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Lessons in French
"An appealing debut novel...Paris entrances" - Editor's Choice, Oprah.com
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Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

Created: 10/17/14

Replies: 7

Posted Oct. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

Discussing her drawing techniques with Etienne, Kate says, "I don’t change things. I see them. I have a talent for seeing" (p. 163). Would you agree with her assessment, and do you think it is true of her personal interactions? Is her way of seeing also a form of blindness?


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

I think she is right in saying she has a talent for seeing and reproducing the real thing in front of her but she seems to be just beginning to understand that there has to be more to becoming a good artist than reproducing people or things. Kate come to the realization that a picture must also incite some reaction emotionally in the viewer so she must include that in her work. A viewer wants to feel something about what he is seeing.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

It's true that Kate can reproduce what she physically sees in her drawings, but I don't think she see sees much about the people around her. She has no idea that Olivier is in contact with Lydia, doesn't realize for quite a while that Clarence is having an affair and doesn't even realize that Etienne is gay until Christie tells her.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

I agree with Mariannes. Kate has a talent for seeing literally, but not intuitively. The same thing shows up in her art; Impressionism makes her uncomfortable. She lacks sensitivity to people in the same way, although by the end of the story she has grown on this dimension with regard to both art and people.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurat

Join Date: 10/21/14

Posts: 3

RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

Absolutely, Kate draws what she sees at the beginning of the story and doesn't understand other art.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
asha

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 44

RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

Kate's talent for seeing is very literal. It doesn't seem to give her any deeper perceptions of character or understanding though.

Kate seems to find it necessary to not 'dig' into what she sees...perhaps a bit naive...


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

I don't think it takes talent to see what is right in front of you (the literal picture); if seeing means insight, she has none. She is naïve and trusting, but she is young and the young are also self-centered. I think she grew up a lot by the book's end.


Posted Oct. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: Do you agree with Kate's assessment that she has "a talent for seeing"?

I think she has her ability to reproduce what is before her confused with the ability to see the actual composition. In other words, seeing vrs. Insight. If she is able to mature enough to see the various parts to what she draws or paints, she will find her style and produce more original and interesting art. When people
Copy or render, usually isn't terribly creative or interesting. Artists need to show that little bit of what they see to be really good. (I think)


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