her
to various shrines at which she had worshipped so often before: the great light spaces of
Italian pictures, more vast and southern than any real South, the angels of Botticelli, radiant as
birds, delighted as gods, and curling like the tendrils of a vine, the glorious carnal presence of
Susanna Fourment, the tragic presence of Margarethe Trip, the solemn world of Piero della
Francesca with its early-morning colours, the enclosed and gilded world of Crivelli. Dora
stopped at last in front of Gainsborough’s picture of his two daughters. These children step
through a wood hand in hand, their garments shimmering, their two pale heads, round full
buds, like yet unlike.

Dora was always moved by the pictures. Today she was moved, but in a new way. She
marvelled, with a kind of gratitude, that they were all still here, and her heart was filled with
love for the pictures, their authority, their marvellous generosity, their splendour. It occurred
to her that here at last was something real and something perfect. Who had said that, about
perfection and reality being in the same place?

Iris Murdoch, The Bell, 1958.

VERSION 5

At a dancing school in a remote place, Fortunata teaches her pupils to become points
of light.

They begin with her as early as six or seven and some stay for the rest of their lives.

Most, she releases like butterflies over a flowering world. Bodies that could have bent
double and grow numb she maintains as metal in a fiery furnace, tempering, stretching,
forcing sinews into impossible shapes and calling her art nature.

She believes that we are fallen creatures who once knew how to fly. She says that light
burns in our bodies and threaten to dissolve us at any moment. How else can we account for
so many of us who disappear?

It is her job to channel the light lying in the solar plexus, along the arms, along the
legs, forcing it into fingertips, and feet, forcing it out so that her dancers sweat tongues of
flame.

To her dancers she says, “Through the body, the body is conquered.”

She asks them to meditate on a five-pointed star in the belly and to watch the points
push outwards, the fifth point into the head. She spins them, impaled with light, arms
upraised, one leg at a triangle across the other thigh, one foot, on point, on a penny coin, and
spins them, until all features are blurred, until the human being most resembles a freed spirit
4 from a darkened jar. One after the other she spins them, like a juggler keeping plates on
sticks; one after the other she runs up and down the lines one slows or another threatens to fall
from dizziness. And at a single moment, when all are spinning in harmony down the long hall,
she hears music escaping from their heads and backs and livers and spleens. Each has a tone
like cut glass. The noise is deafening. And it is then that the spinning seems to stop, that the
wild gyration of the dancers passes from movement into infinity.

Who are they that shine in gold like Apostles in a church window at midday?

The polished wooden floor glows with the heat of their bodies, and one by one they
crumble over and lie exhausted on the ground.

Fortunata refreshes them and the dance begins again.

Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry, 1989.

VERSION 6

And she can love him, after her days of lurid and humiliating anticipation? She cannot, for St
Dennis is simply too old.
Not merely old but oldmannish. Peering over his spectacles like that… his lips loose and wet
and his teeth so obviously and so painfully not his own: ceramic-white, too perfect. No one
would ever make teeth like that in North America, Brigit thinks.
She had wanted to love him – to fall in love with him – but it was to be a failure. In spite of
the liquor she has had. In spite of her tractable and desperate spiritual condition. Still, his
voice is beautiful. Papery thin and delicately modulated, the voice of the BBC broadcasts and
the single recording she has heard, Albert St Dennis reading selections from Hecate and
Lovesounds. Perhaps she can half-close her eyes and lose her footing gradually and fall in
love with his voice… ? (…)
Brigit Stott is thirty-eight and Albert St Dennis is nearly seventy-one, but that should make no
difference. Other, odder matches have transpired. She has known of a few; she has heard of
many others. He is a widower, and lonely. She is a recent divorcee, and very lonely. And
there is something to be said for the eerie depthlessness of those eyes. Imagine sinking into
bed with him! Being embraced by him! His hair is thin but unruly, charmingly unruly, and
perfectly white. Absolutely white. Colourless. A look of fastidious purity bone-dry beyond
immortality. (Mortality, Brigit thinks, is the unattractive grey hairs sprouting on her own
head. Hairs that are wiry and brittle, unlike the others; unlike what she thinks of as her own
hair).
In her imagination she had already loved him with a sinking-heatedness, a swooning girlish
asininity decades outgrown, resurrected now as if to spite her better judgement. But what to
make, in the Byrnes’ handsome living room, of this skinny old English bird with the potbelly
and the trousers with their frayed cuffs and the ragged dirt-edged nails and the clumsy job he
did shaving and the querulous drone of his voice and the fact that he is evidently half deaf, or
pretending to be so… ? What to make of the wattled throat, the trembling hands, the sharp
creases in the cheeks the skull so prominently ridged above the forehead and speckled with
liver spots that show evilly through the thin white strands of hair… ? The disappointment!
The dismay! For she knows, swallowing another large mouthful of her drink, that nothing in
her life will be altered. She had hoped for another of her unholy loves – or perhaps it would
have turned out holy? – but it will not transpire. Nothing at all will happen.
Brigit Stott had been anticipating this party for weeks. You must come, you are first on our
5 list, Albert St Dennis will be delighted to meet you, Marilyn Byrne said.

J.-C. OATES, Unholy Loves, 1979.

VERSION 7

The horse whinnied in the dark, then coughed.
"It's swimming," said Hudspith.
Something splashed. Something slithered and heavily respired. A single clipped word
was spoken by a human voice.
"A horse and a rider." Hudspith spoke low. "But who would put a horse in that
infected river?"
Against darkness the fireflies flickered, tiny inconsequently-roving points of light like
a random molecular peppering revealed by some laboratory device.
They waited, straining their ears. Somewhere on the island a radio had started
disgorging the hollow and bodiless bellowings of an announcer tuned too loud-- news from
the China Sea, from Samara, from San Francisco ceaselessly circling the world, flooding it at
the flick of a switch. The faint and hollow bellowing came up to them like the sound of water
aimlessly bumping and bouncing in distant caves, but they listened only for a footfall or the
quick clop of hoofs. (....) And then they smelt horse.
The creature stood beside them: a presence, a faint whitish cloud - a warm horse-
smelling cloud. If it was saddled and bitted it had been wandering with the reins on its neck; if
it had a rider the rider was invisible, dark against the night. Appleby's eye followed the
uncertain upper outline of the cloud and rested where the background lacked its powdering of
stars. There was indeed a rider, a rider who sat immobile, gazing down on the scattering of
lights which marked the village.
"Good evening," Appleby said.
A faint jingle, as if a hand had tightened on a rein, was the only reply.


Michael Innes: The Daffodil Affair (1942)

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