19th Century Literary Movements : Realism and Naturalism

19th century literary movements : Realism and Naturalism photo
Jean-François Millet, Des Glaneuses, 1857.


Realism and Naturalism are a reaction against Romanticism (imagination, poetry and prose, as well as the main themes : nature, exoticism, history, and heroes depicted as exceptional individuals) because it was thought to have lost touch with the contemporary.

Three revolutions took place during the 19th century : the industrial revolution, the scientific revolution, and the moral revolution.

In Great Britain, the Victorian Era lasted from 1837 to 1901. In the USA, the Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865.

The industrial revolution

The Industrial Revolution was started by the invention of the steam machine (coal, railways, factories). All this happened in the cities : the increase of the population led to misery and social problems such as alcoholism, tuberculosis, prostitution... There was a shift from a belief in progress to an increasing pessimism.

The scientific revolution

The Scientific Revolution expanded in the transport revolution, started by the steam engine:

  • 1830: Manchester-Liverpool railway
  • 1869: Transcontinental railway in the USA
  • Thomas Edison invents the gramophone, the light bulb and the electric chair
  • Pierre and Marie Curie discover radioactivity...

The world was changing extremely fast.

Auguste Comte (1798–1857) is at the origin of a philosophical theory called Positivism. He devised the "law of three stages" : (1) the theological, (2) the metaphysical, and (3) the positive.

The theological phase of man was based on whole-hearted belief in all things with reference to God. God, Comte says, had reigned supreme over human existence pre-Enlightenment. Humanity's place in society was governed by its association with the divine presences and with the church. The theological phase deals with humankind's accepting the doctrines of the church (or place of worship) rather than relying on its rational powers to explore basic questions about existence.

Comte describes the metaphysical phase of humanity as the time since the Enlightenment, a time steeped in logical rationalism, to the time right after the French Revolution. This second phase states that the universal rights of humanity are most important. The central idea is that humanity is invested with certain rights that must be respected. In this phase, democracies and dictators rose and fell in attempts to maintain the innate rights of humanity.

The final stage of the trilogy of Comte's universal law is the scientific, or positive, stage. The central idea of this phase is that individual rights are more important than the rule of any one person. Science is paramount and can give man absolute knowledge and power.

The moral revolution

The moral revolution marked the end of the hypocrisy of the Victorian morality. In the Origin of Species (1859), Darwin suggested for the first time that man descended from apes : there was no need for God, just a struggle for life ("survival of the fittest"). Darwin influenced Marx (communism and class warfare) and Nietsche (vision of super-man).

Conflicts and struggles define the future of society. It was a time of intense philosophy, and moral and scientific changes.


Realism is the fact of being faithful to reality. It was a movement away from romantic illusion, in order to get closer to the social and psychological reality of the time. It is the belief there can be a correspondence between reality and its representation.

Reality is a subject matter : the life of ordinary people in ordinary situations - for instance the bourgeois middle-class as exceptional people are not realistic. Balzac talked about every classes of society but very often, he selected.

Reality is also a matter of verisimilitude : how characters are determined by their environment, chronological narratives, psychological dimension of the characters, presence of an omniscient narrator.

Realism in England

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was a realistic who lived during romanticism but she was not romantic at all. She described middle classes in the countryside (how to get married) with two types of heroines : romantic on the one hand and reasonable and realistic on the other hand.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) defined realism with a strong social dimension : he portrayed the working class and the poor, and dealt with poverty and revolt against injustice. Dickens' characters are defenseless orphans in a cruel world and his novels were used for social reforms.

In Oliver Twist (1838), there is sentimentality and pathos (influence of melo-drama) but also humour and caricature to alleviate tensions.

Uriah Heep in David Copperfield (1850) is evil, ugly, red-haired and smelled a fish. This romantic realism depicted social problems as well as imagination and sentimentality.

Lire la suite! »

Calculer le Time To First Byte (TTFB) d'un serveur

Le Time to First Byte (TTFB) est le temps de chargement du premier octet, c'est la mesure qui nous permet d'évaluer la vitesse d'accès à un serveur. Plus la mesure est basse et plus le serveur commencera à servir les ressources rapidement.

Calculer le Time To First Byte (TTFB) d'un serveur photo

Le ping comme moyen de contrôle

A l’origine le "ping” vient du bruit effectué par l’écho d’un sonar, le temps entre deux ping indiquant la distance parcourue par le signal pour détecter les fonds marins et revenir vers un navire. Les sons courts n’étaient pas de bons signaux pour un capitaine, puisqu'ils indiquaient que le danger se rapprochait de la coque du navire.

Le ping correspond pour nous au TTFB car il nous permet de mesurer la réactivité d'un serveur ou d'une ressource réseau.

Le ping comme mesure du Time To First Byte

Le TTFB mesure le temps écoulé entre la requête d'un client qui effectue une requête HTTP et le premier octet de la page reçu dans le navigateur du client. Ce temps se compose du temps de connexion au socket, du temps pris pour envoyer la requête HTTP, et du temps pris pour recevoir le premier octet de la page.

Le calcul du TTFB inclut toujours la latence du réseau lorsqu'il calcule le temps que prend une ressource avant de se charger. Ce temps varie en fonction de plusieurs critères: l’éloignement entre le serveur et le client, la qualité de la connexion, ou les questions de connexion directe (réseau filaire) ou indirecte (WI-FI, 3G, etc) sont des facteurs modifiant le ping.

Un TTFB faible est perçu comme une indication d'un serveur bien configuré. Cela signifie que moins de calculs dynamiques sont effectués par le serveur ou alors que le cache (DNS, serveur, ou applicatif) est en place.

Calcul to TTFB avec curl

Il existe pas mal de services en ligne qui permettent de calculer le TTFB mais il est aussi très simple de le calculer soi-même, avec un simple terminal avec curl :

curl -o /dev/null -w "Connect: %{time_connect} TTFB: %{time_starttransfer} Total time: %{time_total} \n" https://www.skyminds.net

Ce qui nous donne le résultat suivant depuis chez moi:

  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 54616    0 54616    0     0   153k      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  153k

Connect: 0,039729 TTFB: 0,269024 Total time: 0,347745

A titre indicatif, si on lance la requête depuis le serveur:

  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 54616    0 54616    0     0   797k      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  808k

Connect: 0.001645 TTFB: 0.066232 Total time: 0.066848

On peut voir une sacrée différence, dû au temps de latence et à l'éloignement géographique. Une autre raison pour laquelle il faut travailler sur la baisse du TTFB : si le TTFB met 270ms en France, à combien sera-t-il pour un visiteur Américain ou Australien ?

Concrètement, plus la connexion au serveur est rapide et plus le site se chargera tôt, ce qui a un fort impact sur le ranking du site. A surveiller donc !

32 odd musical anecdotes

32 odd musical anecdotes photo

Here are 32 odd musical anecdotes :

  1. The Beastie Boys used to open for themselves, disguised as a heavy metal band.
  2. When Andrew Lloyd Webber was writing the sequel to 'The Phantom of the Opera,' the entire score was deleted by a kitten.
  3. The only guy in ZZ Top who doesn't have a beard is Frank Beard.
  4. None of Elvis' films got nominated for Oscar, but he did win 3 Grammy Awards - for his gospel recordings.
  5. John Lennon wrote Good morning, good morning after hearing a Corn Flakes commercial.
  6. Metallica is the first and only band to play on all 7 continents.
  7. Members of Led Zeppelin were once accused of attacking a groupie with a mud shark.
  8. David Bowie was using so much cocaine in 1975 that he couldn't remember recording an entire album, Station to Station.
  9. The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, DMX, and Busta Rhymes all went to the same high school at the same time.
  10. Before Guns N’ Roses, Slash once auditioned for the band Poison; he decided not to join when he was asked about wearing make-up.
  11. Marilyn Monroe got a white poodle named Mafia from Frank Sinatra.
  12. The airplane that Buddy Holly died in was called American Pie. Don McLean wrote a song with the same name about the accident.
  13. Duran Duran was named after a mad scientist from the Jane Fonda movie Barbarella.
  14. The first CD that was pressed in the U.S. was Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA.
  15. Before composing Beethoven dipped his head in cold water.
  16. 'Ace' Frehley, former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss, used to record his vocals while lying on his back.
  17. Like humans, birds can learn music while they are still in the egg stage.
  18. Mozart was five years old when he wrote his first piece.
  19. The first pop video was released in 1975. It was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
  20. In 1976 Barry Manilow sang a chart topping song named I write the songs. The song wasn't written by him.
  21. Termites will eat wood two times faster when listening to heavy metal.
  22. When Madonna was 15 years old, she got grounded for the whole summer, for sneaking out to see David Bowie in concert.
  23. In the year 1988 tenor Luciano Pavarotti received a record 165 curtain calls at a Berlin opera house.
  24. Make music not war: Monaco's national orchestra is bigger that its army.
  25. Wham!'s hit single Wake me up before you go go was written by George Michael who was inspired by the note that was left to his hotel room by another band member Andrew Ridgeley. The note was mistakenly written as "Don't forget to wake me up up before you go go, George".
  26. House of the rising sun by The Animals was recorded with only 15 minutes because the band was on a tight budget. In spite of that the song went all the way to number one in 1964.
  27. Kurt Cobain accidentally named Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' after a deodorant for teenage girls.
  28. Suzanne Vega is considered the "mother" of the mp3 format. The creators of the mp3 used her voice from the song Tom's Diner for analyzing the different sound spectrums when creating the compression algorithm.
  29. The British Navy uses Britney Spears' songs to scare off Somali pirates.
  30. Composers Bach and Handel were both blinded by the same man.
  31. When the Foo Fighters recorded their first album, David Grohl was the only member of the band.
  32. The Rolling Stones' tongue logo was inspired by the Hindu goddess Kali.

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