Review of Denis Diderot & Jules Assézat’s Story: Entretiene d’un père avec ses enfants.

As I was feeling that I needed to read something in French to practice it a little bit to not forget it, I started searching in iBooks for Free French books, I initially was looking for oeuvres de Éliphas Lévi, but after I got a few from him, this title from Denis Diderot & Jules Assézat pop up suggested for me. So I got it too.

After it downloaded, I accidentally taped it and it opened, (I usually just get a couple books and then chose which one I will read next), but when it opened I saw that this was not a novel nor a long story, it was short, it had only around 40 pages on the iPad, so I just thought let’s read it.

So I started to read, effectively, my French was getting rotted because it took me a while to get to a good pace of reading, despite me being an slow reader, it took me way longer than usual to finish the first page. Although I’m not really sure if it was because of my forgotten French or the fact that this story is almost 250 years old, as it was published in 1771, so it is written in a kinda weird old French style.

Since  the title, that can be translated in English as “Conversation of a Father with his Children”, most of this book is a dialogue, which I loved, since I find reading dialogues easier than long paragraphs. And another thing that I totally enjoyed was that the title totally deceived me.

Because, first of all I had never read anything from Diderot, although I may have read his name once or twice in some philosophy articles, but I never really had look him up. So, judging by the title I was expecting a story of a father talking to his little children, probably telling the kids stories or something of the sort. You know... Something fantastic.

But the story is totally the contrary, the set up it’s with the father being sick, in bed, talking to his adults children, remembering life and something that he did in his early life that could have ruined the family name.

Again, totally opposed of what I thought, this story ended up being a Philosophic Tale, which brought  a peculiar situation into the readers mind, and then it was discussed among the characters of the story, and every one of them giving their own opinion. So, if you are like me that like to immerse in the books, you would find yourself asking the same question that were asked in the book. What would you have done in the father stead? Because, the conversation that the father has with his children, it’s about a decision he had to made regarding his job.

To wrap it out, because I wanna be careful not to spoil the book, I can say that I totally loved this story, because it was the first time I read something like that, since usually all the books of philosophy I’ve read are more of the thoughts and opinions of said philosophers, like, they usually just express their opinions and push their beliefs into others, instead of bringing the questions that originated those opinions to the readers to let them create their own opinions. So this philosophical tale was very appealing to me, and I will totally be looking up for more ouvres de Diderot, because I loved his style and way to express his thoughts.

So if you can read French or if you can find the translated version of this story I totally suggest you to read it, because it’s short, it’s entertaining, and most importantly, it will make you think and reconsider your beliefs and values. I got it for free in my iPad on iBooks, since it’s public domain, here’s the link to download it. But I’m sure it must be available in English somewhere else.

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