Sujet commentaire de texte agrégation externe - session 2022
L'épreuve de commentaire en anglais de l'agrégation externe d'anglais a eu lieu le 15 mars 2022. En voici le sujet :
"Men such as Norm Phantom kept a library chock-a-block full of stories of the old country stored in their heads. Their lives were lived out by trading stories for other stories. They called it decorum – the good information, intelligence, etiquette of the what to do, how to behave for knowing how to live like a proper human being, alongside spirits for neighbours in dreams. In the local stories handed down through the generations, the sea woman was a death angel. She appeared from nowhere in her endless search to take men back to her dark, empty world in the deep waters at the bottom of the ocean. Norm knew what this world looked like because he saw it in his dreams.
On the floor of all oceans was a world overgrown with a forest of living black coral. It was a place that harboured a final darkness, where light never penetrated, and where men who were captured through some form of bewitchment, lived for the rest of eternity, pulled and tugged, while suspended in the streams of water running back and forth across the globe. The old people always spoke of this limbo world, where fish never seen by man were really spirit women who lived and swam through holes in the captured man’s ribcage, and perpetually fiddled with his brain to make him forever yearn to be rescued.
Another little wind blew an old green rubbish bag into the boat. Norm guessed it must have flown hundreds of kilometres, whirling its way across the water from Desperance’s dump. Believing it to be a second omen, a curse from someone in Desperance, someone from the Pricklebush mob on the other side, he kicked the tattered plastic overboard in the darkness, as though it was something alive, a Goddess woman who came flying low across the sea. When it blew straight back into his face, he read the change as a sign telling him that there were wild winds beginning to pour back into the Gulf from the north-east, bringing more storms.
Norm carefully watched the green form spiralling around the boat, once, twice, each time as if it wanted to land and attach itself to him. With his arms flailing aimlessly at the plastic thing in the night, he told her straight: ‘Don’t you come here.’ Oh! Yes! What a thing. He was convinced this was a sorceress of a wife. A witch who had borne his children and then behold, in front of his very eyes, walked off, wilfully wrecking their marriage. He heard her rustling as she hovered between them, whispering secrets to Elias – ‘Norm’s lost at sea.’ Then the wind turned, and she flew back with it towards the coast. With her departure, Norm felt a heavy shadow passing over him. It was the change coming, and he told Elias in a low, steady voice to get ready. ‘Make out nothing’s happening. Brace yourself man.’ The sea remained as flat as a tack but Norm waited. The wind did not turn into a storm and the boat sat in the flat, humid sea with Norm, sticky and hot, returning to the last dying days of his marriage.
So far, the journey had taken Norm more than two weeks of rowing all day long, living on raw fish, and drinking rain water he collected on a sheet of plastic made into a hollow dam. He stored the water he captured in soft-drink bottles. Then, knowing the place where the gropers lived was drawing closer, he stopped worrying up the storms as he journeyed through the humidity and flat seas, realising that all these obsessions of what was not right, were metaphors for his failed marriage."
Alexis Wright, Carpentaria , London, Constable/Little, Brown, 2009, pp. 235-237.
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