News & Events
Thu Jan 9 5:30pm
Posted on November 07, 2013
Come and see our new home and register for winter classes! Join us for a celebration of our new space -- and while you're at it, register for winter classes at AFL and enjoy a wine and cheese reception.
Thursday, January 9th
1313 Lyndon Lane, Suite 111
Posted on October 31, 2013
Donate to Annual Appeal. Help Support AFL in Achieving Our Mission.
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Un grand merci to all those who have donated!
Posted on October 10, 2013
Join us for Book Club this fall! Meetings to be held November 24th & December 8th.
Leaders: Danielle Biton & Charles Pooser
Book: Barbe Bleue by Amélie Nothomb (not the Perrault fairy tale), published in 2012.
Meetings: 2 meetings on November 24 and December 8
November 24th meeting will be at AFL, 1313 Lyndon Lane, Suite 111 from 2-4pm.
December 8th meeting is TBA.
Order your book now!
We’ve included a book review from the Web below. Nothomb is one of France’s most popular contemporary writers. The book is short, but with plenty of food for thought. As with other Nothomb works, this one is well dosed with black humor as well.
Barbe bleue by Amélie Nothomb
Paris. Albin Michel. 2012. ISBN 9782226242969
Feminist revisionist mythmaking has often seized on the legend of Bluebeard, supposedly inspired by the fifteenth-century Breton serial killer Gilles de Rais. In the realm of Anglo-Saxon literature, one thinks of memorable reworkings of the genre by Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. Recent examples in France include Anne Terral’s elegantly Kafkaesque take on Perrault’s fairytale in Curiosité (2009). Amélie Nothomb’s version is also a fine and dazzlingly exciting contribution to the legend.
This short and fast-paced novel casts the protagonists in a contemporary Parisian setting. Saturnine, the heroine, takes the RER local train to get to Bluebeard’s mansion, where a suspiciously cheap rental awaits her. Nothomb is adept at splicing the real world with the fairytale so that the reader has no difficulty suspending disbelief.
Don Elemirio Nibal y Milcar, the lavishly named Bluebeard figure, is a Spanish nobleman who lives at the heart of Paris. Unlike the traveling businessman in Perrault’s original folktale, Don Elemirio never leaves his abode: it is so vast that it feels empty even when he’s at home.
During her first encounter with him, Saturnine watches the noble Spaniard delicately pile eggs into a pyramid shape before treating her to an omelet whose perfection is “intimidating.” Don Elemirio turns out to be perfectly obnoxious in almost every possible way, and yet his otherworldly skill in cookery and dress designing, as well as his formidable generosity, wealth, and intelligence, finally begin to work their magic on the very wary, tough-minded heroine.
Don Elemirio makes no bones about having killed his former wives, arguing that love requires trust. Deeply religious, he compares his wife-trap to the tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. His forbidden room is an unlocked photographer’s darkroom with a special mechanism that is triggered upon entry.
As always, Nothomb’s learning is ostentatious yet winsome and edifying at the same time; her dialogue is quaintly old-fashioned in an irresistibly flamboyant way that suits her often monstrously aristocratic characters. While her retelling of the tale has strong feminist overtones (which, one might add, even Perrault’s tale already possessed), the heroine’s attitude to the monstrous patriarch becomes increasingly ambiguous as the novel comes to its close. As in most of Nothomb’s previous works, sympathy for and attraction to the monstrous is a powerful narrative force.
Paris Sciences et Lettres
Posted on September 26, 2013
AFL has moved to the vibrant Westport Village environs and has established a new home effective Saturday, September 28, 2013. Our new location is at 1313 Lyndon Lane, Suite 111, Louisville, KY 40222. New phone number is 502-420-0800. An Open House celebrating our new establishment will be forthcoming. Stay tuned . . .
Posted on March 08, 2012
Meeting at 7pm the fourth Tuesday of every month (except December) now at:
Ghyslain at Westport Village
1215 Herr Lane, Suite 101
Louisville, KY 40222
Grab a café and join this fun group that meets to shoot the breeze—in French! Jump in and practice your French, or just sit and listen. Great for ANY level, from beginning to advanced. See you there!