Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Antoine Artaud

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud was born on 4 September, 1896, in Marseille, France and died on 4 March, 1948 in Paris, France. Antoine Artaud was a French playwright, poet, actor and director. Antonin Artaud is a diminutive form of Antoine (little Anthony), and was among a long list of names which Antoine Artaud used throughout his life.

Antoine Artaud’s parents, Euphrasie Nalpas and Antoine-Roi Artaud, were of Greek origin (Smyrna), and he was much affected by this background. Although his mother had 9 children, only Antoine Artaud and 2 siblings survived infancy.

At the age of 4, Antoine Artaud had a severe attack of meningitis. The virus gave Antoine Artaud a nervous, irritable temperament throughout adolescence. Antoine Artaud also suffered from neuralgia, stammering and severe bouts of depression. As a teenager, he was allegedly stabbed in the back by a pimp for apparently no reason, similar to the experience of playwright Samuel Beckett.

Antoine Artaud’s parents arranged a long series of sanatorium stays for their disruptive son, which were both prolonged and expensive. They lasted 5 years, with a break of 2 months, June and July 1916, when Antoine Artaud was conscripted into the army. Antoine Artaud was allegedly discharged due to his self-induced habit of sleepwalking. During Antoine Artaud’s “rest cures” at the sanatorium, he read Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Poe. In May 1919, the director of the sanatorium prescribed laudanum for Antoine Artaud, precipitating a lifelong addiction to that and other opiates.

In March 1920, Antoine Artaud moved to Paris. At the age of 27, Antoine Artaud sent some of his poems to the journal La Nouvelle Revue Française; they were rejected, but the editor wrote back seeking to understand him, and a relationship in letters was born. This epistolary work, “Correspondence avec Jacques Rivière,” is Antoine Artaud’s 1st major publication. In November 1926, Antoine Artaud was expelled from the surrealist movement, in which he had participated briefly, for refusing to renounce theater as a bourgeois commercial art form, and for refusing to join the French Communist Party along with the other Surrealists.

Antoine Artaud cultivated a great interest in cinema as well, writing the scenario for the 1st Surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman, directed by Germaine Dulac. Antoine Artaud also acted in Abel Gance’s Napoleon in the role of Jean-Paul Marat, and in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc as the monk Massieu. Antoine Artaud’s portrayal of Marat used exaggerated movements to convey the fire of Jean-Paul Marat’s personality.

In 1926-28, Antoine Artaud ran the Alfred Jarry Theater, along with Roger Vitrac. Antoine Artaud produced and directed original works by Roger Vitrac, as well as pieces by Claudel and Strindberg. The theatre advertised that they would produce Artaud’s play Jet de sang in their 1926-1927 season, but it was never mounted and was not premiered until 40 years later. The Theater was extremely short-lived, but was attended by an enormous range of European artists, including Andre Gide, Arthur Adamov, and Paul Valery.

The 1930s saw the publication of The Theatre and Its Double, his most well-known work. This book contained the 2 manifestos of the Theater of Cruelty, essential texts in understanding his artistic project. In 1935, Antoine Artaud’s production of his adaptation of Shelley’s The Cenci premiered. The Cenci was a commercial failure, although it employed innovative sound effects and had a set designed by Balthus.

After the production failed, Antoine Artaud received a grant to travel to Mexico where he gave lectures on the decadence of Western civilisation. Antoine Artaud also studied the Tarahumaran people and experimented with peyote, recording his experiences which were later released in a volume called Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara. The content of this work closely resembles the poems of his later days, concerned primarily with the supernatural. Antoine Artaud also recorded his horrific withdrawal from heroin upon entering the land of the Tarahumaras; having deserted his last supply of the drug at a mountainside, he literally had to be hoisted onto his horse, and soon resembled, in his words, “a giant, inflamed gum”. Having beaten his addiction, however, Antoine Artaud would return to opiates later in life.

In 1937, Antoine Artaud returned to France where he obtained a walking stick of knotted wood that he believed belonged to St. Patrick, but also Lucifer and Jesus Christ. Antoine Artaud traveled to Ireland in an effort to return the staff, though he spoke very little English and was unable to make himself understood. The majority of his trip was spent in a hotel room that he was unable to pay for. On his return trip, Antoine Artaud believed he was being attacked by 2 crew members and retaliated; he was arrested and put in a straitjacket.

The return from Ireland brought about the beginning of the final phase of Antoine Artaud’s life, which was spent in different asylums. When France was occupied by the Nazis, friends of Antoine Artaud had him transferred to the Psychiatric hospital in Rodez, well inside Vichy territory, where he was put under the charge of Dr. Gaston Ferdière. Dr Gaston Ferdière began administering electroshock treatments to eliminate Antoine Artaud’s symptoms, which included various delusions and odd physical tics. The doctor believed that Antoine Artaud’s habits of crafting magic spells, creating astrology charts, and drawing disturbing images, were symptoms of mental illness. The electro-shock treatments have created much controversy, although it was during these treatments — in conjunction with Dr Gaston Ferdière’s art therapy — that Antoine Artaud began writing and drawing again, after a long dormant period. In 1946, Dr Gaston Ferdière released Antoine Artaud to his friends, who placed him in the psychiatric clinic at Ivry-sur-Seine. Current psychiatric literature describes Antoine Artaud as having schizophrenia, with a clear psychotic break late in life and schizotypal symptoms throughout life.

Antoine Artaud was encouraged to write by his friends, and interest in his work was rekindled. Antoine Artaud visited an exhibition of works by Vincent van Gogh which resulted in a study Van Gogh le suicidé de la société (Van Gogh, The Man Suicided by Society), published by K éditeur, Paris, 1947 which won a critics´ prize. Antoine Artaud recorded Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de dieu (To Have Done With the Judgment of god) between 22 November and 29 November, 1947. This work was shelved by Wladimir Porché, the director of the French Radio, the day before its scheduled airing on 2 February, 1948. The performance was prohibited partially as a result of its scatological, anti-American, and anti-religious references and pronouncements, but also because of its general randomness, with a cacophony of xylophonic sounds mixed with various percussive elements. While remaining true to his Theater of Cruelty and reducing powerful emotions and expressions into audible sounds, Antoine Artaud had utilized various, somewhat alarming cries, screams, grunts, onomatopoeia, and glossolalia.

As a result, Fernand Pouey, the director of dramatic and literary broadcasts for French radio, assembled a panel to consider the broadcast of Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu. Among the approximately 50 artists, writers, musicians, and journalists present for a private listening on 5 February, 1948 were Jean Cocteau, Paul Eluard, Raymond Queneau, Jean-Louis Barrault, René Clair, Jean Paulhan, Maurice Nadeau, Georges Auric, Claude Mauriac and René Char. Although the panel felt almost unanimously in favour of Antoine Artaud’s work, Porché refused to allow the broadcast. Fernand Pouey left his job and the show was not heard again until 23 February, 1948 at a private performance at the Théâtre Washington.

In January 1948, Antoine Artaud was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Antoine Artaud died shortly afterwards on 4 March, 1948. Antoine Artaud died alone in his pavilion, seated at the foot of his bed, allegedly holding his shoe. It was suspected that he died from a lethal dose of the drug chloral, although whether or not he was aware of its lethality is unknown. 30 years later, French radio finally broadcast the performance of Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu.

Antoine Artaud believed that the Theatre should affect the audience as much as possible, therefore he used a mixture of strange and disturbing forms of lighting, sound and performance. In one production that he did about the plague he used sounds so realistic that some members of the audience were sick in the middle of the performance.

In his book The Theatre and Its Double, which was made up of a 1st and 2nd manifesto, Antoine Artaud expressed his admiration for Eastern forms of theatre, particularly the Balinese. Antoine Artaud admired Eastern theatre because of the codified, highly ritualised and precise physicality of Balinese dance performance, and advocated what he called a “Theatre of Cruelty”. By cruelty, he meant not exclusively sadism or causing pain, but just as often a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality. Antoine Artaud believed that text had been a tyrant over meaning, and advocated, instead, for a theatre made up of a unique language, halfway between thought and gesture. Antoine Artaud described the spiritual in physical terms, and believed that all theatre is physical expression in space.

The Theatre of Cruelty has been created in order to restore to the theatre a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigour and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based must be understood. This cruelty, which will be bloody when necessary but not systematically so, can thus be identified with a kind of severe moral purity which is not afraid to pay life the price it must be paid.

Evidently, Antoine Artaud’s various uses of the term cruelty must be examined to fully understand his ideas. Lee Jamieson has identified 4 ways in which Antoine Artaud used the term cruelty. Firstly, it is employed metaphorically to describe the essence of human existence. Antoine Artaud believed that theatre should reflect his nihilistic view of the universe, creating an uncanny connection between his own thinking and Nietzsche’s:

[Nietzsche’s] definition of cruelty informs Antoine Artaud’s own, declaring that all art embodies and intensifies the underlying brutalities of life to recreate the thrill of experience … Although Antoine Artaud did not formally cite Nietzsche, [their writing] contains a familiar persuasive authority, a similar exuberant phraseology, and motifs in extremis …

Antoine Artaud’s 2nd use of the term (according to Jamieson), is as a form of discipline. Although Antoine Artaud wanted to “reject form and incite chaos”, he also promoted strict discipline and rigor in his performance techniques. A 3rd use of the term was ‘cruelty as theatrical presentation’. The Theatre of Cruelty aimed to hurl the spectator into the centre of the action, forcing them to engage with the performance on an instinctive level. For Antoine Artaud, this was a cruel, yet necessary act upon the spectator designed to shock them out of their complacency:

Antoine Artaud sought to remove aesthetic distance, bringing the audience into direct contact with the dangers of life. By turning theatre into a place where the spectator is exposed rather than protected, Antoine Artaud was committing an act of cruelty upon them.

Antoine Artaud put the audience in the middle of the ‘spectacle’ (his term for the play), so they would be ‘engulfed and physically affected by it’. Antoine Artaud often referred to this layout as like a ‘vortex’ – a constantly shifting shape – ‘to be trapped and powerless’.

Finally, Antoine Artaud used the term to describe his philosophical views, which will be outlined in the following section.

Imagination, to Antoine Artaud, is reality; dreams, thoughts and delusions are no less real than the “outside” world. Reality appears to be a consensus, the same consensus the audience accepts when they enter a theatre to see a play and, for a time, pretend that what they are seeing is real.

Antoine Artaud’s later work presents his rejection of the idea of the spirit as separate from the body. Antoine Artaud’s poems imagistically revel in flesh and excretion, but sex was always a horror for him. Civilisation was so pernicious that Europe was pulling once proud tribal nations like Mexico down with it into decadence and death. The inevitable end result would be self-destruction and mental slavery. These were 2 evils Antoine Artaud opposed in his own life at great pain and imprisonment, as they could only be opposed personally and not on behalf of a collective or movement. Antoine Artaud thus rejected politics and Marxism wholeheartedly, a stance which led to his expulsion by the Surrealists who had begun to embrace it.

Antoine Artaud saw suffering as essential to existence, and thus rejected all utopias as inevitable dystopia.

Antoine Artaud was heavily influenced by seeing a Colonial Exposition of Balinese Theatre in Marseille. Antoine Artaud read eclectically, inspired by authors and artists such as Seneca, Shakespeare, Poe, Lautréamont, Alfred Jarry, André Masson, etc.

Antoine Artaud’s theories in Theatre and Its Double influenced rock musician Jim Morrison. Mötley Crüe named the Theatre of Pain album after reading his proposal for a Theater of Cruelty, much like Christian Death had with their album Only Theatre of Pain. The band Bauhaus included a song about the playwright, called “Antonin Artaud”, on their album Burning from the Inside. Charles Bukowski also claimed him as a major influence on his work. Influential Argentinean folk-rock songwriter Luis Alberto Spinetta named his album Artaud and wrote most of the songs on that album based on his writings. Composer John Zorn has 3 records, “Astronome,” “Moonchild,” and “6 Litanies for Heliogabalus,” dedicated to Antoine Artaud.

Theatrical practitioner Peter Brook took inspiration from Antoine Artaud’s “Theatre of cruelty” in a series of workshops that lead up to his well-known production of Marat/Sade. The Living Theatre was also heavily influenced by him, as was much English-language experimental theater and performance art; Karen Finley, Spalding Gray, Liz LeCompte, Richard Foreman, Charles Marowitz, Sam Shepard, Joseph Chaikin, and more all named Artaud as one of their influences.

Antoine Artaud also had a profound influence on the philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who borrowed Antoine Artaud’s phrase “the body without organs” to describe their conception of the virtual dimension of the body and, ultimately, the basic substratum of reality.

The survival horror video game Silent Hill: Origins contains a segment in which the protagonist must solve puzzles within the “Artaud Theatre”, which is in the town of Silent Hill.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Pierre De Ronsard

Pierre de Ronsard was born on 11 September 1524 at the Manoir de la Possonnière, in the village of Couture-sur-Loir, Loir-et-Cher and died in December 1585. Pierre de Ronsard was a French poet and “prince of poets” (as his own generation in France called him).

Pierre de Ronsard’s family is said to have come from the predominantly Romanian provinces to the north of the Danube (provinces with which the Crusades had given France much intercourse) in the first half of the 16th century. Baudouin de Ronsard or Rossart was the founder of the French branch of the house, and made his mark in the early stages of the Hundred Years’ War. The poet’s father was named Louys de Ronsard, and his mother was Jeanne de Chaudrier, of a family not only noble in itself but well connected. Pierre de Ronsard was the youngest son. Loys de Ronsard was maître d’hôtel du roi to Francis I, whose captivity after Pavia had just been softened by treaty, and he had to quit his home shortly after Pierre’s birth.

The future Prince of Poets was educated at home for some years and sent to the Collège de Navarre in Paris when he was 9 years old. When Madeleine of France was married to James V of Scotland, Pierre de Ronsard was attached to the king’s service, and he spent 3 years in Britain. The latter part of this time seems to have been passed in England, though he had, strictly speaking, no business there. On returning to France in 1540, he was again taken into the service of the Duke of Orléans.

In this service he had other opportunities of travel, being sent to Flanders and again to Scotland. After a time a more important employment fell to his lot, and he was attached as secretary to the suite of Lazare de Baïf, the father of his future colleague in the Pléiade and his companion on this occasion, Antoine de Baïf, at the diet of Speyer. Afterwards he was attached in the same way to the suite of the cardinal du Bellay-Langey, and his mythical quarrel with François Rabelais dates from this period.

Pierre De Ronsard’s apparently promising diplomatic career was, however, cut short by an attack of deafness which no physician could cure, and he determined to devote himself to study. The institution which he chose for the purpose among the numerous schools and colleges of Paris was the Collège Coqueret, the principal of which was Jean Daurat — afterwards the “dark star” (as he has been called from his silence in French) of the Pléiade, and already an acquaintance of Pierre de Ronsard’s from his having held the office of tutor in the Baïf household. Antoine de Baïf, Daurat’s pupil, accompanied Pierre de Ronsard; Belleau shortly followed; Joachim du Bellay, the 2nd of the 7, joined not much later. Muretus (Marc Antoine de Muret), a great scholar and by means of his Latin plays a great influence in the creation of French tragedy, was also a student here.

Pierre de Ronsard’s period of study occupied 7 years, and the 1st manifesto of the new literary movement, which was to apply to the vernacular the principles of criticism and scholarship learnt from the classics, came not from him but from Du Bellay. The Défense et illustration de la langue française of the latter appeared in 1549, and the Pléiade (or Brigade, as it was first called) may be said to have been then launched. It consisted, as its name implies, of 7 writers whose names are sometimes differently enumerated, though the orthodox canon is beyond doubt composed of Ronsard, Du Bellay, Baïf, Remy Belleau, Pontus de Tyard (a man of rank and position who had exemplified the principles of the friends earlier), Jodelle the dramatist, and Daurat. Pierre de Ronsard’s own work came a little later, and a rather idle story is told of a trick of Du Bellay’s which at last determined him to publish. Some single and minor pieces, an epithalamium on Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne de Navarre (1550), a “Hymne de la France” (1549), an “Ode a la Paix,” preceded the publication in 1550 of the 4 1st books (“first” is characteristic and noteworthy) of the Odes of Pierre de Ronsard.

This was followed in 1552 by the publication of his Amours de Cassandre with the fifth book of Odes, dedicated to the 15-year-old Cassandre Salviati, whom he had met at Blois and followed to her father’s Château de Talcy. These books excited a violent literary quarrel. Marot was dead, but he left numerous followers, some of whom saw in the stricter literary critique of the Pléiade, in its outspoken contempt of merely vernacular and medieval forms, in its strenuous advice to French poetry to “follow the ancients,” and so forth, an insult to the author of the Adolescence Clémentine and his school.

Pierre de Ronsard’s popularity in his own time was overwhelming and immediate, and his prosperity was unbroken. Pierre de Ronsard published his Hymns, dedicated to Margaret de Valois, in 1555; the conclusion of the Amours, addressed to another heroine, in 1556; and then a collection of Œuvres completes, said to be due to the invitation of Mary Stuart, queen of Francis II, in 1560; with Elégies, mascarades et bergeries in 1565. To this same year belongs his most important and interesting Abrégé de l’art poétique français.

The rapid change of sovereigns did Pierre de Ronsard no harm. Charles IX, King of France, who succeeded his brother after a very short time, was even better inclined to him than Henry and Francis. Pierre de Ronsard gave him rooms in the palace; he bestowed upon him divers abbacies and priories; and he called him and regarded him constantly as his master in poetry. Neither was Charles IX a bad poet. This royal patronage, however, had its disagreeable side. It excited violent dislike to Pierre de Ronsard on the part of the Huguenots, who wrote constant pasquinades against him, strove (by a ridiculous exaggeration of the Dionysiac festival at Arcueil, in which the friends had indulged to celebrate the success of the first French tragedy, Jodelle’s Cleopatre) to represent him as a libertine and an atheist, and (which seems to have annoyed him more than anything else) set up his follower Du Bartas as his rival.

According to some words of his own, which are quite credible considering the ways of the time, they were not contented with this variety of argument, but attempted to have him assassinated. During this period Pierre de Ronsard’s work was considerable but mostly occasional, and the one work of magnitude upon which Charles put him, the Franciade (1572), has never been ranked, even by his most devoted admirers, as a chief title to fame. The metre (the decasyllable) which the king chose could not but contrast unfavourably with the magnificent alexandrines which Du Bartas and Agrippa d’Aubigné were shortly to produce; the general plan is feebly classical, and the very language has little or nothing of that racy mixture of scholarliness and love of natural beauty which distinguishes the best work of the Pléiade. The poem could never have had an abiding success, but at its appearance it had the singular bad luck almost to coincide with the massacre of St Bartholomew, which had occurred about a fortnight before its publication. One party in the state were certain to look coldly on the work of a minion of the court at such a juncture, the other had something else to think of.

The death of Charles made, indeed, little difference in the court favour which Pierre de Ronsard enjoyed, but, combined with his increasing infirmities, it seems to have determined him to quit court life. During his last days he lived chiefly at a house which he possessed in Vendôme, the capital of his native province, at his abbey at Croix-Val in the same neighbourhood, or else at Paris, where he was usually the guest of Jean Galland, well known as a scholar, at the College de Boncourt. It seems also that he had a town house of his own in the Fauhourg Saint-Marcel. At any rate his preferments made him in perfectly easy circumstances, and he seems neither to have derived nor wished for any profit from his books. A half-jocular suggestion that his publishes should give him money to buy “du bois pour se chauffer” in return for his last revision of his Œuvres complètes is the only trace of any desire of the kind. On the other hand, he received not merely gifts and endowments from his own sovereign but presents from many others, including Elizabeth I of England. Mary, queen of Scots, who had known him earlier, addressed him from her prison; and Tasso consulted him on the Gerusalemme.

Pierre de Ronsard’s last years were, however, saddened not merely by the death of many of his most intimate friends, but by constant and increasing ill-health. This did not interfere with his literary work in point of quality, for he was rarely idle, and some of his latest work is among his best. But he indulged (what few poets have wisely indulged) the temptation of constantly altering his work, and many of his later alterations are by no means for the better. Towards the end of 1585 his condition of health grew worse and worse, and he seems to have moved restlessly from one of his houses to another for some months. When the end came, which, though in great pain, he met in a resolute and religious manner, he was at his priory of Saint-Cosme at Tours, and he was buried in the church of that name on Friday 27, December.

The character and fortunes of Pierre de Ronsard’s works are among the most remarkable in literary history, and supply in themselves a kind of illustration of the progress of French literature during the last 3 centuries. It was long his fortune to be almost always extravagantly admired or violently attacked. At first, as has been said, the enmity, not altogether unprovoked, of the friends and followers of Marot fell to his lot, then the still fiercer antagonism of the Huguenot faction, who, happening to possess a poet of great merit in Du Bartas, were able to attack Pierre de Ronsard in his tenderest point. But fate had by no means done its worst with him in his lifetime. After his death the classical reaction set in under the auspices of Malherbe, who seems to have been animated with a sort of personal hatred of Pierre de Ronsard, though it is not clear that they ever met. After Malherbe, the rising glory of Corneille and his contemporaries obscured the tentative and unequal work of the Pléiade, which was, moreover, directly attacked by Boileau himself, the dictator of French criticism in the last half of the 17th century.

Then Pierre de Ronsard was, except by a few men of taste, such as Jean de La Bruyère and Fénelon, forgotten when he was not sneered at. In this condition he remained during the whole 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th. The Romantic revival, seeing in him a victim of its special bête noire Boileau, and attracted by his splendid diction, rich metrical faculty, and combination of classical and medieval peculiarities, adopted his name as a kind of battle-cry, and for the moment exaggerated his merits somewhat. The critical work, however, first of Sainte-Beuve in his Tableau de la littérature francaise au 16ème siècle, and since of others, has established Pierre de Ronsard pretty securely in his right place, a place which may be defined in a few sentences.

Pierre de Ronsard was the acknowledged chief of the Pléiade and its most voluminous poet. Pierre de Ronsard was probably also its best, though a few isolated pieces of Belleau excel him in airy lightness of touch. Several sonnets of Du Bellay exhibit what may be called the intense and voluptuous melancholy of the Renaissance more perfectly than anything of his, and the finest passages of the Tragiques and the Divine Sep’maine surpass his work in command of the alexandrine and in power of turning it to the purposes of satirical invective and descriptive narration. But that work is, as has been said, very extensive (we possess at a rough guess not much short of a 100,000 lines of his), and it is extraordinarily varied in form. Pierre de Ronsard did not introduce the sonnet into France, but he practised it very soon after its introduction and with admirable skill – the famous “Quand vous serez bien vieille” being one of the acknowledged gems of French literature.

Pierre de Ronsard’s odes, which are very numerous, are also very interesting and in their best shape very perfect compositions. Pierre de Ronsard began by imitating the strophic arrangement of the ancients, but very soon had the wisdom to desert this for a kind of adjustment of the Horatian ode to rhyme, instead of exact quantitative metre. In this latter kind he devised some exquisitely melodious rhythms of which, till our own day, the secret died with the 17th century. Pierre de Ronsard’s more sustained work sometimes displays a bad selection of measure; and his occasional poetry–epistles, eclogues, elegies, etc.–is injured by its vast volume. But the preface to the Franciade is a very fine piece of verse, far superior (it is in alexandrines) to the poem itself. Generally speaking, Pierre de Ronsard is best in his amatory verse (the long series of sonnets and odes to Cassandre, Pikles, Marie, Genévre, Héléne–Héléne de Surgeres, a later and mainly “literary” love–etc.), and in his descriptions of the country (the famous “Mignonne allons voir si la rose,” the “Fontaine Bellerie,” the “Forêt de Gastine,” and so forth), which have an extraordinary grace and freshness. No one used with more art than he the graceful diminutives which his school set in fashion. Pierre de Ronsard knew well too how to manage the gorgeous adjectives (“marbrine,” “cinabrine,” “ivoirine” and the like) which were another fancy of the Pléiade, and in his hands they rarely become stiff or cumbrous. In short, Pierre de Ronsard shows eminently the 2 great attractions of French 16th-century poetry as compared with that of the 2 following ages – magnificence of language and imagery and graceful variety of metre.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Guillaume Amontons

Guillaume Amontons was born on 31 August, 1663 in Paris, France and died on 11 October, 1705 in Paris, France. Guillaume was a French scientific instrument inventor and physicist. Guillaume was one of the pioneers in tribology, apart from Leonardo da Vinci, John Theophilius Desanguliers, Leonard Euler and Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.

Guillaume’s father was a lawyer from Normandy who had moved to the French capital. While still young, Guillaume lost his hearing, which may have motivated him to focus entirely on science. Guillaume never attended a university, but was able to study mathematics, the physical sciences, and celestial mechanics. Guillaume also spent time studying the skills of drawing, surveying, and architecture. Guillaume was supported in his research career by the government, and was employed in various public works projects.

Among his contributions to scientific instrumentation were improvements to the barometer (1695), hygrometer (1687), and thermometer (1695), particularly for use of these instruments at sea. Guillaume also demonstrated an optical telegraph and proposed the use of his clepsydra (water clock) for keeping time on a ship at sea.

Guillaume investigated the relationship between pressure and temperature in gases though he lacked accurate and precise thermometers. Though his results were at best semi-quantitative, he established that the pressure of a gas increases by roughly 1/3 between the temperatures of cold and the boiling point of water. This was a substantial step towards the subsequent gas laws and, in particular, Charles’s law.

Guillaume’s work led him to speculate that a sufficient reduction in temperature would lead to the disappearance of pressure. Thus, he is the first researcher to discuss the concept of an absolute zero of temperature, a concept later extended and rationalised by William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. In 1699, Guillaume published his rediscovery of the laws of friction first put forward by Leonardo da Vinci. Though they were received with some scepticism, the laws were verified by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb in 1781.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)) can be named as the father of modern tribology as he studied an incredible manifold of tribological subtopics such as: friction, wear, bearing materials, plain bearings, lubrication systems, gears, screw-jacks, and rolling-element bearings. 150 years before Guillaume’s Laws of Friction were introduced, he had already recorded them in his manuscripts. Hidden or lost for centuries, Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts were read in Spain a quarter of a millennium later.

Guillaume’s Laws of Friction were first recorded in books during the late 17th century.

There 3 laws of friction are:

  • 1. The force of friction is directly proportional to the applied load. (Guillaume’s 1st Law)
  • 2. The force of friction is independent of the apparent area of contact. (Guillaume’s 2nd Law)
  • 3. Kinetic friction is independent of the sliding velocity. (Coulomb’s Law)

NOTE: These 3 laws only apply to dry friction, in which the addition of a lubricant modifies the tribological properties signifiantly.

By looking at any surface on the microscopic level, one would find that it is never perfectly flat. There would exist many tiny bumps and craters, due to imperfections on the surface and the alignment of molecules. (The skin does not feel the bumps and craters because they are too small to be detected.) Considering a smooth stone on a smooth flat road, the 2 surfaces would be still in contact, but only at a few points (the bumps do fot fit exactly into the craters). Due to electrostatic forces of repulsion between the atoms (nuclei and nuclei) of the stone and the road, the road will exert a force on the stone, and the stone will exert a force on the road (normal contact forces). The NET force exerted on the stone would be the NORMAL contact force.

If net external forces cause the stone to move to the RIGHT, the forces that the road exert on the stone would be slightly skewed to the LEFT, thus the net force will be pointing UP but LEFTWARD (tilted contact force). As the vertical component of the net force is the normal contact force, the extra horizontal leftward component of the force would therefore be the FRICTIONAL force. (Note: friction OPPOSES motion)

Suppose the stone had a greater mass (hence greater weight as g=constant). The stone would then:

  • exert a greater force on the road (the increased load causes the separation distance of the nuclei to decrease, force of repulsion becomes stronger(inverse-square law) ), AND
  • more of the atoms of the road and the stone would be in contact.

Hence, when the stone is moved, a greater frictional force would be produced (more areas of contact means that more forces can be skewed, producing more horizontal components of the contact forces).

Guillaume’s law applies to any 2 surfaces, regardless of their orientation. (e.g. pressing a brick against the ceiling, etc.)

NOTE: Applied load means the normal contact force acting on the stone. That is, if the stone is being pushed down harder while it was trying to move, the force acting on the ground increases, and hence the force of the ground acting on the stone (normal contact) increases. This means that more force is required to move the stone across the ground. (frictional force increase)

What this law means is that if two equal masses made of similar material are resting on the same surface with DIFFERENT SURFACES AREAS OF CONTACT, they would require the SAME AMOUNT of FORCE to start moving (overcome static friction) and to move at constant speed+.

To put it in another way: considering 2 equal masses, and the area in contact in situation A is greater than in situation B. This only means that in situation A, the load is distributed across a greater area then in situation B. However, the applied load is still the same! Thus to move both masses, we would require the same amount of applied force to overcome friction. (Guillaume’s First Law)

+ To maintain constant speed, net force has to be 0N. Assuming no drag forces,
 \begin{align} F_{applied}-F_{fric} & = 0 \\ \therefore F_{applied} & = F_{fric} \\ \end{align}

Through studies and experimental observations on the properties of friction, a relationship between frictional force and normal contact force was established:

\begin{align}F_{fric}=\mu N\end{align},

where μ is the coefficient of friction and N is the normal contact force.

This is as predicted by Guillaume’s 2 laws, where Ffric depends only on the normal contact force (reaction pair of the applied load), and is independent of the surface area in contact.

However, exceptions to Guillaume’s Law have been observed in various nanometric scenarios. For example, when 2 surfaces get close enough such that molecular interactions and atomic forces come into play, the 2 surfaces are attracted together and form what was known as ‘negative load’.

*requires verfication by Specialists*


  • Member, Académie des Sciences, (1690)
  • The Amontons crater on the Moon is named after him.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Gabriel Faure

Gabriel Urbain Fauré was born on 12 May 1845 in Pamiers Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées and died on 4 November 1924 in Paris, France from pneumonia. Gabriel Faure was given a state funeral at the Église de la Madeleine and is buried in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris.

Gabriel Faure was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. Gabriel Faure was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. Gabriel Faure’s harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.

Gabriel Fauré was born to, Toussaint-Honoré Fauré and Marie-Antoinette-Hélène Lalène-Laprade. Gabriel Faure was sent to live with a foster-nurse for 4 years. At the age of 9 he was sent to study at the École Niedermeyer, a school which prepared church organists and choir directors in Paris, and continued there for 11 years. Gabriel Faure studied with several prominent French musicians, including Camille Saint-Saëns, who introduced him to the music of several contemporary composers, including Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt.

In 1870, Gabriel Fauré enlisted in the army and took part in the action to raise the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. During the Paris Commune he stayed at Rambouillet and in Switzerland, where he taught at the transported École Niedermeyer. When he returned to Paris in October 1871, he was appointed assistant organist at Saint-Sulpice as accompanist to the choir, and became a regular at Saint-Saëns’ salon. Here he met many prominent Parisian musicians and with those he met there and at the salon of Pauline Garcia-Viardot he formed the Société Nationale de Musique.

In 1874, Gabriel Fauré stopped working at Saint-Sulpice and began to fill in at the Église de la Madeleine for Saint-Saëns during his many absences. When Saint-Saëns retired in 1877, Gabriel Fauré became choirmaster. In the same year he became engaged to Marianne Viardot, daughter of Pauline, but the engagement was later broken off by Marianne. Following this disappointment he travelled to Weimar, where he met Liszt, and Cologne in order to see productions of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Gabriel Fauré admired Richard Wagner, but was one of very few composers of his generation not to come under his influence.

In 1883, Gabriel Fauré married Marie Fremiet, with whom he had 2 sons. In order to support his family Gabriel Fauré spent most of his time in organising daily services at the Église de la Madeleine and teaching piano and harmony lessons. Gabriel Faure only had time to compose during the summers. Gabriel Faure earned almost no money from his compositions because his publisher bought them, copyright and all, for 50 francs each. During this period Gabriel Fauré wrote several large scale works, in addition to many piano pieces and songs, but he destroyed many of them after a few performances, only retaining a few movements in order to re-use motives.

During his youth Gabriel Fauré was very cheerful, but his broken engagement combined with his perceived lack of musical success led to bouts of depression which he described as “spleen”. In the 1890s, however, his fortunes reversed somewhat. Gabriel Faure had a successful trip to Venice where he met with friends and wrote several works. In 1892, he became the inspector of the music conservatories in the French provinces, which meant he no longer had to teach amateur students. In 1896, he finally became chief organist at the Église de la Madeleine, and also succeeded Jules Massenet as composition instructor at the Conservatoire de Paris. At this particular post he taught many important French composers, including Maurice Ravel and Nadia Boulanger.

From 1903 to 1921, Gabriel Fauré was a critic for Le Figaro. In 1905, he succeeded Théodore Dubois as director of the Paris Conservatory. Gabriel Faure made many changes at the Conservatoire, leading to the resignation of a number of faculty members. This position meant that he was better off in terms of income, and he also became much more widely known as a composer.

Gabriel Fauré was elected to the Institut de France in 1909, but at the same time he broke with the Société Nationale de Musique, and supported the rogue group which formed out of those ejected from the Société, mainly his own students. During this time Gabriel Fauré developed ear trouble and gradually lost his hearing. Sound not only became fainter, but it was also distorted, so that pitches on the low and high ends of his hearing sounded like other pitches. Gabriel Faure made efforts to conceal his difficulty, but was eventually forced to abandon his teaching position.

Gabriel Faure’s responsibilities at the Conservatoire, combined with his hearing loss, meant that Gabriel Fauré’s output was greatly reduced during this period. During World War I Gabriel Fauré remained in France. In 1920, at the age of 75, he retired from the Conservatoire mainly due to his increasing deafness. In this year he also received the Grand-Croix of the Légion d’Honneur, an honor rare for a musician. Gabriel Faure suffered from poor health, partially brought on by heavy smoking. Despite this, he remained available to young composers, including members of Les Six, who were devoted to him.

Gabriel Fauré is regarded as the master of the French art song, or mélodie. Gabriel Faure’s works ranged from an early romantic style, when in his early years he emulated the style of Mendelssohn and others, to late 19th century Romantic, and finally to a 20th century aesthetic. Gabriel Faure’s work was based on a strong understanding of harmonic structures which he received at the École Niedermeyer from his harmony teacher Gustave Lefèvre, who wrote the book Traité d’harmonie (Paris, 1889), in which Lefèvre sets forth a harmonic theory which differs significantly from the classical theory of Jean-Philippe Rameau in that 7th and 9th chords are no longer considered dissonant, and the mediant can be altered without changing the mode. In addition, Gabriel Fauré’s understanding of the church modes can be seen in various modal passages in his works, especially in his melodies.

In contrast with his harmonic and melodic style, which pushed the bounds for his time, Gabriel Fauré’s rhythmic motives tended to be subtle and repetitive, with little to break the flow of the line, although he did utilize subtle large scale syncopations, similar to those found in Brahms works. Aaron Copland referred to him as the ‘French Brahms’.

Gabriel Fauré’s piano works often use arpeggiated figures with the melody interspersed between the 2 hands, and include finger substitutions natural for organists. These aspects make them daunting for some pianists, but they are nonetheless central works.

Gabriel Fauré was a prolific composer, and among the most noteworthy of his works are his Requiem, the opera Pénélope, the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques (based on music for a dramatic entertainment, or divertissement comique), and music for Pelléas et Mélisande. Gabriel Faure also wrote chamber music; his 2 piano quartets are particularly well known. Other chamber music includes 2 piano quintets, 2 cello sonatas, 2 violin sonatas, and a number of piano pieces including the Nocturnes. Gabriel Faure is also known for his songs, such as Après un rêve, Les roses d’Ispahan, En prière, and several song cycles, including La Bonne Chanson with settings of poems by Verlaine, and L’horizon chimérique.

The Requiem, Op. 48, was not composed to the memory of a specific person but, in Gabriel Fauré’s words, “for the pleasure of it.” It was first performed in 1888. Gabriel Fauré is thought not to have had strong religious beliefs. It has been described as “a lullaby of death”. In setting his requiem, he left out the Dies irae, though the reference to the day of judgment appears in the Libera me, which, like Giuseppe Verdi, he added to the normal requiem mass. Several slightly different versions of the Requiem exist, and these have given rise to a number of different recordings. Personal grief may have influenced the composition as it was started after the death of his father, and before it was completed, his mother died as well. The Requiem can thus be seen as an expression of Gabriel Fauré’s personal tragedy written after the death of his parents. The Requiem is also acknowledged as a source of inspiration for the similar setting by Maurice Duruflé.

Gabriel Faure’s music is used in “Act I: Emeralds” of George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels (1967).

In the UK, the Berceuse from his Dolly Suite became known to several generations of children when it was used as the closing music for the radio programme Listen with Mother, which ran from 1950 to 1982.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Ferdinand Berthier

Ferdinand Berthier was born on 28 September, 1803 and died on 12 July, 1886. Ferdinand was a deaf educator, intellectual and political organizer in 19th Century France, and is one of the earliest champions of Deaf identity and culture. In late 1837 Ferdinand petitioned the French government for permission to create the Société Centrale des Sourds-muets, which was officially founded the following year as the first organisation to represent the interests of the deaf community. The organisation aimed to bring together “all the deaf spread across the globe. Ferdinand played a delicate balancing act as a passionate defender of the deaf identity and sign language, while under a repressive social and political climate. Ferdinand also wrote books about deaf history and deaf culture, noting deaf artists and sign-language poets of his time.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Louis Feraud

Louis Féraud was born on 13 February 1921 and died on 28 December, 1999 after a long and severe battle with Alzeihmers Disease at the age of 79. Louis Feraud was a French fashion designer and artist.

In 1950, Louis Féraud created his first “Maison de Couture” in Cannes and by 1955 had established a couture house in Paris on the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré.

From the mid 1950s he was dressing the Parisian elite and designed the wardrobe of Brigitte Bardot for many of her movies. It wasn’t however until 1958 that he presented his first haute couture collection in Paris.

The early 1960s saw Louis Féraud hire the young unknown designers Jean-Louis Scherrer and Per Spook.

In 1970 he signed a contract with Fink (Germany) for a ladies’ prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) collection. The year 1978 was an excellent one for Féraud: he won the “Golden Thimble Award” for his Spring/Summer 1978 Haute Couture Collection. Louis Feraud went on to claim this accolade again in 1984.

Adding to his growing collection of honours Louis Féraud was elected Prince de l’Art de Vivre in 1991. In 1995 he was decorated Officier de la Légion d’honneur, by the French President. Louis Feraud’s daughter Kiki signed her first Haute Couture collection in with Louis Féraud in 1996. In September 1999 the Dutch group Secon acquired Féraud.

The year 2000 saw Yvan Mispelaere join the group as artistic director and that July witnessed his first Haute Couture fashion show in “Musée des Monuments Français” in Paris. In 2002 the German Group ESCADA took 90% of the Féraud shares and Yvan Mispelaere left the company. Later that year Féraud decided to concentrate its activities on ladies’ ready-to-wear and licences with Jean-Paul Knott selected as Creative Director for the luxury ready-to-wear market.

In 2003 Jean-Paul Knott left Féraud and that July the worldwide flagship store opened in Paris at 400 rue Saint-Honoré.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Penelope Cruz

Penélope Cruz was born on 28 April, 1974 in Madrid, Spain. Penelope is a Spanish actress who has known much success in many of her movies. Penelope was originally a dancer but slowly started to get involved in Spanish television. With time she has now appeared in several movies in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. This beautiful and talented actress has been said to suffer from OCD.

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