Scarlet Skies Rise of the Noir
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Social climbing is seen as the worst sin that only results in calunmy and humiliation. As in other similar dramas - the victims are educated just enough to enter society and love-sick enough to attract rogue genius up their ladders for a dangerous liaison. This invariably leads to non-marital impregnation, social downfall and subsequently death. A scoundrel and the child of a scoundrel never occupy life together for long. Pay close attention and you will learn fairly time-tested formulas for attracting, conquering and devouring your prey if such things appeal to you.
But woe to thee that doesn't have the heart and mind to benefit from their advantages - because like Witkacy made clear - it's insatiability that invites Mephistopheles.
Unlike Banffy and Zilahy - Stendhal rarely shares a meal or several glasses of wine with the reader. So the next time I won't not read a courtly screw and stew - I think it will be set about miles to the east of Paris and people will at least dance a czardas. View all 3 comments.
Dec 01, Mariel rated it liked it Recommends it for: fat cats. Ultimately, Stendhal's The Red and the Black almost pissed me off. If I see this book again I'm tempted to say to it, "I'm not rationally sure why you kinda pissed me off.
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I just know you did! I hate that feeling of self persuasion as inevitable, as people being trapped in mind games.
It sucks but I cannot swallow the idea that there is no other outcome. I know it's satire.
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I kinda hate satire. I don't want to read something that the point of it is to point out how something else is wrong if it isn't going to be right itself. I had better feel more than surface-y surface if I'm going to believe otherwise. I think I was bothered because people are not mind readers.
Choosing to live as a liar does not make a more honest person out of you, if you are doing so because the claim is that there's no other choice. There was something passive-aggressive about the whole thing: the "love" stories, the ambitions Something false. My former friend went on and on about Stendhal's theories on love being a chosen journey, that no one takes that journey unless they choose to.
Made me hate Stendhal a little bit more. Something about ending up in Bologne. He referenced a Garfield reference to this idea with a Bologne joke! I freaking hate Garfield. Anyway, I hate that too much is taken for granted like some sweeping statement about love and honesty and ambition could be swept up in "events". Garfield can have Stendhal and lasagna.
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I'd rather not have excuses. Mar 20, Elizabeth K. Maybe there's some sort of deathbed reckoning for book snobs that involves a Ghost of Literature Past.
Me: Yes, indeedy! GLP: Hmmm. Me: Oh. GLP: Hmmmmm. The second reason is that it is one of James's favorite books. I don't do very well predicting what he will like in general, let alone what would make his list of favorite books. I'm pretty confident that if I had to read this for a class, I would hate it quite a bit.
But as leisure reading, it was solidly enjoyable. The gist is we have this guy, Julien, who is from a working class family but is rather bright and wants to move up in the world. He's got a Napoleon fetish, but unfortunately for Julien, we're already firmly into the Restoration, so his best plan for upward mobility is through the church.
He also finds the time to have affairs with two women of the upper class, both of which conist of "I love her! But she despises me! But if she thinks I despise her, she will love me! But if she loves me because I despise her because I love her, I will despise her! Then she will despise me because I despise her because she loves me because I despise her because she despises me because I love her, and I will love her again!
Not kidding at all here. James has this great s paperback copy of this book, with an intro by Clifton Information Please! Fadiman where he goes to great lengths to explain the significance of Stendhal's work being the first psychological novel, and then adds "no one reads Stendhal for the plot. It's also my impression that the book has a lot of insights about French politics which were completely wasted on me because my knowledge of this time period is somewhat scant, and I couldn't figure out if the book was taking place before or after the July Revolution. Actually, Julien gets caught up in a bit of political intrigue that very well could have been the July Revolution now that I think about it.
My education in French history consisted of lots of info about Charlemagne, then there was the Years War, then there was the Sun King, and then they stormed the Bastille, and then Napoleon, and then Vichy, and then they named the airport after Charles De Gaulle, which shows how history always come full circle because Charles De Gaulle and Charlemagne are both named Charles, more or less.
Grade: A- Recommended: If this has been hanging around on your list of classics that you're meaning to read, definitely go for it. Apr 15, Alice Poon rated it really liked it Shelves: favorites , french-authored , classics. This novel is in my view much more than a bildungsroman. Set in the Restoration Period — in France i. This fabric, unique in a historical sense, refl This novel is in my view much more than a bildungsroman. Such was the order of the day for the constitutional monarchy in the Restoration Period.
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The embedded message of the novel is to say that there was no place in the circle of stakeholders for the plebeian class in that era. In this grain, the novel almost hints at great social discontent that was brewing and that, in reality, led to the final breakup of the Bourbon monarchy.
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As for the protagonist, Stendhal seems to have made him out to be more human than heroic. Like all humans, Julien Sorel naturally has his strengths and weaknesses and makes mistakes. It should not be surprising for readers to learn that he, as a person born into poverty, desires but at the same time despises the high society of his times. His incessant inner struggles with his own moral principles during his social ascent and his final choice of lover are perhaps enough to tell readers that he is ultimately a man of conscience. Stendhal is considered the creator of the psychological novel.
The version that I read is a Kindle edition which was translated by C. If nothing else, read Moncrieff's translation to seep yourself in the highly latinate, generally overeducated and comfortably contorted prose 'But the adroitness with the want of which we are reproaching him would have debarred the sublime impulse of seizing the sword which, at that moment, made him appear so handsome in the eyes of Mademoiselle de La Mole' -- it will do wonders for the style of your work emails. Trust me on this one. What to say about Stendhal? I think he exists halfway betwee If nothing else, read Moncrieff's translation to seep yourself in the highly latinate, generally overeducated and comfortably contorted prose 'But the adroitness with the want of which we are reproaching him would have debarred the sublime impulse of seizing the sword which, at that moment, made him appear so handsome in the eyes of Mademoiselle de La Mole' -- it will do wonders for the style of your work emails.