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Sujets du CAPES externe - session 2020

Publié par Marion Coste le 03/07/2020
Concours de recrutement

Les sujets sont disponibles sur le site de la SAES.


Compare and contrast the following texts.

Document A

[Dr Victor Frankenstein’s creature confronts him, and holds him accountable for its existence of misery.]

As I said this I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at some distance, advancing towards me with superhuman speed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled; a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me; but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer (sight tremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretch whom I had created. I trembled with rage and horror, resolving to wait his approach and then close with him in mortal combat. He approached; his countenance bespoke bitter anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes. But I scarcely observed this; rage and hatred had at first deprived me of utterance, and I recovered only to overwhelm him with words expressive of furious detestation and contempt.

‘Devil,’ I exclaimed, ‘do you dare approach me? And do not you fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? Begone, vile insect! Or rather, stay, that I may trample you to dust! And, oh! That I could, with the extinction of your miserable existence, restore those victims whom you have so diabolically murdered!’

‘I expected this reception,’ said the daemon. ‘All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends.’

‘Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! The tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! You reproach me with your creation; come on, then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed.’

My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all the feelings which can arm one being against the existence of another.

He easily eluded me and said – ‘Be calm! I intreat you to hear me before you give vent to your hatred on my devoted head. Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful than thyself; my height is superior to thine, my joints more supple. But I will not be tempted to set myself in opposition to thee. I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.’

‘Begone! I will not hear you. There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies. Begone, or let us try our strength in a fight, in which one must fall.’

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or, the New Prometheus. 1818. Penguin Popular Classics, 1994, pp. 94-96 

Document B 

[In a letter found next to his dead body, Dr Henry Jekyll relates the experiments he led to dissociate his mind and become Mr Hyde.] 

I hesitated long before I put this theory to the test of practice. I knew well that I risked death; for any drug that so potently controlled and shook the very fortress of identity, might by the least scruple of an overdose or at the least inopportunity in the moment of exhibition, utterly blot out that immaterial tabernacle which I looked to it to change. But the temptation of a discovery so singular and profound, at last overcame the suggestions of alarm. I had long since prepared my tincture; I purchased at once, from a firm of wholesale chemists, a large quantity of a particular salt which I knew, from my experiments, to be the last ingredient required; and late one accursed night, I compounded the elements, watched them boil and smoke together in the glass, and when the ebullition had subsided, with a strong glow of courage, drank off the potion.

The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a mill race in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine. I stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost in stature.

There was no mirror, at that date, in my room; that which stands beside me as I write, was brought there later on and for the very purpose of these transformations. The night, however, was far gone into the morning—the morning, black as it was, was nearly ripe for the conception of the day—the inmates of my house were locked in the most rigorous hours of slumber; and I determined, flushed as I was with hope and triumph, to venture in my new shape as far as to my bedroom. I crossed the yard, wherein the constellations looked down upon me, I could have thought, with wonder, the first creature of that sort that their unsleeping vigilance had yet disclosed to them; I stole through the corridors, a stranger in my own house; and coming to my room, I saw for the first time the appearance of Edward Hyde.

I must here speak by theory alone, saying not that which I know, but that which I suppose to be most probable. The evil side of my nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was less robust and less developed than the good which I had just deposed. Again, in the course of my life, which had been, after all, nine-tenths a life of effort, virtue and control, it had been much less exercised and much less exhausted. And hence, as I think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance, rather of a leap of welcome. This, too, was myself. It seemed natural and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier image of the spirit, it seemed more express and 4/6 single, than the imperfect and divided countenance, I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine. And in so far I was doubtless right. I have observed that when I wore the semblance of Edward Hyde, none could come near to me at first without a visible misgiving of the flesh. This, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.

I lingered but a moment at the mirror: the second and conclusive experiment had yet to be attempted; it yet remained to be seen if I had lost my identity beyond redemption and must flee before daylight from a house that was no longer mine; and hurrying back to my cabinet, I once more prepared and drank the cup, once more suffered the pangs of dissolution, and came to myself once more with the character, the stature and the face of Henry Jekyll. 

Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. Oxford World’s Classics, 2006, pp. 54-55

Document C

[Crake, a geneticist, shows his old friend Jimmy the new species he has been working on in his laboratory: the Crakers.]

Now, said Crake, it was time to get serious. He was going to show Jimmy the other thing they were doing – the main thing, here at Paradice. What Jimmy was about to see was… well, it couldn’t be described. It was, quite simply, Crake’s life’s work.

Jimmy put on a suitably solemn face. What next? Some gruesome new food substance, no doubt. A liver tree, a sausage vine. Or some sort of zucchini that grew wool. He braced himself.

Crake led Jimmy along and around; then they were standing in front of a large picture window. No: a one-way mirror. Jimmy looked in. There was a large central space filled with trees and plants, above them a blue sky. (Not really a blue sky, only the curved ceiling of the bubble-dome, with a clever projection device that simulated dawn, sunlight, evening, night. There was a fake moon that went through its phases, he discovered later. There was fake rain.)

That was his first view of the Crakers. They were naked, but not like the Noodie News: there was no self-consciousness, none at all. At first he couldn’t believe them, they were so beautiful. Black, yellow, white, brown, all available skin colours. Each individual was exquisite.

“Are they robots, or what?” he said.

“You know how they’ve got floor models, in furniture stores?” said Crake.


“These are the floor models.” […]

It was amazing – said Crake – what once-unimaginable things had been accomplished by the team here. What had been altered was nothing less than the ancient primate brain. Gone were its destructive features, the features responsible for the world’s current illnesses. For instance, racism – or, as they referred to it in Paradice, pseudospeciation – had been eliminated in the model group, merely by switching the bonding mechanism: the Paradice people simply did not register skin colour. Hierarchy could not exist among them, because they lacked the neural complexes that would have created it. Since there were neither hunters nor agriculturalists hungry for land, there was no territoriality: the king-of-the-castle hard-wiring that had plagued humanity had, in them, been unwired. They ate nothing but leaves and grass and roots and a berry or two; thus their foods were plentiful and always available. Their sexuality was not a constant torment to them, not a cloud of turbulent hormones: they came into heat at regular intervals, as did most mammals other than man.

In fact, as there would never be anything for these people to inherit, there would be no family trees, no marriages, and no divorces. They were perfectly adjusted to their habitat, so they would never have to create houses or tools or weapons, or, for that matter, clothing. They would have no need to invent any harmful symbolisms, such as kingdoms, icons, gods, or money. Best of all, they recycled their own excrements. By means of a brilliant splice, incorporating genetic material from… 6/6

“Excuse me,” said Jimmy. “But a lot of this stuff isn’t what the average parent is looking for in a baby. Didn’t you get a bit carried away?”

“I told you,” said Crake patiently. “These are the floor models. They represent the art of the possible. We can list the individual features for prospective buyers, then we can customize. Not everyone will want all the bells and whistles, we know that. Though you’d be surprised how many people would like a very beautiful, smart baby that eats nothing but grass. The vegans are highly interested in that little item. We’ve done our market research.”

Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake. 2003. Bloomsbury, 2003, pp. 302-306 


Les candidats traduiront les deux textes ci-dessous. 

1 - THEME 

Quand Camille Perrotin retrouva sa mère ce soir-là, son sourire ne s’était pas encore effacé.

Depuis peu, elle vivait seule dans un meublé près des Beaux-Arts, mais elle aimait rentrer le week-end chez ses parents. Ils vivaient dans un pavillon de la banlieue lyonnaise. À vrai dire, pendant toute son adolescence, Camille avait surtout vécu avec sa mère. Son père était représentant en assurances, et disparaissait régulièrement quatre ou cinq jours d’affilée. Entre Isabelle et sa fille, c’était l’interrogation quotidienne : « Il est où, papa ? » Aucune ne savait répondre. Dijon, Limoges, Toulouse, est-ce que cela importait finalement ? Il n’était pas là, c’était ce qui comptait. La mère de Camille était infirmière au centre hospitalier Saint-Joseph Saint-Luc ; son quotidien n’était qu’un réservoir à complaintes. Elle rentrait lessivée le soir, et admettait qu’elle n’avait pas toujours eu beaucoup d’énergie à consacrer à sa fille. Quand elle vit le visage heureux de Camille ce soir-là, elle en fut bouleversée. Elle l’interrogea : « Une bonne nouvelle ? » La jeune fille ne répondit pas ; elle ne voulait pas partager ce rare bonheur de peur qu’il ne se dilapide par les paroles. Elle avait déjà été complimentée par son professeur, mais pour la première fois elle se sentait en mesure d’apprécier cette reconnaissance. Depuis qu’elle avait intégré les Beaux-Arts, elle allait de mieux en mieux ; et elle aimait particulièrement les cours de monsieur Duris.

David Foenkinos, Vers la beauté, Paris, Gallimard, 2018 


From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.

Look at him: seated primly on the hotel lobby’s plush round sofa, blue suit and white shirt, legs knee-crossed so that one polished loafer hangs free of its heel. The pose of a young man. His slim shadow is, in fact, still that of his younger self, but at nearly fifty he is like those bronze statues in public parks that, despite one lucky knee rubbed raw by schoolchildren, discolor beautifully until they match the trees. So has Arthur Less, once pink and gold with youth, faded like the sofa he sits on, tapping one finger on his knee and staring at the grandfather clock. The long patrician nose perennially burned by the sun (even in cloudy New York October). The washed-out blond hair too long on the top, too short on the sides – portrait of his grandfather. Those same watery blue eyes. Listen: you might hear anxiety ticking, ticking, ticking away as he stares at that clock, which unfortunately is not ticking itself. It stopped fifteen years ago. Arthur Less is not aware of this; he still believes, at his ripe age, that escorts for literary events arrive on time and bellboys reliably wind the lobby clocks. He wears no watch; his faith is fast. It is mere coincidence that the clock stopped at half past six, almost exactly the hour when he is to be taken to tonight’s event. The poor man does not know it, but the time is already quarter to seven.

Andrew Sean Greer, Less, New York, Back Bay Books, 2018 [2017]

Exercices de réflexion linguistique portant sur la version

Les candidats traiteront en français les deux exercices ci-dessous. L’ordre de traitement des segments proposés à l’étude dans chacun d’eux est laissé à leur libre choix.

Exercice 1. those bronze statues in public parks that, despite one lucky knee rubbed raw by schoolchildren, discolor beautifully [...] (l. 4-6) / as he stares at that clock, which unfortunately is not ticking itself. (l. 11-12)

Vous décrirez les deux segments soulignés ci-dessus, puis dégagerez leur(s) point(s) commun(s) et différence(s). Vous rendrez compte des effets de sens véhiculés par ces segments dans leur contexte d’apparition. Vous pourrez avoir recours aux manipulations nécessaires pour servir votre analyse. Enfin, en adoptant une démarche contrastive, vous justifierez pour chaque segment la proposition de traduction qui découle de cette analyse.

Exercice 2. the story of Arthur Less (l. 1) / the hotel lobby’s plush round sofa (l. 2) / the grandfather clock (l. 7-8) Vous décrirez les trois segments soulignés ci-dessus, puis dégagerez leur(s) point(s) commun(s) et différence(s).

Vous rendrez compte des effets de sens véhiculés par ces segments dans leur contexte d’apparition. Vous pourrez avoir recours aux manipulations nécessaires pour servir votre analyse. Enfin, en adoptant une démarche contrastive, vous justifierez pour chaque segment la proposition de traduction qui découle de cette analyse.