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Monday, 17 October 2011

Georges Brassens remembered

October 29 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Georges Brassens.

Georges Brassens (from Wikipedia)

He was, and remains, arguably one of France's most admired post World War II poets and songwriters and is described by Radio France Internationale (RFI) as, "One of the most important figures in French musical history."

Brassens' lyricism isn't easy to translate - successfully.

It has been done, but there's a wordplay, rhythm and rhyme that renders the task difficult.

But he's unquestionably well worth a listen to (in the original) for the sheer nuance of language and his obvious mastery of French.

Plus understanding Brassens and his place within the hearts of many French might go some way to appreciating what makes this country and its people tick.

"If you [want to] love my country, you should use Brassens as a travel guide,” comic book creator and film director Joann Sfar told RFI in an interview during the exhibition "Brassens ou la liberté" at Cité de la Musique in Paris over the summer, at which he was co-curator .

"Brassens is the guy that can have you love that country despite what that country is."

For anyone interested in discovering why he's considered by many French to be such an icon, there's a Festival Georges Bressans taking place in Charente November 10-13.

And on October 19, France 2 will be broadcasting the made-for-television film "La Mauvaise réputation" on Bressans' early years.

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