Sujets de 2005 suivis des sujets des années précédentes

CAPES externe 2005

Commentaire dirigé en anglais

ln your commentary, you will study old Hammond's assessment of the conditions and circumstances that led to the Revolution. With constant reference to the context of News from Nowhere, you will also analyse his description of the consequences of that radical event on mankind.

He sat silently thinking a little while, and then said:
'When the conflict was once really begun, it was seen how little of any value there was in the old world of slavery and inequality. Don 't you see what it means? ln the times which you are thinking of, and of which you seem to know so much, there was no hope; nothing but the dull jog of the mill-horse under compulsion of collar and whip; but in that fighting-time that followed, ail was hope: "the rebels" at least felt themselves strong enough to build up the world again from its dry bones, and they did it, too!' said the old man, his eyes glittering under his beetling brows. He went on: 'And their opponents at least and at last learned something about the reality of life, and its sorrows. which they - their class, I mean - had once known nothing of. In short, the two combatants, the workman and the gentleman, between them-'
'Between them,' said J, quickly, 'they destroyed commercialism!'
'Yes, yes, YES,' said he; 'that is it. Nor could it have been destroyed otherwise; except, perhaps, by the whole of society gradually falling into lower depths, till it should at last reach a condition as rude as barbarism, but lacking both the hope and the pleasures of barbarism. Surely the sharper, shorter remedy was the happiest?'
'Most surely,' said I.
'Yes,' said the old man, 'the world was being brought to its second birth; how could that take place without a tragedy? Moreover, think of il. The spirit of the new days, of our days, was to be delight in the life of the world; intense and overweening love of the very skin and surface of the earth on which man dwells, such as a lover has in the fair flesh of the woman he loves; this, 1 say, was to be the new spirit of the time. Ali other moods save this had been exhausted: the unceasing criticism, the boundless curiosity in the ways and thoughts of man, which was the mood of the ancient Greek, to whom these things were not so much a means, as an end, was gone past recovery; nor had there been really any shadow of it in the so-called science of the nineteenth century, which as you must know, was in the main an appendage to the commercial system; nay, not seldom an appendage to the police of that system. ln spite of appearances, it was limited and cowardly. because it did not really believe in itself. It was the outcome, as it was the sole relief. of the unhappiness of the period which made life so biner even to the rich, and which, as you may see with your bodily eyes, the great change had swept away. More akin to our way of looking at life was the
spirit of the Middle Ages to whom heaven and the life of the next world was such a reality, that it became to them a part of the life upon the earth; which accordingly they loved and adorned. in spite of the ascetic doctrines oftheir formai creed, which bade them contemn it.
'But that also, with its assured belief in heaven and hell as two countries in which to live, has gone, and now we do, both in word and in deed, believe in the continuous life of the world of men, and as it were, add every day of that corn mon life to the little stock of days which our own mere individual experience wins for us: and consequently we are happy. Do you wonder at it? ln times past, indeed, men were told to love their kind, to believe in the religion of humanity and 50 forth. But look you, just in the degree that a man had elevation of mind and refinement enough to be able to value this idea, was he repelled by the obvious aspect of the individuals composing the ma5S
40 which he was to worship; and he could only evade that repulsion by making a conventional [... suite du texte disponible à la Bibliothèque Angellier].

Extr. de News from Nowhere, éd. Penguin Classics, ch. XVIII, pp. 157-160.



C'est dans le courant de l'été suivant que nous vîmes, un jour, ma sœur et moi, notre grand-mère pleurer. .. Pour la première fois de notre vie.
Elle était à nos yeux une sorte de divinité juste et bienveillante, toujours égale à elle-même et d'une sérénité parfaite. Son histoire personnelle, devenue depuis longtemps un mythe, la plaçait au-dessus des chagrins des simples mortels. Non, nous ne vîmes aucune larme. Juste une douloureuse crispation de ses lèvres, de menus tressaillements qui parcoururent ses joues, des battements rapides de ses cils...
Nous étions assis sur le tapis jonché de bouts de papier froissés et nous nous adonnions à un jeu passionnant: en retirant des petits cailloux enveloppés dans des «papillottes» blanches, nous les comparions - tantôt un éclat de quartz, tantôt un galet lisse et agréable au toucher. Sur le papier étaient marqués des noms que nous avions pris, dans notre ignorance, pour d'énigmatiques appellations minéralogiques: Fécamp, La Rochelle, Bayonne ... Dans l'une des papillottes, nous découvnÎnes même un fragment ferreux et rêche portant des traces de rouille. Nous crûmes lire le nom de cet étrange métal: «Verdun »... Plusieurs pièces de cette collection furent ainsi dépouillées. Quand notre grand-mère entra, le jeu avait pris depuis un moment un cours plus mouvementé. Nous nous disputions les pierres les plus belles, nous éprouvions leur dureté en les frappant les unes contre les autres, en les brisant parfois. Celles qui nous paraissaient laides - comme le «Verdun », par exemple - furent jetées par la fenêtre, dans un parterre de dahlias. Plusieurs papillottes s'étaient trouvées déchirées...
La grand-mère s'immobilisa au-dessus de ce champ de bataille parsemé de cloques blanches. Nous levâmes les yeux. C'est alors que son regard gris sembla s'imprégner de larmes - juste pour nous rendre son éclat insupportable.
Non, elle n'était pas une déesse impassible, notre grand-mère. Elle aussi pouvait donc être en proie à un malaise, à une détresse subite. Elle, que nous croyions avancer si posément dans la paisible enfilade des jours, glissait parfois, elle aussi, au bord des larmes !

Andreï MAKINE, Le Testament français, Le Mercure de France, 1995, p. 18-19.


The road was flanked by concrete irrigation ditches and made wide curves through miles of conifer plantation set weIl back beyond a wide swathe of tree stumps and dried out bracken. He had slept weIl the night before, he remembered later. He was relaxed but reasonably alert. Ris speed was somewhere between seventy and seventy-five, which dropped only a little as he came up behind a large pink lorry.
ln what followed, the rapidity of events was accommodated by the slowing of time. He was preparing to overtake when something happened-he did not quite see what-in the region of the lorry's wheels, a hiatus, a cloud of dust, and then something black and long snaked through a hundred feet towards him. It slapped the windscreen, clung there a moment and was whisked away before he had time to understand what it was. And then-or did this happen in the same moment?-the rear of the lorry made a complicated set of movements, a bouncing and swaying, and slewed in a wide spray of sparks, bright even in sunshine. Something curved and metallic flew off to one side. So far Stephen had had time to move his foot towards the brake, time to notice a padlock swinging on a loose flange, and 'Wash me please' scrawled in grime. There was a whinnying of scraped metal and new sparks, dense enough to form a white flame which seemed to r el the rear of the lorry into the air. He was applying first pressure to the brake as he saw the dust spinning heels, the oily bulge of the differential, the camshaft, and now, at eye level, the base of the gear ox. The upended lorry bounced on its nose once, perhaps twice, then lazily, tentatively began to complete the somersault, bringing Stephen the inverted radiator grill, the downward flash of windscreen and a deep boom as the roof hit the road, rose again several feet, fell back, and surged along before him on a bed of flame.

lan Mc EWAN. The Child in 1ime. 1992.


COMPOSITION en français :


Prophétie et imposture dans les nouvelles de Flannery O'Connor.





Sujets 2002

1- Traduction
2- Composition en français

3- Commentaire dirigé

Sujets 2003

1- Composition en français
2- Commentaire dirigé en langue étrangère
3- Traduction


Sujets 2004


SESSION 2002 :



Mrs Austin, je m'empresse de le dire, n'est pas une reine de beauté, tant s'en faut, et comme ce n'est pas ce que je lui demandais, je peux me féliciter de ses autres qualités avec la seule crainte que cette matrone ne prenne trop d'autorité dans ma vie. J'ai déjà dû lui interdire de ranger ma table de travail -"interdire" n'est pas le vrai terme, en fait je l'ai prudemment priée de ...Quand le cortège est passée sur la route, je surveillais du coin de l'oeil son plumeau qui virevoltait au-dessus de mes papiers. Les plus légers, des pelures, frémissaient et menaçaient de s'envoler par la fenêtre grande ouverte. Le plumeau s'immobilisa et Mrs Austin se pencha, appuyant sa forte poitrine sur le rebord et avançant la tête, sans craindre la chute brutale de la fenêtre à guillotine sur sa nuque frisée.

-Ils sont trois à l'accompagner, dit-elle. On ne lui savait pas tant d'amis.


-Mrs Champs.

Un corbillard automobile roulait lentement suivi, en effet, de trois personnes, deux hommes et une femme qui n'affichaient aucun signe de deuil. Ils se dirigeaient vers le village.

-Le révérend Caltigan ne l'enverra pas au paradis dans son oraison.


-L'an drenier, la sachant malade, il a voulu lui rendre visite. D'un balcon, sans même descendre, elle l'a prié de déguerpir sinon elle lâcherait les chiens.

-Et qui était Mrs Champs?

Mrs Austin ouvrit la malle qui me servait de placard provisoire et me désigna des chemises et des polos sur l'étiquette desquels on lisait "Champ", la marque la plus connue d'Europe.

-Il y a déjà vingt ans que la fabrique ne leur appartenait plus, mais le label n'a pas changé.

-Son mari est du cortège?

-Il est mort il y a une quinzaine d'années. On l'aimait bien ici. Un passionné d'athlétisme. C'est lui qui a donné le terrain du stade et financé la construction. Tant qu'il a été là, nos jeunes en ont bien profité. Nous avions une bonne équipe de football, et une autre, féminine, de hockey, qui a remporté trois fois le championnat du comté et même joué à l'étranger. Ma fille était capitaine. Maintenant, elle travaille en Australie.

-Et qui l'a remplacée?

-Personne. C'est sûr que le major Champ a laissé de l'argent pour les sports, mais la vieille peau de vache a mis le testament dans sa poche et tout volé.

Michel Déon, Le Prix de l'Amour, 1992.



SESSION 2002 : Traduction


Modernising Monarchy

The Task can't be left to the Royals Alone

In the wake of the Wessexgate affair we are promised a thorough review of roles and responsibilities of the minor royals. Welcome though this is, it would be wishful to hold out much hope of radical reform since the review is to be carried out by the Royal Family itself. There is further talk of modernisation. This is also welcome, though it is even more uncertain who would do the modernising.

The Labour Party - new or old- has always had an ambivalent attitude towards the Monarchy. The subject has not been discussed at a party conference since 1923. If, as is rumoured, there are several cabinet members with republican sympathies they tend to keep them out of sight. The prime minister is a blank sheet. The only insider to have been at all forthcoming on the monarchy is Mr Blair's spokeman, Alastair Campbell. In assorted articles, he has described Prince Philip as "insensitive ans stupid" Charles as an "overprivileged twit" who went to a "spanking Academy" and the Royal Family in general as "thick ... they represent much that is wrong in this country, notably its class system, obsession with titles, dressing up and patronage and the arrogance of unelected power". But that was in the days he had on the record views of his own.

Since Parliament has an aversion -both instinctive and constitutional- to discussing the monarchy it may be a job best left to the committees. There is a strong case for the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Administration Committee to set up a joint inquiry. One could examine the costs of the monarchy, the other could delve into constitutional issues. All committees have the powers "to send for persons, papers and records". This would be the ideal forum in which to examine such esoterica as the civil list, prerogative powers and the Act of Settlement, which even the Attorney General would now like to see reformed.

Rightly or wrongly, few subjects arouse greater public passions than the future of the monarchy and the conduct of the royal family. By refusing to join in the debate politicians merely confirm the impression that Westminster is detached from the true concerns of the country and is failing in its duty to scrutinize and invigilate power. Faced by a choice between continuing trial by tabloids and a dignified select committee inquiry, the Royal Family itself would be well advised to welcome some outside help in its programme of reform.

The Guardian, April 19 th 2001

CAPES – Session 2002

Composition en français

Durée 5 heures

Discutez cette citation de Margaret THATCHER en tenant compte de l'ensemble de la période 1942 1990 :

“Welfare benefits, distributed with little or no consideration of their effects on behaviour, encouraged illegitimacy, facilitated the breakdown of families, and replaced incentives favouring work and self-reliance with perverse encouragement for idleness and cheating. The final illusion that state intervention would promote social harmony and solidarity or, in Tory language, ‘One Nation’– collapsed in the winter of discontent... ”

Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years, London: Harper Collins, 1993, p. 8.

CAPES 2002

Commentaire dirigé en langue étrangère

Durée : 5 heures

Write a commentary of the following extract and show how it illustrates Swift’s method and ideas in Gulliver’s Travels, while bringing out the specificity within the overall narrative.

But great Allowances should be given to a King who lives wholly secluded from the rest of the World, and must therefore be altogether unacquainted with the Manners and Customs that most prevail in other Nations: The want of which Knowledge will ever produce many Prejudices, and a certain Narrowness of thinking, from which we and the politer Countries of Europe are wholly exempted. And it would be hard, indeed, if so remote a Prince's Notions of Virtue and Vice were to be offered as a standard for all Mankind.

To confirm what I have now said, and further, to shew the miserable Effects of a confined Education, I shall here insert a Passage which will hardly obtain Belief. In hopes to ingratiate my self farther into his Majesty's Favour, I told him of an Invention discovered between three and four hundred Years ago, to make a certain Powder, into a Heap of which the smallest Spark of Fire falling, would kindle the whole in a Moment, although it were as big as a Mountain, and make it all fly up in the Air together, with a Noise and Agitation greater than Thunder. That a proper Quantity of this Powder rammed into a hollow Tube of Brass or Iron, according to its Bigness, would drive a Ball of Iron or Lead with such Violence and Speed, as nothing was able to sustain its Force. That the largest Balls thus discharged, would not only destroy whole Ranks of an Army at once, but batter the strongest Walls to the Ground, sink down Ships, with a Thousand Men in each, to the Bottom of the Sea; and, when linked together by a Chain, would cut through Masts and Rigging, divide hundreds of Bodies in the Middle, and lay all waste before them. That we often put this Powder into large hollow Balls of Iron, and discharged them by an Engine into some City we were besieging, which would rip up the Pavements, tear the Houses to pieces, burst and throw Splinters on every Side, dashing out the Brains of all who came near. That I knew the Ingredients very well, which were cheap, and common; I understood the Manner of compounding them, and could direct his Workmen how to make those Tubes of a Size proportionable to all other Things in his Majesty's Kingdom, and the largest need not be above an hundred Foot long; twenty or thirty of which Tubes, charged with the proper Quantity of Powder and Balls, would batter down the Walls of the strongest Town in his Dominions in a few Hours, or destroy the whole Metropolis, if ever it should pretend to dispute his absolute Commands. This I humbly offered to his Majesty, as a small Tribute of Acknowledgment in Return of so many Marks that I had received of his Royal Favour and Protection.

The King was struck with Horror at the Description I had given of those terrible Engines, and the Proposal I had made. He was amazed how so impotent and grovelling an Insect as I (these were his Expressions) could entertain such inhuman Ideas, and in so Familiar a Manner as to appear wholly unmoved at all the Scenes of Blood and Desolation, which I had painted as the common Effects of those destructive Machines, whereof he said some evil Genius, Enemy to Mankind, must have been the first Contriver. As for himself, he protested that although few Things delighted him so much as new Discoveries in Art or in Nature, yet he would rather lose half his Kingdom than be privy to such a Secret, which he commanded me, as I valued my Life, never to mention any more.

A strange Effect of narrow Principles and short Views! that a Prince possessed of every Quality which procures Veneration, Love, and Esteem; of strong Parts, great Wisdom, and profound Learning, endued with admirable Talents for Government, and almost adored by his Subjects, should from a nice unnecessary Scruple, whereof in Europe we can have no Conception, let slip an Opportunity to put into his Hands, that would have made him absolute Master of the Lives, the Liberties, and the Fortunes of his People. Neither do I say this with the least Intention to detract from the many Virtues of that excellent King, whose Character I am sensible will on this account be very much lessened in the Opinion of an English Reader: But I take this Defect among them to have risen from their Ignorance, they not having hitherto reduced Politicks into a Science, as the more acute Wits of Europe have done. For I remember very well, in a Discourse one Day with the King, when I happened to say there were several thousand Books among us written upon the Art of Government, it gave him (directly contrary to my Intention) a very mean Opinion of our Understandings. He professed both to abominate and despise all Mystery, Refinement, and Intrigue, either in a Prince or a Minister. He could not tell what I meant by Secrets of State, where an Enemy or some Rival Nation were not in the Case. He confined the Knowledge of Governing within very narrow Bounds; to common Sense and Reason, to Justice and Lenity, to the speedy Determination of civil and criminal Causes; with some other obvious Topicks, which are not worth considering. And, he gave it for his Opinion, that whoever could make two Ears of Corn, or two blades of Grass to grow upon a Spot of Ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of Mankind, and do more essential Service to his Country than the whole Race of Politicians put together.

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, part II, chapter VII : A Voyage to Brobdingnag

Session 2003

CAPES externe anglais -

Composition en français

Durée 5 heures

Discutez ce jugement de l'acteur Edward G. Robinson en vous appuyant sur vos connaissances sur le crime organisé dans la société américaine et ses représentations à l'écran :

"The Eighteenth Amendment was the greatest villain of modern times. It was the instigator of corruption, intemperance, malfeasance, gunplay and terrorism. The bootlegger was the progenitor of the gangster, and both the immediate progeny of the enactment of an unnatural law. The bootlegger and the gangster fortuitously, and ironically enough, became the champions of liberty, a sort of knight errant clothed in sham glamour and romanticism.

No, neither the press nor the movies can be held reprehensible for the bold defiance of our laws - state, federal and church. It is our social and economic upheaval that has robbed man of his illusions and made him revert to the infantile and primitive. The movies of the last few years have only mirrored the disintegration of civilization; they have not initiated it."

Edward G. Robinson, "The Movies, the Actor, and Public Morals", in The Movies on Trial, 1936.

CAPES externe anglais Session 2003

Commentaire dirigé en langue étrangère

Durée 5 heures

Write a critical commentary on the following extract taking into account the characters concerned by this new situation at this particular moment in the play so as to underline what has been retained from former dialogues and what is so comically new.


Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.
Look when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
In their nativity all truth appears.
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true?


You do advance your cunning more and more,
When truth kills truth-O devilish holy fray!
These vows are Hermia's. Will you give her o'er?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.
Your vows to her and me put in two scales
Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.


I had no judgement when to her I swore.


Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.


Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

DEMETRIUS (waking)

O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
•To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white-high Taurus' snow,
Fanned with the eastern wind-turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand. O, let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!


O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me —as I know you do—
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so,
To vow and swear and superpraise my parts
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals and love Hermia,
And now both rivals to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise:
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision. None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.


You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so.
For you love Hermia; this you know I know.
And here with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love, and will do till my death.


Never did mockers waste more idle breath.


Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guestwise sojourned
And now to Helen is it home returned,
There to remain.


Helen, it is not so.


Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.
Enter Hermia
Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.


Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes.
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?


Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?


What love could press Lysander from my side?


Lysander's love, that would not let him bide:
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all yon fiery O's and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know
The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so?


You speak not as you think. It cannot be.


Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shared
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us —O, is all quite forgot?
All schooldays'friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artifical gods
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry: seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem.
So, with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first-like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one and crownèd with one crest.
And will you rend our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly.
Our sex as well as I may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.


I am amazed at your passionate words.
I scorn you not. It seems that you scorn me.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.

CAPES Externe Anglais – Session 2003

Épreuve de traduction

Durée 5 heures


Sur le pas de la porte, j'ai trouvé le vieux Salamano. Je l'ai fait entrer et il m'a appris que son chien était perdu, car il n'était pas à la fourrière. Les employés lui avaient dit que, peut-être, il avait été écrasé. Il avait demandé s'il n'était pas possible de le savoir dans les commissariats. On lui avait répondu qu'on ne gardait pas trace de ces choses-là, parce qu'elles arrivaient tous les jours. J'ai dit au vieux Salamano qu'il pourrait avoir un autre chien, mais il a eu raison de me faire remarquer qu'il était habitué à celui-là.

J'étais accroupi sur mon lit et Salamano s'était assis sur une chaise devant la table. Il me faisait face et il avait ses deux mains sur les genoux. Il avait gardé son vieux feutre. Il mâchonnait des bouts de phrases sous sa moustache jaunie. Il m'ennuyait un peu, mais je n'avais rien à faire et je n'avais pas sommeil. Pour dire quelque chose, je l'ai interrogé sur son chien. Il m'a dit qu'il l'avait eu après la mort de sa femme. Il s'était marié assez tard. Dans sa jeunesse, il avait eu envie de faire du théâtre : au régiment il jouait les vaudevilles militaires. Mais finalement, il était entré dans les chemins de fer et il ne le regrettait pas, parce que maintenant il avait une petite retraite. Il n'avait pas été heureux avec sa femme, mais dans l'ensemble il s'était bien habitué à elle. Quand elle est morte, il s'était senti très seul. Alors, il avait demandé un chien à un camarade d'atelier et il avait eu celui-là très jeune. Il avait fallu le nourrir au biberon. Mais comme un chien vit moins qu'un homme, ils avaient fini par être vieux ensemble. « Il avait mauvais caractère, m'a dit Salamano. De temps en temps, on avait des prises de bec. Mais c'était un bon chien quand même. » J'ai dit qu'il était de belle race et Salamano a eu l'air content. « Et encore, a-t-il ajouté, vous ne l'avez pas connu avant sa maladie. C'était le poil qu'il avait de plus beau. » Tous les soirs et tous les matins, depuis que le chien avait eu cette maladie de peau, Salamano le passait à la pommade. Mais selon lui, sa vraie maladie, c'était la vieillesse, et la vieillesse ne se guérit pas.

Albert CAMUS, L'Étranger, 1942.


At a dancing school in a remote place, Fortunata teaches her pupils to become points of light.

They begin with her as early as six or seven and some stay for the rest of their lives.

Most, she releases like butterflies over a flowering world. Bodies that could have bent double and grown numb she maintains as metal in a fiery furnace, tempering, stretching, forcing sinews into impossible shapes and calling her art nature.

She believes that we are fallen creatures who once knew how to fly. She says that light burns in our bodies and threatens to dissolve us at any moment. How else can we account for so many of us who disappear?

It is her job to channel the light lying in the solar plexus, along the arms, along the legs, forcing it into fingertips, and feet, forcing it out so that her dancers sweat tongues of flame.

To her dancers she says, "Through the body, the body is conquered."

She asks them to meditate on a five-pointed star in the belly and to watch the points push outwards, the fifth point into the head. She spins them, impaled with light, arms upraised, one leg at a triangle across the other thigh, one foot, on point, on a penny coin, and spins them, until all features are blurred, until the human being most resembles a freed spirit from a darkened jar. One after the other she spins them, like a juggler keeping plates on sticks; one after the other she runs up and down the line as one slows or another threatens to fall from dizziness. And at a single moment, when all are spinning in harmony down the long hall, she hears music escaping from their heads and backs and livers and spleens. Each has a tone like cut glass. The noise is deafening. And it is then that the spinning seems to stop, that the wild gyration of the dancers passes from movement into infinity.

Who are they that shine in gold like Apostles in a church window at midday?

The polished wooden floor glows with the heat of their bodies, and one by one they crumble over and lie exhausted on the ground.

Fortunata refreshes them and the dance begins again.

Jeanette WINTERSON, Sexing the Cherry, 1989.



CAPES externe anglais 2004


Composition en français. 5 heures

Les pouvoirs de l’illusion dans A Streetcar Named Desire

(en prenant en compte le texte du dramaturge et l’adaptation du cinéaste)


Commentaire dirigé en langue étrangère. 5 heures

Analyze and assess the following text with reference to Scarface, Angels With A Dirty Face, Asphalt Jungle and Force of Evil. Pay special attention to the historical and economic contexts and to the social representations of the gangster.

While most issues related to social control or moral regulation have a political aspect to them, discussions related to ‘organized crime’ are steeped in politics —from the creation of illegal markets in the first place, to the declarations of the size of the ‘threat’ and the passing into force of extraordinary legislation to attack the problem. The advantage of “organized crime” is that it can be whatever the speaker wants it to be — a massive threat, a theatrical legacy, or petty criminals (... ). The lack of consensus around the term, the invisibility of much of the activity, and the natural links into the lives of the public for a large percentage of what are demand-driven commodities, allows for a sense of personal relevance and fascination. The complicity of the public through their support for many of these illegal goods and services mixes with evidence of the real, or in other instances exaggerated, violence initiated by some of these organized criminals to create an ambivalent and corruption-vulnerable environment. (...) The mention of the words ‘organized crime’ has the power to draw the press, win votes, acquire law enforcement resources, gain public support for various legislative or enforcement crackdowns. (...)

Robert Merton (1967) argues that creating a concept is not a passive neutral act but rather an act with real consequences. To use the concept ‘organized crime’' means that this term and everything that is seen to fall under it is deemed to have certain characteristics. Like false statistics, a false or ambiguous ‘label’ can have serious policy and enforcement implications. The word takes on powers that may be totally irrelevant to the activities that fall under its sway. Researchers have been diligent in defending their claims that law enforcement [and politicians] over the years have preferred a particular version of organized crime. A monopolistic, highly sophisticated alien-conspiracy model was seen to both aid their resource needs and serve to provide a justification for why their enforcement actions were not having the impact that the public might expect from the resources gained. (... )

Law enforcement and politicians are not however the only players who have turned defining organized crime into an industry. Researchers who have accused these other individuals of manipulating our understanding of organized crime for organizational or personal gain are equally guilty. Organized crime academic "experts" have spent a disproportionate amount of time advancing their own perspective by arguing the deficiency of competing definitions. The final group – the media – has a particular fondness for anything relating to organized crime and works together or against the other interest groups to define, dramatize, and deliver to the public the various interpretations of the threats posed by organized crime.

While the term “organized crime” appears in the literature going back at least into the 1920's, the 1960's directly affected how we have come to see this concept. Six consultants worked on the 1967 US President's Organized Crime Commission to describe the structure and working of organized crime. (... ) The 1967 Commission served to solidify a vision or version of what ‘organized crime’ in North America was. (...) [Some hold it] responsible for an era of enforcement that targeted Italian criminals to the exclusion of other organized criminals and whose work justified an enforcement strategy that relied on a conspiracy interpretation of organized crime. The notion of an alien, all-controlling criminal monopoly, external to the larger society but sapping its wealth is an image that serves the media and law enforcement. In addition, the targeting on Italian-American conspiracies sets aside any accusation of political or police corruption.

Margaret E. Beare and RT. Naylor, Major Issues Relating to Organized Crime within the Context of Economic Relationships, Law Commission of Canada, April 14, 1999.


Épreuve de traduction (version et thème). 5 heures

As if in answer to our secret impatience, Hensch strode decisively to his corner of the stage. Quickly the pale-haired assistant followed, pushing the table after him. She next shifted the second table to the back of the stage and returned to the black partition. She stood with her back against it, gazing across the stage at Hensch, her loose white gown hanging from thin shoulder straps that had slipped down to her upper arms. At that moment we felt in our arms and along our backs a first faint flutter of excitement, for there they stood before us, the dark master and the pale maiden, like figures from a dream from which we were trying to awake.

Hensch chose a knife and raised it beside his head with deliberation; we realized that he had worked very quickly before. With a swift sharp drop of his forearm, as if he were chopping a piece of wood, he released the knife. At first we thought that he had struck her upper arm, but we saw that the blade had sunk into the wood and lay touching her skin. A second knife struck beside her other upper arm. She began to wiggle both shoulders, as if to free herself firom the tickling knives, and only as her loose gown came rippling down did we realize that the knives had cut the shoulder straps. Hensch had us now, he had us. Long-legged and smiling, she stepped from the fallen gown and stood before the black partition in a spangled silver leotard. We thought of tightrope walkers, bareback riders, hot circus tents on blue summer days. The pale yellow hair, the spangled cloth, the pale skin touched here and there with shadow, all this gave her the remote, enclosed look of a work of art, while at the same time it lent her a kind of cool voluptuousness, for the metallic glitter of her costume seemed to draw attention to the bareness of her skin, disturbingly unhidden, dangerously white and cool and soft.

Millhauser, The Knife Thrower, 1999


Il y avait, surtout, le cinéma. Et c'était sans doute le seul domaine où leur sensibilité avait tout appris. Ils n'y devaient rien à des modèles. Ils appartenaient, de par leur âge, de par leur formation, à cette première génération pour laquelle le cinéma fut, plus qu'un art, une évidence ; ils l'avaient toujours connu, et non pas comme forme balbutiante, mais d'emblée avec ses chefs-d'œuvre[1], sa mythologie. Il leur semblait parfois qu'ils avaient grandi avec lui, et qu'ils le comprenaient mieux que personne avant eux n'avait su le comprendre.

Ils étaient cinéphiles. C'était leur passion première ; ils s'y adonnaient chaque soir, ou presque. Ils aimaient les images, pour peu qu'elles soient belles, qu'elles les entraînent, les ravissent, les fascinent. Ils aimaient la conquête de l'espace, du temps, du mouvement, ils aimaient le tourbillon des rues de New York, la torpeur des tropiques, la violence des saloons. Ils n'étaient, ni trop sectaires, comme ces esprits obtus qui ne jurent que par un seul Eisenstein, Bunuel. ou Antonioni, ou encore – il faut de tout pour faire un inonde – Carné, Vidor, Aldrich ou Hitchcock, ni trop éclectiques, comme des individus infantiles qui perdent tout sens critique et crient au génie pour peu qu'un ciel bleu soit bleu ciel, ou que le rouge léger de la robe de Cyd Charisse tranche sur le rouge sombre du canapé de Robert Taylor. lls ne manquaient pas de goût. Ils avaient une forte prévention contre le cinéma dit sérieux, qui leur faisait trouver plus belles encore les œuvres que ce qualificatif ne suffisait [2] pas à rendre vaines (mais tout de même, disaient-ils, Marienbad, quelle merde !), une sympathie presque exagérée pour les westerns, les thrillers, les comédies américaines, et pour ces aventures étonnantes, gonflées d'envolées lyriques, d'images somptueuses, de beautés fulgurantes et presque inexplicables, qu'étaient, par exemple –ils s'en souvenaient toujours–, Lola, la Croisée des Destins, les Ensorcelés, Ecrit sur du Vent.

Ils allaient rarement au concert, moins encore au théâtre. Mais ils se rencontraient sans s'être donné rendez-vous dans ces petits cinémas de quartier, ces salles sans grâce, mal équipées, que semblait ne fréquenter qu'une clientèle composite de chômeurs, d'Algériens, de vieux garçons, de cinéphiles, et qui programmaient, dans d'infâmes versions doublées, ces chefs-d'oeuvre inconnus dont ils se souvenaient depuis l'âge de quinze ans, ou ces films réputés géniaux, dont ils avaient la liste en tête et que, depuis des années, ils tentaient vainement de voir.

Georges PEREC

Les choses, 1965


[1] Le texte dit : « … avec ces chefs d’œuvre, sa mythologie… »

[2] Le texte dit : « … que ce qualificatif ne suffisaient pas à rendre vaines… »



Quelques faits de langue à analyser :

He was a sort of Puck, making fun of bystanders (especially the whites) and generally clowning his way through the day.

(expliquer la construction verbale, verbe intransitif + ce qui semble un COD)


The paintings suddenly had a value, and as Bardon said : "Anything the aboriginals had of value had to be relieved of. It was that kind of place."

(raison de l'antéposition, ou thématisation, de l'élément "Anything" dans la proposition)


My parents are quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They're nice and all -- I'm not saying that -- but they're also touchy as hell.

(choix de be-ing, la nature et le référent de that et le sens de l'ensemble)


Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability.

(groupe nominal de structure N of N, COD du verbe "gav"e, composé du quantifieur "little" suivi du nom, indénombrable dans ce cas, "token", qui est la tête du groupe nominal complété par la préposition "of" suivie du nom indénombrable "instability" + analyser la construction N of N et l'interprétation d'ensemble)