Essay: a bit of general culture

Essay: a bit of general knowledge

BETTING À DAY

There are times in life when you feel the need, in the midst of the tumult and conflicts of all kinds, to cling to a piece of humanity, to say or make people say that it's not all plunder and abuse, that there have been and still are women and men who work for the common good of populations. 

This book, a veritable kaleidoscope of general culture, aims to be a contribution to universal knowledge which should constitute the basis of all teaching and learning. This knowledge constitutes the raw material for formulating, orally and in writing, any thought that allows us to interpret the world and any decision-making to take action. Because “the development of a good general culture leads the individual to decenter himself”. And, inevitably, to open up to the world.

We have divided this vast field of knowledge into seven specific areas: arts, civil rights, inventions and techniques, medicine, politics, science and, finally, sports , which are declined through the life and work of remarkable characters, some known, others less, coming from our own history or belonging to universal history, ranging from 300 years BC to today. today and presented by as many specialists, professors and researchers.

We can discuss the choice of these exceptional figures, from Maria Callas to Jacqueline Gareau, via Darwin, Archimedes, Michel Chartrand, Adam Smith, René Lévesque, James Watt and many others.

Artists

Thus, of the opera singer Maria Callas, born in 1923 in the Greek community of New York, the lyrical artist Lucie Mayer tells us that she revolutionized bel canto and “changed the course of the interpretation of western opera”. The timbre of her voice, her wide register, her talent as a tragic actress make her an exceptional and popular artist who is written in golden letters in the history of opera.

There is also singer Jean-Pierre Ferland, whose biographer, Marc-François Bernier, says he is the golden link between Félix Leclerc and Céline Dion, two artists who performed one of his songs. The work of this singer-songwriter is immense, with some 450 songs, including many hits.

We then fly over New Orleans in the company of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, to the sound of trumpets, clarinets and trombones by talented musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Thelonius Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. 

Justine Barbier then invites us, in a few pages, to learn more about the exhilarating life and work of the Mexican Frida Kahlo. A member of the Mexican Communist Party, she also distinguished herself through her tumultuous love affairs, including with the muralist Diego Rivera, and also through her social commitment.

Rebellious< /p>

Three professors of political science from UQAM introduce us to the woman of letters, revolutionary and precursor of feminism Olympe de Gouges. A few years before the French Revolution, she denounced slavery in an avant-garde play. They threaten to imprison him in the Bastille. She persists and signs by proposing a “Declaration of the rights of women and citizens”. She will end up guillotined for opposing the dictates of Robespierre and Marat.

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville is also entitled to a short biography. This valiant sailor will succeed in driving the English out of Hudson Bay. With this feat, he will be in all the fights where the Union Jack floats, from the icy lands of northern Quebec to Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico. On the eve of undertaking an expedition which was to drive out any English presence in this part of the Americas, he died in Havana on July 9, 1706, suffering from an incurable fever.

There is thus about thirty, each more interesting than the other, to be read in the order that suits you.

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The revolution of the silent gaze/Wanting the beauty of the world

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