Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

February Books 7) The Red and the Black, by Stendhal


Au séminaire, il est une façon de manger un œuf à la coque, qui annonce les progrès faits dans la vie dévote.
In the seminary, there is a way of eating a boiled egg which reveals the progress one has made in the life of devotion.

One of the classic nineteenth century novels which I had not read, written and set in the years leading up to 1830. The ambiguous protagonist, Julien Sorel, while training as a priest and confidential secretary, seduces the wife of one employer and the daughter of another; and a book that started off looking a bit like a cross between Middlemarch and Casanova ends up like L'Étranger as Julien takes romantic victimhood to its conclusion.

I have to say that while it was well written, I didn't really like any of the characters much, nor really understand why they felt compelled to play roles rather than be themselves. I had a similar frustration with The Catcher in the Rye.
Tags: bookblog 2013
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