Les épreuves d'admissibilité du CAPES externe d'anglais se sont déroulés les 27 et 28 mars. Les sujets des écrits ont été publiés sur le site de la SAES.
Compare and contrast the following texts.
Lawrence Selden has just come across one of his acquaintances, Lily Bart, at Grand Central Station.
A rapid shower had cooled the air, and clouds still hung refreshingly over the moist street.
"How delicious! Let us walk a little," she said as they emerged from the station.
They turned into Madison Avenue and began to stroll northward. As she moved beside him, with her long light step, Selden was conscious of taking a luxurious pleasure in her nearness: in the modelling of her little ear, the crisp upward wave of her hair – was it ever so slightly brightened by art? – and the thick planting of her straight black lashes. Everything about her was at once vigorous and exquisite, at once strong and fine. He had a confused sense that she must have cost a great deal to make, that a great many dull and ugly people must, in some mysterious way, have been sacrificed to produce her. He was aware that the qualities distinguishing her from the herd of her sex were chiefly external: as though a fine glaze of beauty and fastidiousness had been applied to vulgar clay. Yet the analogy left him unsatisfied, for a coarse texture will not take a high finish; and was it not possible that the material was fine, but that circumstance had fashioned it into a futile shape?
As he reached this point in his speculations the sun came out, and her lifted parasol cut off his enjoyment. A moment or two later she paused with a sigh.
"Oh, dear, I'm so hot and thirsty – and what a hideous place New York is!" She looked despairingly up and down the dreary thoroughfare. "Other cities put on their best clothes in summer, but New York seems to sit in its shirt-sleeves." Her eyes wandered down one of the side-streets. "Someone has had the humanity to plant a few trees over there. Let us go into the shade."
"I am glad my street meets with your approval," said Selden as they turned the corner.
"Your street? Do you live here?"
She glanced with interest along the new brick and limestone house-fronts, fantastically varied in obedience to the American craving for novelty, but fresh and inviting with their awnings and flower-boxes.
"Ah, yes – to be sure: The Benedick. What a nice-looking building! I don't think I've ever seen it before." She looked across at the flat-house with its marble porch and pseudo-Georgian facade. "Which are your windows? Those with the awnings down?"
"On the top floor – yes."
"And that nice little balcony is yours? How cool it looks up there!"
He paused a moment. "Come up and see," he suggested. "I can give you a cup of tea in no time – and you won't meet any bores."
Her colour deepened – she still had the art of blushing at the right time – but she took the suggestion as lightly as it was made.
"Why not? It's too tempting – I'll take the risk," she declared.
"Oh, I'm not dangerous," he said in the same key. In truth, he had never liked her as well as at that moment. He knew she had accepted without afterthought: he could never be a factor in her calculations, and there was a surprise, refreshment almost, in the spontaneity of her consent. On the threshold he paused a moment, feeling for his latch-key.
"There's no one here; but I have a servant who is supposed to come in the mornings, and it's just possible he may have put out the tea-things and provided some cake."
He ushered her into a slip of a hall hung with old prints. She noticed the letters and notes heaped on the table among his gloves and sticks; then she found herself in a small library, dark but cheerful, with its walls of books, a pleasantly faded Turkey rug, a littered desk and, as he had foretold, a tea-tray on a low table near the window. A breeze had sprung up, swaying inward the muslin curtains, and bringing a fresh scent of mignonette and petunias from the flower-box on the balcony.
Lily sank with a sigh into one of the shabby leather chairs.
"How delicious to have a place like this all to one's self! What a miserable thing it is to be a woman." She leaned back in a luxury of discontent.
Selden was rummaging in a cupboard for the cake.
"Even women," he said, "have been known to enjoy the privileges of a flat."
"Oh, governesses – or widows. But not girls – not poor, miserable, marriageable girls!"
"I even know a girl who lives in a flat."
She sat up in surprise. "You do?"
"I do," he assured her, emerging from the cupboard with the sought-for cake.
"Oh, I know – you mean Gerty Farish." She smiled a little unkindly. "But I said marriageable–and besides, she has a horrid little place, and no maid, and such queer things to eat. Her cook does the washing and the food tastes of soap. I should hate that, you know."
"You shouldn't dine with her on wash-days," said Selden, cutting the cake.
They both laughed, and he knelt by the table to light the lamp under the kettle, while she measured out the tea into a little tea-pot of green glaze. As he watched her hand, polished as a bit of old ivory, with its slender pink nails, and the sapphire bracelet slipping over her wrist, he was struck with the irony of suggesting to her such a life as his cousin Gertrude Farish had chosen. She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth, 1905. Ed. Elizabeth Ammons. New York: Norton, 1990, chapter 1.
A fully dressed woman walked out of the water. She barely gained the dry bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree. All day and all night she sat there, her head resting on the trunk in a position abandoned enough to crack the brim in her straw hat. Everything hurt but her lungs most of all. Sopping wet and breathing shallow she spent those hours trying to negotiate the weight of her eyelids. The day breeze blew her dress dry; the night wind wrinkled it. Nobody saw her emerge or came accidentally by. If they had, chances are they would have hesitated before approaching her. Not because she was wet, or dozing or had what sounded like asthma, but because amid all that she was smiling. It took her the whole of the next morning to lift herself from the ground and make her way through the woods past a giant temple of boxwood to the field and then the yard of the slate-gray house. Exhausted again, she sat down on the first handy place – a stump not far from the steps of 124. By then keeping her eyes open was less of an effort. She could manage it for a full two minutes or more. Her neck, its circumference no wider than a parlor-service saucer, kept bending and her chin brushed the bit of lace edging her dress.
Women who drink champagne when there is nothing to celebrate can look like that: their straw hats with broken brims are often askew; they nod in public places; their shoes are undone. But their skin is not like that of the woman breathing near the steps of 124. She had new skin, lineless and smooth, including the knuckles of her hands.
By late afternoon when the carnival was over, and the Negroes were hitching rides home if they were lucky – walking if they were not – the woman had fallen asleep again. The rays of the sun struck her full in the face, so that when Sethe, Denver and Paul D rounded the curve in the road all they saw was a black dress, two unlaced shoes below it, and Here Boy nowhere in sight.
“Look,” said Denver. “What is that?”
And, for some reason she could not immediately account for, the moment she got close enough to see the face, Sethe’s bladder filled to capacity. She said, “Oh, excuse me,” and ran around to the back of 124. Not since she was a baby girl, being cared for by the eight-year-old girl who pointed out her mother to her, had she had an emergency that unmanageable. She never made the outhouse. Right in front of its door she had to lift her skirts, and the water she voided was endless. Like a horse, she thought, but as it went on and on she thought, No, more like flooding the boat when Denver was born. So much water Amy said, “Hold on, Lu. You going to sink us you keep that up.” But there was no stopping water breaking from a breaking womb and there was no stopping now. She hoped Paul D wouldn’t take it upon himself to come looking for her and be obliged to see her squatting in front of her own privy making a mudhole too deep to be witnessed without shame. Just about the time she started wondering if the carnival would accept another freak, it stopped. She tidied herself and ran around to the porch. No one was there. All three were inside – Paul D and Denver standing before the stranger, watching her drink cup after cup of water.
“She said she was thirsty,” said Paul D. He took off his cap. “Mighty thirsty look like.”
The woman gulped water from a speckled tin cup and held it out for more. Four times Denver filled it, and four times the woman drank as though she had crossed a desert. When she was finished a little water was on her chin, but she did not wipe it away. Instead she gazed at Sethe with sleepy eyes. Poorly fed, thought Sethe, and younger than her clothes suggested – good lace at the throat, and a rich woman’s hat. Her skin was flawless except for three vertical scratches on her forehead so fine and thin they seemed at first like hair, baby hair before it bloomed and roped into the masses of black yarn under her hat.
“You from around here?” Sethe asked her.
She shook her head no and reached down to take off her shoes. She pulled her dress up to the knees and rolled down her stockings. When the hosiery was tucked into the shoes, Sethe saw that her feet were like her hands, soft and new. She must have hitched a wagon ride, thought Sethe. Probably one of those West Virginia girls looking for something to beat a life of tobacco and sorghum. Sethe bent to pick up the shoes.
“What might your name be?” asked Paul D.
“Beloved,” she said, and her voice was so low and rough each one looked at the other two. They heard the voice first – later the name.
“Beloved. You use a last name, Beloved?” Paul D asked her.
“Last?” She seemed puzzled. Then “No,” and she spelled it for them, slowly as though the letters were being formed as she spoke them.
Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987. New York: Random House, 2004, chapter 1.
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.
“Here, caddie.” He hit. They went away across the pasture. I held to the fence and watched them going away.
“Listen at you, now.” Luster said. “Aint you something, thirty three years old, going on that way. After I done went all the way to town to buy you that cake. Hush up that moaning. Aint you going to help me find that quarter so I can go to the show tonight.”
They were hitting little, across the pasture. I went back along the fence to where the flag was. It flapped on the bright grass and the trees.
“Come on.” Luster said. “We done looked there. They aint no more coming right now.Les go down to the branch and find that quarter before them niggers finds it.”
It was red, flapping on the pasture. Then there was a bird slanting and tilting on it. Luster threw. The flag flapped on the bright grass and the trees. I held to the fence.
“Shut up that moaning.” Luster said. “I cant make them come if they aint coming, can I. If you dont hush up, mammy aint going to have no birthday for you. If you dont hush, you know what I going to do. I going to eat that cake all up. Eat them candles, too. Eat all them thirty three candles. Come on, les go down to the branch. I got to find my quarter. Maybe we can find one of they balls. Here. Here they is. Way over yonder. See.” He came to the fence and pointed his arm. “See them. They aint coming back here no more. Come on.”
We went along the fence and came to the garden fence, where our shadows were. My shadow was higher than Luster’s on the fence. We came to the broken place and went through it.
“Wait a minute.” Luster said. “You snagged on that nail again. Cant you never crawl through here without snagging on that nail.”
Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through. Uncle Maury said to not let anybody see us, so we better stoop over, Caddy said. Stoop over, Benjy. Like this, see. We stooped over and crossed the garden, where the flowers rasped and rattled against us. The ground was hard. We climbed the fence, where the pigs were grunting and snuffing. I expect they’re sorry because one of them got killed today, Caddy said. The ground was hard, churned and knotted.
Keep your hands in your pockets, Caddy said. Or they’ll get froze. You dont want your hands froze on Christmas, do you.
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, 1929. Ed. David Minter. New York : Norton, 1994, chapter 1.
Epreuve de traduction
Les candidats traduiront les deux textes ci-dessous.
Sur le chemin de la plage, Rigaud réfléchissait à ce qu’il allait dire à Ingrid. Il lui cacherait que des descentes de police étaient prévues pour la semaine prochaine et lui expliquerait simplement qu’une amie de sa mère lui prêtait une villa. Sa mère... Par quelle ironie du sort réapparaissait-elle dans sa vie d’une façon aussi insistante, alors que sa présence lui avait toujours manqué quand celle-ci eût été nécessaire ? Et maintenant qu’elle était morte, c’était comme si Mme Paul Rigaud voulait se faire pardonner et effacer tous les torts qu’elle avait eus envers lui.
La plage était déserte. On n’avait même pas replié les quelques transats qui demeuraient face à la mer. Il ne restait plus qu’Ingrid. Elle prenait un bain de soleil sur le ponton.
« J’ai rencontré le concierge du Provençal, dit Rigaud. Il nous a trouvé une villa. L’hôtel va fermer bientôt. »
Ingrid s’était assise au bord du ponton, les jambes dans le vide. Elle avait mis le grand chapeau qui lui cachait le visage.
« C’est drôle, a-t-elle dit. Ils sont tous partis en même temps. »
Rigaud ne détachait pas les yeux des transats vides.
« Ils font certainement la sieste... »
Mais il savait très bien que les autres jours, à la même heure, il y avait encore du monde sur la plage.
Patrick Modiano, Voyage de Noces, 1990.
I succumbed to the flattery of a man who wasn’t there, and in that moment of weakness I said yes. I’ll be glad to read the work, I said, and do whatever I can to help. Sophie smiled at this — whether from happiness or disappointment I could never tell — and then stood up from the sofa and carried the baby into the next room. She stopped in front of a tall oak cupboard, unlatched the door, and let it swing open on its hinges. There you are, she said. There were boxes and binders and folders and notebooks cramming the shelves — more things than I would have thought possible. I remember laughing with embarrassment and making some feeble joke. Then, all business, we discussed the best way for me to carry the manuscripts out of the apartment, eventually deciding on two large suitcases. It took the better part of an hour, but in the end we managed to squeeze everything in. Clearly, I said, it was going to take me some time to sift through all the material. Sophie told me not to worry, and then she apologized for burdening me with such a job. I said that I understood, that there was no way she could have refused to carry out Fanshawe’s request. It was all very dramatic, and at the same time gruesome, almost comical. The beautiful Sophie delicately put the baby down on the floor, gave me a great hug of thanks, and then kissed me on the cheek.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy. Ed. Faber and Faber. London, 1985.