Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • grouillot

    Etymology: from groule, an apprentice who must se grouiller, rush around on errands.

    Mais enfin je ne suis pas tout à fait le grouillot de service.
      --Anne Baldassari, fired as director of the Picasso Museum, on reports that she might be asked to supervise the hanging of the paintings for the (very eventual) reopening of the Museum.

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Fascinating article!

Wow, thank you so much for that, I really enjoyed it! :)

Prezado Editor

Lendo seu comentário a respeito de Henri Charrière, quero respeitosamente informá-lo que já foi comprovado que Henri Charrière foi o maior farsante da literatura mundial.
Foram 15 anos investigando esse caso!

Foram realizadas quatro pericias a mais recente a dos Peritos Federais Brasileiros considerados os melhores de todo o planeta! Verdades que eles fizeram questão de divulgar em seu site, com este titulo: - PERITO DA POLICIA FEDERAL ENCONTRA EM RORAIMA O VERDADEIRO PAPILLON



Platão Arantes
Jornalista registro profissional 1.093 FENAJ
0xx (95) 81129898

My inexpert translation of the previous comment:

Dear Editor,

Reading your commentary with respect to Henri Charrière, I would like respectfully to inform you that it has already been proven that Henri Charrière was the greatest joker in world literature. I have been investigating this case for 15 years!

There have been four experts, the most recent being the Peritos Federais Brasileiros, considered the best on the whole planet! Truths that they insist on divulging on their site: Experts of the Federal Police coming across Roraima, or, the real Papillon:

El Dorado: The big lie of Henri Charrière

Blog Papillon

Platão Arantes
Registered professional journalist 1.093 FENAJ
0xx (95) 81129898

Excellent book but I did think he portrayed himself as a bit of a superhero. Now I know why - pure fantasy !!!!

in my opinion it doesn't matter if the book is pure fantasy or fiction, what matters is the effect it has on you. Papillon is an inspirational book which encourages hope and will, whatever the circumstances. Who cares if the stories are actually a collection of experiences of many people. Most of us will never experience anything of that calibre anyway. A second-hand account is more realistic than a fantasy, at least someone lived through it to tell the tale.

Irrespective of Henri Charrier's (Papillon)possible fantasy, the fact of the matter is, he indeed, alongside other prisoners of the penal colony suffered inhuman treatment at the hand's of a brutal regime; he was confined to solitary and he did many prisoners did not survive? Henri Charrier was without question a very, very tough human being, who deserves credit alone for his survival of a barbaric and despicable French legal system.


Papillon was without question a very durable person who had special vitalities that deserved him the recognition of a survivor.

QUOTE: 'Papillon is an inspirational book which encourages hope and will, whatever the circumstances'


Acompanhem os fascinantes debates sobre as teorias do livro de Platão no blog da deputada Surita, confiram : ( This post is a link to interesting discussions in a blog of a Brazilian deputy, where it was proven that the journalist Platão Arantes was totally wrong trying to discredit Charrière )

Aslında iki kitabı da okuyanlar kitaplar arasında bazı noktalarda uyuşmazlıklar olduğunu fark edecektirler. Mesela "Kelebek" kitabının sonlarında artık intikamından tamamen vazgeçtiğinden bahsederken "Banko" kitabının henüz başında sanki hiç böyle bir şey olmamış gibi anlatıyor. Ayrıca ilk kitapta çok önemli ve yer kaplayan bölümlerden olan kızılderililerle yaşadığı dönemden ikinci kitapta hiç bahsedilmiyor.Halbuki Kızılderili eşine tekrar döneceğine dair söz vermişti ve bunun için uğraşmadı bile. Tabii ki insan anlatılanların doğru olduğuna inanmak istiyor. I have written this paragraph in turkish. my english is enough to read this news but isn't enough to write my comments :)

I used Google Translate to understand a bit of what you wrote! It gave me this (I changed the phrasing to make it more English but it doesn't completely translate it correctly):

"In fact, some of the points in dispute between the two books will be realized by those who read the books. For example, in "Papillon" vengeance is now completely surrendered at the end of the book; talking about the "Reception" at the beginning of the book, it says no such thing has happened. Also very important, in the first book in the sections covering the period of his second book there is no mention of the Indians. However, the Indians promised his wife would return to [him?] again and [he?] even did not bother to do this. Of course people want to believe that the accounts are true."

Let me know if this is what you mean?

Thanks for writing in!

I am from India ( in Asia, not from the Indian guajira tribes Papi came across in the book). I recently read the book, and am quite enthralled by it. So much that, i started finding more information on Papillon, which is how i stumbled across this website. Whether Henri is not the real Papillon does not matter, what matters is the way the book has been written and the effect it has on you. Hats off to Papi!!

this book inspired me to become, as the author puts it:"a man equal to himself.(myself)." regardless of who did the actual deeds, i am impressed with the book, the man, the historical context, and most of all what i have gained from it.

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Today's quotation

  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

      --Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • The cheminots or employees of the SNCF (French national trains, toujours eux) go on strike so often that there is now a card game called the "Cheminot Simulator," in which the goal is to cause as much grief to passengers as possible.

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