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The Red And The Black: "I am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life." PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Red And The Black: "I am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life."
Author: Stendhal
Publisher: Published February 21st 2014 by A Word To The Wise (first published 1830)
ISBN: null
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Marie-Henri Beyle was born on January 23rd 1783 in Grenoble, Isere. He is known to us all by his pen name; Stendahl. He spent much of his childhood in an unhappy state, mourning his beloved mother who died when he was 7 and disliking his unimaginative father. His early career was in the military and theatrical worlds of the First French Empire. He was an auditor with the C Marie-Henri Beyle was born on January 23rd 1783 in Grenoble, Isere. He is known to us all by his pen name; Stendahl. He spent much of his childhood in an unhappy state, mourning his beloved mother who died when he was 7 and disliking his unimaginative father. His early career was in the military and theatrical worlds of the First French Empire. He was an auditor with the Conseil d'État and took part in the French administration and the Napoleonic wars in Italy. He also travelled extensively in Germany and was part of Napoleon's army in the 1812 invasion of Russia. After the 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleau, he left for Italy and settled in Milan. He adored Italy and was to spend much of his career there, serving as French consul at Trieste and Civitavecchia. Stendhal was a dandy and wit about town in Paris, and an inveterate womaniser, obsessed with his sexual conquests. His genuine empathy towards women is evident in his books. One of his early works is On Love, a rational analysis of romantic passion that was based on his unrequited love for Mathilde, Countess Dembowska, whom he met while living at Milan. This fusion and tension between, clear-headed analysis and romantic feeling is typical of Stendhal's great novels. Indeed Stendahl was a forerunner of the Romantic Realist movement. Stendhal suffered miserable physical disabilities in his final years though he continued to produce much of his most famous work. To treat his syphilis he was taking iodide of potassium and quicksilver. A treatment whose side effects were measurably worse than the effects of the syphilis itself. Stendhal died on 23 March 1842, a few hours after collapsing with a seizure on the streets of Paris. He is interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

30 review for The Red And The Black: "I am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life."

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    I was taking the train from Geneva to Grenoble, one of the most beautiful routes in the world, and I was reading Le Rouge et le Noir for the second time. I hadn't picked the book because I was visiting Grenoble, it just worked out that way. I was alone in the compartment; it was one of those old-fashioned carriages which still had compartments. At the fifth or sixth stop, the door opened, and a young woman entered carrying a lot of heavy luggage. She asked me, in French, if I'd mind helping her p I was taking the train from Geneva to Grenoble, one of the most beautiful routes in the world, and I was reading Le Rouge et le Noir for the second time. I hadn't picked the book because I was visiting Grenoble, it just worked out that way. I was alone in the compartment; it was one of those old-fashioned carriages which still had compartments. At the fifth or sixth stop, the door opened, and a young woman entered carrying a lot of heavy luggage. She asked me, in French, if I'd mind helping her put it up on the rack, and I did so. She smiled and thanked me, I smiled back. She was small, dark and very pretty in a North African way. We got chatting, and quickly determined that her English was slightly worse than my French; the conversation, which initially had mixed both languages, settled down to being completely francophone. She told me that French was her second language, Berber being the first, but she sounded pretty near perfect to me. She asked what my book was, and I showed it to her. She'd said she'd never read it. I did my best to explain, while she looked at me with her huge dark eyes. Julien gets involved with two women. Madame de Rênal is kind and gentle, and she truly loves him, but he is forced by circumstances to leave her. He then later falls in love with Mathilde. I remember that I described her as bizarre et cruelle, and added that she reminded me of someone I had once loved. She nodded; she had had a similar experience. I apologised for my very insufficient command of French. Vous trouvez les mots, she replied. I have always treasured this compliment. Usually I am inarticulate in French, but just then I was indeed able to find words. We reached the end shortly before the train got to Grenoble. I helped her take her several suitcases out onto the platform. We said goodbye French style, with a kiss on each cheek. She seemed a little surprised that I made no attempt to get her contact details. We had really got on remarkably well, but it had been so perfect that I was sure anything else would just spoil it. I never saw her again, but every time I think of Le Rouge et le Noir I think of her.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Nothing can distinguish a man as a death sentence,” thought Mathilde. “It’s the only thing one can’t buy.” Julien Sorel was a young man with an audacious intellect. Such a gift can be a great resource that can be exploited for financial gain or it can be a burden that keeps a person in perpetual misery. Sorel, the hero of our story, experiences both the wonders and the loneliness that sometimes goes hand in hand with being too aware to accept fate without attempting to manipulate a better futur ”Nothing can distinguish a man as a death sentence,” thought Mathilde. “It’s the only thing one can’t buy.” Julien Sorel was a young man with an audacious intellect. Such a gift can be a great resource that can be exploited for financial gain or it can be a burden that keeps a person in perpetual misery. Sorel, the hero of our story, experiences both the wonders and the loneliness that sometimes goes hand in hand with being too aware to accept fate without attempting to manipulate a better future. He is handsome, witty, and when money is plentiful dresses in such a way as to enhance his best features. He is prideful of his talents and humbled by his modest beginnings in equal measure like two halves of the same tarnished coin. Because he comes from the lower class of French society his opportunities for advancement are limited to the church or the military. Even though he shows few signs of or inclinations towards pious behavior Julien is sent to the church. Julien is placed as a tutor in the household of Monsieur de Rênal, the mayor of Verrières. He isn’t a particularly good teacher. He’d rather be spending his time reading and daydreaming, but through guile and an exaggerated appearance of discipline he wins over the children and the parents. On a whim he decides that he must seduce the pretty Madame de Rênal as in his mind that is what a man of his nature is supposed to do. He is calculating, manipulative, hostile, and seductive and each of those characteristics are hampered by his own naiveness producing comedic results and embarrassing moments that left this reader squirming in his seat with personal memories of being equally stupid in moments of social ineptness. Those characteristics that we like the least in Julien are also the characteristics that we like the least in ourselves and leads us to identify so closely with Sorel that his triumphs and his setbacks create diverse reactions from a sheepish grin to burning shame. Madame de Rênal and her husband Madame de Rênal is swept up in the attentions of our hero and soon finds herself in circumstances she never would have expected to experience. ”Suddenly, a word frightened her: adulteress. She could see it. The worst things that the vilest debauchery could stamp on the notion of sensual love swarmed into her mind. These ideas were trying to stain the glow of the tender, divine image she had constructed, both of Julien himself and the happiness of loving him. The future was painted in ghastly colors, She saw herself as contemptible.” Julien is sent back to the seminary where he fits in about as well as a swan among ducks. ”Julien had tried in vain to make himself small and stupid, he could not be liked; he was far too different.” Luckily he comes to the attention of Father Pirard who realizes he is intelligent enough to have better uses. As enemies of both Father Pirard and Julien attempt to destroy them Stendhal, as he does through the whole book, shows that pettiness, hypocrisy, wealth, and social standing are to be found in equal measure among people of influence. Poor people are not let off the hook either as greed turns out to be such an unsavory aspect of Julien’s own father. The father that beat him and ridiculed him is quick to want to benefit from his son’s advancement. Honor is discussed in great detail throughout the book, but is revealed as a chimera when pride or money are being threatened. Julien rises with the help of Father Pirard to private secretary for Marquis de la Mole. His office is to be the library. ”A few minutes later, Julien found himself alone in a magnificent library; it was a delightful moment. So no one would come to him, excited as he was, he hid himself in a dark corner. From there, he looked out at the books’ glittering spines. ‘I could read every one of them,’ he told himself.” Whenever I walk into my own personal library, unfortunately not as grand as the Marquis’s library, I still feel the flutter in my stomach that one might experience catching a glimpse of an old lover in a train station. The books speak to me stirring up fond memories of when words become images, scents become detectable, and fictional characters become flesh and bone. I don’t foresee a tablet with a digital bookshelf eliciting the same flutter in my stomach. The tactile feeling of individual books, unique in typeface, paper, and design are an important part of the reading experience for me. Books are more than just words to me, but a form of art. Running your eye over the hills and dales of Van Gogh”s brushstrokes while looking at the actual painting is such a larger sensory experience than looking at a picture of the painting in an art book; the two experiences are incomparable. I’m afraid as tech savvy as I am in all other phases of my life I’m a Luddite when it comes to books. I love the idea that more people are reading books because of the evolution of ereaders, but for me the experience that Julien has in that library is what I want. ”He turned his lips to hers, and with his hand Called back the tangles of her wandering hair.” Bryon, Don Juan Julien meets Mademoiselle Mathilde de La Mole. He isn’t impressed. In fact he finds her annoying in so many ways. ”She’s even paler than before she went on the trip...Her hair is absolutely colorless, it’s so blonde! You could say the daylight goes right through it!...And what arrogance, when she greets people, when she just looks at them! She holds herself, she moves, like a queen!” Like a lot of things in Sorel’s life he is motivated by a grander vision than what he is capable. He has unsustainable ideas of honor ruled more by passion than any real sense of established decorum. He even defends immorality with affectionate intensity. Altamira answered. ”We no longer have genuine passions, in the nineteenth century. That’s why there’s so much boredom, here in France. We do the most incredibly cruel things, but without cruelty.” “So much the worse!” said Julien. “At the very least, crimes ought to be committed with pleasure. That’s the only good about them: How can we even begin to justify them for any other reason?” Mathilde is Julien’s ticket to finally achieve the impossible. He can bound out of the chains of his birth and achieve a social position that would be talked about for generations. The game of love that plays out is almost as comical and ridiculous as his seduction of Madame de Rênal. His present and his past collide with devastating effects that will leave you flipping the final pages as fast as your eyes and mind can comprehend the sentences. Marie-Henri Beyle AKA Stendhal I noticed with interest that there is a turning point in the book when I could tell that Stendhal began to like his own greatest creation. He lent more sympathy to the plight of Julien Sorel. He started softening the edges and letting the reader know that even when Sorel is an ass he is still a well meaning ass. Julien was certainly more innocent than those that were trying to manipulate him. It was as if in creating this character Stendhal started to understand himself through the character and maybe even started to tolerate those aspects of himself that had given him trouble throughout his life or at least look on them as youthful fallacies. Intelligence does not come wrapped with discretion or for that matter wisdom. Time is the only device that allows us to grow into our intelligence and hopefully use it to better ourselves and strengthen our communities. I came away from the novel knowing more about myself and wishing that I could meet the youthful Julien Sorel when he has some gray at his temples and a more docile tongue, but then maybe I just need to go look in the mirror. Highly recommended for all reformed smarty pants. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    The Red and the Black draws a colorful mosaic about the required hypocrisy to climb the ladder of social status in the France of the July Revolution. Chronicled by an omniscient narrator, who meets every requisite to be Stendhal himself, the reader follows the story of Julien Sorel, a young man of humble origins whose only ambition is to ascend in the social hierarchy in a world still dominated by the Machiavellian politicking of the clergy and the nobility after the downfall of the Emperor. Des The Red and the Black draws a colorful mosaic about the required hypocrisy to climb the ladder of social status in the France of the July Revolution. Chronicled by an omniscient narrator, who meets every requisite to be Stendhal himself, the reader follows the story of Julien Sorel, a young man of humble origins whose only ambition is to ascend in the social hierarchy in a world still dominated by the Machiavellian politicking of the clergy and the nobility after the downfall of the Emperor. Despised by his family because of his “extravagant” taste for reading, Julien makes of Napoleon his surrogate father and plans his future with militaristic, almost obsessive precision. The army (The Red) is no longer in fashion and so he chooses his career among the pious men of faith (The Black). First as a seminarist and then as a tutor of Latin, Julien will learn the bearing, the deferential poise and the conversational skills to achieve his so much desired goal that will lead him to Paris, the capital of sophisticated Savoir-Faire. Straddling literary naturalism and romanticism, a tragicomedy of the most entertaining nature unfolds in a quick paced prose not short of acerbic satire and wry humor, where all sort of characters are presented as caricatures of the motley social strata of the convoluted era. Liberals and monarchists, Jansenists and Jesuits, aristocrats and peasants, radicals and conservatives; with all their disparate positions and beliefs, all the characters have the common traits of nepotism and debauchery that acquire allegorical connotations in the development of Julien’s personality, which evolves ceaselessly in the course of the story. Half romantic hero, half despicable villain, Stendhal’s protagonist becomes an emblem of the author’s contempt for the gullible disposition of men. Julien’s actions in society don’t correspond to his personal views and so he passes through life in a constant performance. He treats his masters with proud dignity to hide his sense of inferiority, he falls in love with the idea of seducing women of noble descend to cover his need for validation, he conceals his vulnerabilities and cheats himself with delusions of grandeur, and so his moods fluctuate between his artificial objectives and his true feelings, cleaving him in two. Is Julien a victim or the outrageous product of his time? He certainly falls prey to the false morality that Stendhal’s denounces openly with disarming jocularity. But there is much more than that in this uncategorizable book, because underneath the superficial parody, there is a philosophical undercurrent that grows more evident in the last chapters, which appear untitled, maybe as a symbol to represent Julien’s progressive unveiling, for his fate seems to be determined by birth and not by his honest resolutions. In the blink of an eye, Stendhal flips the tone of his narration and the reader finds himself facing the paradox of a protagonist that can be either understood as an arrogant moron or as a valiant idealist. As the declared romantic I am, I lean towards the second option and choose to see Julien’s last acts as a proclamation of his rightful independence. Having dropped the masks, he can see clearly into his heart and avoid "this desert of selfishness which is called life.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    923. Le Rouge et le Noir = The Red and The Black, Stendhal Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) is a historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830. It chronicles the attempts of a provincial young man to rise socially beyond his modest upbringing through a combination of talent, hard work, deception, and hypocrisy. He ultimately allows his passions to betray him. Book I: Book I presents Julien Sorel, the ambitious son of a carpenter in the fictional village of 923. Le Rouge et le Noir = The Red and The Black, Stendhal Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) is a historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830. It chronicles the attempts of a provincial young man to rise socially beyond his modest upbringing through a combination of talent, hard work, deception, and hypocrisy. He ultimately allows his passions to betray him. Book I: Book I presents Julien Sorel, the ambitious son of a carpenter in the fictional village of Verrières, in Franche-Comté, France. He would rather read and daydream about the glory days of Napoleon's long-disbanded army than work his father’s timber business with his brothers, who beat him for his intellectual affectations. He becomes an acolyte of the abbé Chélan, the local Catholic prelate, who later secures him a job tutoring the children of Monsieur de Rênal, the mayor of Verrières. Although he appears to be a pious, austere cleric, Julien is uninterested in the Bible beyond its literary value and how he can use memorised passages (learnt in Latin) to impress important people. He enters a love affair with Monsieur de Rênal’s wife, which ends when it is revealed to the village by her chambermaid, Elisa, who is also in love with Julien. The abbé Chélan orders Julien to a seminary in Besançon, which he finds intellectually stifling and pervaded with social cliques. The initially cynical seminary director, the abbé Pirard likes Julien and becomes his protector. Later Pirard (a Jansenist) leaves the seminary but fearing backlash against his protégé, recommends Sorel as private secretary to the diplomat Marquis de la Mole, a Catholic legitimist. Book II: Book II takes place in the years leading up to the July Revolution of 1830. During this time Julien Sorel lives in Paris as an employee of the de la Mole family. Despite his moving among high society and his intellectual talents, the family and their friends condescend to Julien for being an uncouth plebeian. Meanwhile, Julien is acutely aware of the materialism and hypocrisy that permeate the Parisian élite, and that the counter-revolutionary temper of the time renders it impossible for even well-born men of superior intellect and аеsthetic sensibility to participate in the nation's public affairs. The Marquis de la Mole takes Julien to a secret meeting, then despatches him on a dangerous mission to communicate a letter (Julien has it memorised) to the Duc d'Angouleme, who is exiled in England; however, the callow Julien is mentally distracted by an unsatisfying love affair, and thus only learns the message by rote, missing its political significance as a legitimist plot. Unwittingly, he risks his life in service to the monarchists he most opposes; to himself, he rationalises these actions as merely helping the Marquis, his employer, whom he respects. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1974 میلادی عنوان: سرخ و سیاه؛ نویسنده: استاندال؛ (نیلوفر) ادبیات مترجم: عظمی(عظما) نفیسی(عدل)؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1335، در 1054 ص مترجم: عبدالله توکل؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نیل، چاپ نخست 1345، چاپ سوم مرداد 1353، در دو جلد مترجم: مهدی سحابی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر مرکز، چاپ ؟؟؟ 1387، در 760 ص داستان زاده خیال نیست، از داستانی واقعی بازنویسی شده، شاید امروز آن رنگ سرخ و سیاه، برای جوانان خوانشگر این روزها، کمرنگ شده باشد، اما روزگاری از برترین کتابها بود. هنوز هم پیشنهاد میکنم بخوانیدش. استاندال از خوانشگران مشتاق روزنامه دادگاه‌ها بود: در شماره‌ های روزهای 28 تا 31 ماه دسامبر سال 1827 میلادی، گزارش محاکمه‌ ها را در این روزنامه دیدند، که آن روزها در دادگاه جنائی ایزر، یعنی در زادگاهش، جریان داشت. حادثه هائی که موجب این محاکمه شد، از این قرار است: آنتوان برته پسر خانواده ای پیشه ور، بسیار زود، به سبب تیزهوشی اش، در نظر کشیش خود ممتاز شمرده میشود. کشیش، او را در مدرسه ی علوم دینی ثبت نام میکند، اما دیری نمی‌گذرد، که به علت ضعف مِزاج از مدرسه بیرون میرود. آنوقت، معلم سرخانه ی بچه‌ های مردی به نام: «موسیو رنال» می‌شود، و کمی پس از آن، با زن صاحبخانه، روی هم میریزد، و به اصطلاح فاسق او میشود. بار دیگر به مدرسه ی علوم دینی میرود. اما اقامتش در آن مدرسه، که اینبار مدرسه ی بزرگ علوم دینی گرنوبل است، همچو اقامتش در آن مدرسه ی نخست، به درازا نمی‌کشد. آنگاه، برته، شغل تازه ای پیدا میکند، و معلم سرخانه ی «موسیو دوکوردون» میشود. اما بسیار زود معلوم میشود که با دختر صاحبخانه سر و سری دارد. از خانه موسیو دوکوردون رانده میشود، آواره میماند، و از اینکه هماره خدمتگزاری بیش نبوده است، به خشم میآید، و سوگند یاد میکند، که انتقام خود را بگیرد. در کلیسای دهکده ی زادگاه خود، هنگامی که ولی نعمت سابقش، کشیش، آیین را به جای میآورد، تیری به سوی مادام میشو، شلیک میکند. «هشدار برای ادامه ی خواش، که انتهای داستان لو خواهد رفت» در ماه دسامبر، به محکمه جنایی کشانده میشود، و دادگاه حکم مرگش را صادر میکند، و روز 23 ماه فوریه سال 1828 میلادی اعدام میشود. بیست و پنج سال داشت. چنین است داستانی که ذهن استاندال را به خود مشغول کرده بود... ا. شربیانی

  5. 5 out of 5

    °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ

    Το κόκκινο και το μαύρο δημιουργήθηκε για να εκφράσει πολύχρωμες, συμβολικές και διαχρονικά ανθρώπινες επιθυμίες. Ανάγκες, σχετικά με τα μυστήρια που υπάρχουν στην ανθρώπινη φύση, καθώς και μία συνεχή ψυχολογική αναζήτηση για κίνητρα επιλογών που θα φιλοδοξούν πάντα να παρασύρονται με ρομαντική φαντασία και να αποπλανούνται με κυνική ψευδαίσθηση. Δεν θα το χαρακτήριζα αμιγώς πολιτικό ή κοινωνικό χρονικό εποχής. Φυσικά εμπεριέχει ιστορικές,πολιτικές και θρησκευτικές αποτιμήσεις εξέλιξης και πολιτ Το κόκκινο και το μαύρο δημιουργήθηκε για να εκφράσει πολύχρωμες, συμβολικές και διαχρονικά ανθρώπινες επιθυμίες. Ανάγκες, σχετικά με τα μυστήρια που υπάρχουν στην ανθρώπινη φύση, καθώς και μία συνεχή ψυχολογική αναζήτηση για κίνητρα επιλογών που θα φιλοδοξούν πάντα να παρασύρονται με ρομαντική φαντασία και να αποπλανούνται με κυνική ψευδαίσθηση. Δεν θα το χαρακτήριζα αμιγώς πολιτικό ή κοινωνικό χρονικό εποχής. Φυσικά εμπεριέχει ιστορικές,πολιτικές και θρησκευτικές αποτιμήσεις εξέλιξης και πολιτισμού, ακριβώς όπως παρατηρήθηκαν απο το άγριο κοινωνικό μάτι του Σταντάλ. Ο συγγραφέας έχει έναν περίεργο και περίτεχνο τρόπο να εισέρχεται σε μία ιστορία χρησιμοποιώντας λεκτικές σκέψεις, τόσο συχνά όσο και στον προφορικό λόγο. Γράφει προφορικά αναλύοντας σκέψεις και χαρακτήρες που αποτελούν αξιώματα, μα πάντα καταφέρνει να κάνει μια μικρή διάκριση μεταξύ τους. Ζωγραφίζει σε φόντο κόκκινο και μαύρο συναισθηματικές καταστάσεις και συμπεριφορές χαρακτήρων και παίζει με ακραία χρώματα. Η βάση του όμως ειναι το κόκκινο της επιθυμίας και του πάθους και το μαύρο της επιβολής και της περιφρόνησης. Ο αναγνώστης βρίσκεται κάπου στη μέση. Κόκκινο, επιθυμεί η καρδιά, λαχταράει η ψυχή, πληγώνει η ανάγκη, αιμμοραγεί η πληγή λίγο πριν γιατρευτεί απο την ουσία της ζωής. Μαύρο, επιβάλλει η λογική συνοχή της κοινωνικής αριστοκρατίας και του εκκλησιαστικού εκβιασμού. Σκοτεινό και ανίκητο το τάγμα της εξουσίας και της προστασίας σε μια ποικιλία μοναρχιών. Το κόκκινο της επανάστασης υποχώρησε στο μαύρο της αυτοκρατορίας και η ολική ανατροπή που επιθυμούσε η καρδιά αντικαταστάθηκε απο την μαύρη σκιά των ανακτόρων της εξουσίας παρέα με τον εκκωφαντικό ήχο της θείας λειτουργίας. Το βιβλίο δημοσιεύτηκε το 1830 και πέρα απο κάποια παράδοξα στοιχεία μπορεί να χαρακτηριστεί ως διαχρονικό λογοτεχνικό κειμήλιο, ως ένας καθρέφτης που καλύπτει τον ουρανό και τον ορίζοντα αντικατροπρίζοντας τη ζωή. Πανανθρώπινο σύγγραμμα ψυχολογίας. Ήρωες και αντι-ήρωες με βαριά πνευματική κληρονομιά εμπλέκονται σε πολιτικές ίντριγκες, σε αισθηματικές κωμικές τραγωδίες, σε ασάφειες καταστάσεων, σε ευθύνες και αναζητήσεις αγάπης και ρομαντισμού. Όταν ο ωφελιμισμός για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα καλλιεργεί τον υπολογισμό και καρποφορεί αδίστακτους πωλητές συνείδησης και δυνατούς υποκριτές. Έπεσα στην αγάπη του Σταντάλ διότι με το έργο του επικοινωνεί μέσα στους αιώνες, υπογράφει ως άνθρωπος με ακεραιότητα, που γράφει αληθινά και μετακινείται απο τις εσωτερικές σκέψεις σε δράσεις και τόπους ή τοπία, περιβάλλοντας τους ήρωες του με έναν εκπληκτικό σχεδιασμό έμπνευσης και δυναμισμού. Η πλοκή του βιβλίου λιτή, κοινότοπη , φτωχικά απλοϊκή. Η μεγαλοπρέπεια του συγγραφέα εναπόκειται στην δημιουργία ενός κοκκινόμαυρου έπους τραγωδίας και ανικανότητας. Τα έντονα κοινωνικά σχόλια είναι απλώς βοηθητικά για το ιστορικό υπόβαθρο. Οι παρατηρήσεις και οι αναλύσεις του σχετικά με την ανθρώπινη φύση είναι απλά εκπληκτικές. Παρέχονται κυρίως απο τον πρωταγωνιστή αντι-ήρωα μα διατηρούν την αξία τους και μπορούν να εφαρμοστούν στην σημερινή εγωκεντρική κοινωνία μας. Οι ομοιότητες είναι τρομακτικές. Ο Σταντάλ δημιουργεί μια απλή και ξεκάθαρη ιστορία ως πυρήνα του έργου του που αντέχει τη δοκιμασία του χρόνο διότι είναι ένα προϊόν εποχής, της εποχής του, της εποχής μας, γεμάτο διαφθορά, πάθος, και κοινωνική σύγχυση. Σε όλο το βιβλίο εμπεριεχέται η αναρώτηση, υπάρχει παντού ένα «ίσως», ένα «αν». Πολλές φορές αναρωτήθηκα τί ακριβώς είναι οι λογοτεχνικές του δηλώσεις. Δίνει την εντύπωση πως οι χαρακτήρες στο έργο του Σταντάλ δεν είναι ποτέ τόσο περίπλοκοι όσο ο ίδιος ο Σταντάλ. Είναι κυνικός αλλά αγαπάει και το δράμα με μια αγάπη ρομαντική. Ο κυνισμός του επιτρέπει να παίρνει σωστές αποστάσεις και να απολαμβάνει γράφοντας πραγματικά την ανθρώπινη κωμωδία. Επίσης, η μεταβατική ειρωνεία του δίνει ώθηση για δράση προς κάθε κατεύθυνση. Ακόμη και λανθασμένη δράση στη δουλειά του Σταντάλ μοιάζει προτιμότερη απο μια πνευματική νάρκωση. Τελικά, ίσως να είναι ρομαντικός, μα έχει πάψει να πιστεύει την καρδιά του και να ακολουθεί την κατεύθυνση που του δείχνει. Δεν την ακολουθεί διότι γνωρίζει πως εκεί θα παει, προς τα εκεί πηγαίνει ούτως ή άλλως. Αυτή είναι η επιλογή, δεν υπάρχει επιλογή. Θρίαμβος και καταδίκη. Γι αυτό τον αγάπησα. Δεν είχα άλλη επιλογή. Καλή ανάγνωση !! Πολλούς ασπασμούς!! #happy_reading 💔🖤💔🖤

  6. 4 out of 5

    Foad

    معمولاً وقتی اسم رمان های کلاسیک میاد، آدم احساس میکنه باید منتظر یه اثر دراز و خسته کننده باشه، پر از آدمایی که عصا قورت دادن و راجع به اخلاقیات و قضایای کلی حکم صادر میکنن. شرمنده، این رمان هم همین طوریه! ولی خب، از حق نگذریم، همین مسائل رو، کمابیش ضمن داستان خوبی مطرح کرده. هر چند یه مقداری میشد پریشانی و اضطراب داستان کمتر بشه، ولی میشه شخصیت ها رو دوست داشت. خیلیاشون ملموسن.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maria Thomarey

    Κάποιος με ρώτησε κάποια στιγμή , αν το " κόκκινο και το μαύρο " είναι ενα πολιτικό βιβλίο . Στ'αληθεια δε ξέρω την απάντηση . Αυτο που ξέρω είναι οτι αφορά σχέσεις εξουσίας κι εξάρτησης και αυτο ναι το κάνει ενα πολιτικό βιβλίο .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Quinn Slobodian

    It's a book about the dangers of reading. The novel's characters are seduced by ideas, poetic gestures, tragic endings, narratives they might inhabit and soon find themselves enslaved to them, marching lockstep in the footprints of characters whose stories they've read. Stendhal obviously takes pleasure in his position as most recent seducer of the book's reader and he sugar-coats his narrative pills just enough that it's only later, with the feeling of slight corrosion in your stomach, that you It's a book about the dangers of reading. The novel's characters are seduced by ideas, poetic gestures, tragic endings, narratives they might inhabit and soon find themselves enslaved to them, marching lockstep in the footprints of characters whose stories they've read. Stendhal obviously takes pleasure in his position as most recent seducer of the book's reader and he sugar-coats his narrative pills just enough that it's only later, with the feeling of slight corrosion in your stomach, that you wonder about the wisdom of what you've done. Which character's glances, turns, heartbeats and feints are you doomed to re-enact now?

  9. 5 out of 5

    peiman-mir5 rezakhani

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، این داستان در فرانسه و در سالِ 1830 رخ میدهد... داستان در موردِ زندگیِ پیچیدهٔ جوانی به نامِ <ژولین سورِل> میباشد... ژولین در شهرِ "وری یر" زندگی کرده است... او با دین و مذهب مخالف است و انسانِ موردِ ستایشِ او، ناپلئون است.... جرقهٔ داستان از زمانی زده میشود که ژولین برایِ آموزشِ فرزندانِ اشراف زاده ای به نامِ <دورنال> وارد خانه و زندگیِ آنها میشود... پس از مدتی، ژولین با همسرِ دورنال، طرح دوستی ریخته و با هم واردِ رابطهٔ مخفیانه و سکس میشوند... ولی دوستی آنها لو رفت ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این داستان در فرانسه و در سالِ 1830 رخ میدهد... داستان در موردِ زندگیِ پیچیدهٔ جوانی به نامِ <ژولین سورِل> میباشد... ژولین در شهرِ "وری یر" زندگی کرده است... او با دین و مذهب مخالف است و انسانِ موردِ ستایشِ او، ناپلئون است.... جرقهٔ داستان از زمانی زده میشود که ژولین برایِ آموزشِ فرزندانِ اشراف زاده ای به نامِ <دورنال> وارد خانه و زندگیِ آنها میشود... پس از مدتی، ژولین با همسرِ دورنال، طرح دوستی ریخته و با هم واردِ رابطهٔ مخفیانه و سکس میشوند... ولی دوستی آنها لو رفته و پس از رو شدنِ دستِ آنها، ژولین از کار برکنار شده و او را از خانه بیرون میکنند...... ژولین از آنجا به مدرسهٔ دینیِ بزانسون رفته و پس از مدتی، به عنوانِ منشی، نزدِ آقایِ <مارکی دولامول> آغاز به کار میکند... مارکی دختری به نامِ <ماتیلد> دارد، که با دیدنِ ژولین، دل به او میبندد و هر دو رابطه ای عاشقانه را آغاز میکنند..... ولی در آن سویِ داستان، خانمِ دورنال، برایِ اعتراف نزدِ کشیش میرود و کشیشِ بی وجدان و بیخرد، پس از شنیدنِ درد و دل هایِ او، وی را به نوشتنِ نامه ای وا میدارد که در آن سخن از فریبکاری و وجودِ کثیفِ ژولین است... (بنظرم از اینجا، رنگِ سرخِ داستان و زندگی، جایش را به رنگِ سیاه میدهد) .... زمانی که ژولین از این کار با خبر میشود، به شهرِ "وری یر" بازگشته و با هدفِ کشتنِ خانم دورنال، با تپانچه به او شلیک میکند...... ژولین را به زندان میبرند، ولی................. عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این داستان را بخوانید و از سرانجامِ آن آگاه شوید ------------------------------------------- ‎امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ شناختِ این کتاب، کافی و مفید بوده باشه ‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  10. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    I just finished watching the latest movie adaptation of Les Miserables and there is a song there about Red and Black. I got excited because both Les Miserables and this book Scarlet and Black also known as Red and Black were both written by French novelists and set in the 19th century France. So, when I heard the song being sung by those young actors in Les Miz I said so that's the other meaning of those colors! ♪♫♪Red - the blood of angry men! Black - the dark of ages past! Red - a world about to I just finished watching the latest movie adaptation of Les Miserables and there is a song there about Red and Black. I got excited because both Les Miserables and this book Scarlet and Black also known as Red and Black were both written by French novelists and set in the 19th century France. So, when I heard the song being sung by those young actors in Les Miz I said so that's the other meaning of those colors! ♪♫♪Red - the blood of angry men! Black - the dark of ages past! Red - a world about to dawn! Black - the night that ends at last!♪♫♪ ♪♫♪Red... the color of desire, black... the color of despair...♪♫♪ However, in this Stendhal book, red is the color of the army but the protagonist, the handsome and smart Julien Sorel is born too late to join the army because Napoleon is already dead and it is the time of Bourbon Restoration and his only option to be rich and great is to join the church and its color is black. However, the two novels depict a different period in the 19th century France. Red and Black is the period between Napoleonic empire and the 1830 Revolution that led to July Monarchy. On the other hand, that rebellion in Les Miserables was called June Rebellion or Paris Uprising in 1832 and was an attempt to reverse the outcome of the 1830 Revolution in Red and Black. I read and enjoyed this book even prior to seeing the movie. I already had a review in my mind for the book but when I saw the movie this evening, I got excited because it reminded me of those colors. I liked the book because it is easy to read and it has the ability to transport you to the 19th century France. I love everything about France. The book is a bildungsroman and at the same time a sociological satire. It exposes the political tension leading to the 1830 revolution particularly depicting a society that was about to change that the dying aristocracy would no longer witness. This reminded me of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina that depicts Russia at its crossroad: whether to stay traditional (monarchy and all) or adapt the western influences (that ultimately paved way to communism). I think countries about to metamorphose into something else have enough drama to serve as a backdrop for a great novel. Great book. My first Stendhal and I am looking forward to reading his other novel, The Charterhouse of Parma.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chuck LoPresti

    It's fairly easy to see why this book isn't more well-known as it was ahead of its time in 1830 and overshadowed by Flaubert, Balzac, and Hugo. And despite the fact that some consider it among the first "modern" novels it is probably a bit too dated to appeal to a more modern-focused crowd. I think I've come to a perfect period in my reading where this makes perfect sense. After Proust, Banffy and Zilahy - another read about courtly high society was a tough sell but I persevered a bit exhausted It's fairly easy to see why this book isn't more well-known as it was ahead of its time in 1830 and overshadowed by Flaubert, Balzac, and Hugo. And despite the fact that some consider it among the first "modern" novels it is probably a bit too dated to appeal to a more modern-focused crowd. I think I've come to a perfect period in my reading where this makes perfect sense. After Proust, Banffy and Zilahy - another read about courtly high society was a tough sell but I persevered a bit exhausted but wiser for my efforts. Like Banffy and Zilahy - Stendhal's work is predominately concerned with the psychological lives of socially engaged thinker/outsiders. Like Witkacy - this means infinitely more interesting and prone to emotional swings that are sometimes deadly and often sexy. I imagine this was pretty racy stuff in the 1830's as characters brush elbows as gently as the petals in the ornate gardens and meet their deaths with profoundly less subtlety. The range of human feeling is rendered with a wide palette of interactions that are executed with a fine intelligence that never condescends and tells you exactly how to feel. Who are the pious? The justified? The likeable? You'll decide but only the most overtly hapless bores are worthy of disregard. No sharp mind will be too bored - but no dullard will be engaged. As much and I enjoyed this - it was work. The prose isn't anything so difficult - but it's all very contemplative and dense. There's little alacrity in general but Stendhal has a subtle sense of humor that works much like Zilahy's Angry Angel - nothing base or cheap. The Red and the black is like a field-guide to exploiting rich women who are so bored that they are happy to be dragged to hell just to have someone do something exciting to them. 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. I just may never willingly read another French/Hungarian/Austrian 19-th century court drama again - and there's free beer tomorrow. 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 900 miles to the east of Paris and people will at least dance a czardas.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carmo

    Julien Sorel tanto nos pode irritar como comover. É inteligente mas vive constantemente desconfiado, sabe manipular a seu bel prazer mas alimenta um ressentimento que o envenena . Contudo, dá-nos a volta pela sua ingenuidade e por aquele permanente complexo de inferioridade que faz dele um ser indefeso e humilhado. Na França vive-se o período da Restauração após a queda de Napoleão. O país encontra-se dividido entre Realistas, defensores da monarquia absoluta, e Liberais, partidários de uma Franç Julien Sorel tanto nos pode irritar como comover. É inteligente mas vive constantemente desconfiado, sabe manipular a seu bel prazer mas alimenta um ressentimento que o envenena . Contudo, dá-nos a volta pela sua ingenuidade e por aquele permanente complexo de inferioridade que faz dele um ser indefeso e humilhado. Na França vive-se o período da Restauração após a queda de Napoleão. O país encontra-se dividido entre Realistas, defensores da monarquia absoluta, e Liberais, partidários de uma França mais democrática onde o Rei se submetesse a um Congresso. Esta realidade histórica não será a mais apelativa na leitura, mas o conhecimento das tensões politicas e dos conflitos sociais são fundamentais para montar o quadro narrativo. Podem bocejar, mas leiam. Julien professa uma secreta admiração por Napoleão e, à sua semelhança, quer ascender socialmente de modo a contribuir para a mudança da dominante sociedade burguesa, hipócrita e mesquinha. Para isso tem duas vias; ou a carreira militar – pouco provável – ou a Igreja. O percurso é longo e emaranhado, repleto de acidentes, amores clandestinos e peripécias absurdas. Julien triunfa mais rápido que o previsto e da forma mais inesperada. Cúmulo da ironia, quando atinge o cobiçado topo rende-se às oportunidades do burguesismo e as grandes intenções de revolta e mudança ficam pelo caminho. Mas Stendal continua a puxar-nos o tapete e numa rápida reviravolta todo o itinerário da personagem é alterado rumo a um final surpreendente. Não é leitura das mais fáceis, mas é um romance que fica a moer na cabeça, e quanto mais penso nele mais percebo a complexidade psicológica das personagens, e quanto mais me debruço sobre as suas posturas e intuitos, mais me capacito da profundidade do enredo e do muito que deve ter ficado por entender.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mariel

    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. I just know you did!" It really would have if I had cared enough about any of the people in it to be pissed off. 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. I kinda hate satire. I don't wa 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. I just know you did!" It really would have if I had cared enough about any of the people in it to be pissed off. 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. 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. They COULD walk away... 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! Yuck!). 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. I'd rather not have excuses.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth K.

    I read this for two reasons: First, now, when I die, I can say "Why yes, I've read Stendhal." Right, I don't know who at my deathbed is going to be asking me about Stendhal, but it's one more thing to cross off my worry list. Maybe there's some sort of deathbed reckoning for book snobs that involves a Ghost of Literature Past. Then our conversation could go like this: Ghost of Literature Past: And you've read Stendhal ... ? Me: Yes, indeedy! GLP: Hmmm. Yes. Hmmm ... and it was in translation, I bel I read this for two reasons: First, now, when I die, I can say "Why yes, I've read Stendhal." Right, I don't know who at my deathbed is going to be asking me about Stendhal, but it's one more thing to cross off my worry list. Maybe there's some sort of deathbed reckoning for book snobs that involves a Ghost of Literature Past. Then our conversation could go like this: Ghost of Literature Past: And you've read Stendhal ... ? Me: Yes, indeedy! GLP: Hmmm. Yes. Hmmm ... and it was in translation, I believe? Me: Oh. Er. Yes. GLP: Hmmmmm. scribbles notes I see. 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 1950s 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." Are you crazy? The whacked out plot is the BEST PART. 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 100 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Agraz

    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. Trust me on this one. What to say about Stendhal? I think he exists halfway between Austen and Dostoevsky. The Red and the Black is fundamentally a novel of manners concerned with class mobility and lack thereof, as with Austen, but with a healthy dose of bombast that Dostoevsky so enjoys. A great bulk of action occurs in drawing rooms and such, though not all. Stendhal lacks Austen's narrow provincialism, and the characters certainly lack the British reserve. Where Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy may achieve their final unbridled passionate consummation by holding hands, Stendhal's lovers will fornicate wildly under the cover of night with the aid of purloined ladders, sometimes each desperately trying to believe they feel what they think they should feel while their primary concern is really with who gets the better of whom. Or sometimes the love is impossibly sweet and self sacrificing, unyielding and frightfully destructive. Some time ago I heard the sixteen year old girl next door have a clandestine, tearful conversation with someone much quieter in front of our houses at two in the morning on a weekday. Overheard in brief moments of wakefulness -- 'Don't run away from me -- I'll chase you.' -- a bit of quaver in the voice, it's taking some bravery, so aware of how she's exposing herself yet finding herself proud of how the words sound. Like she's trying on a daring dress, looking at herself in the mirror, both scandalized and seduced by the effect. That's what Stendhal is all about -- that moment of discovery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Oh, nineteenth century! Not counting the subtitle—'A Chronicle of the 19th Century' (which I didn’t know of until just now: it’s not on the cover or the title page of either copy of the book I have on hand)—I count eight mentions of the phrase ‘nineteenth century’ by the omniscient narrator, of which two are apostrophes, including the quote above, which is from one of the later chapters. Revolution and the turmoil of change in the world has led to this lamentation, in much the same way our gener Oh, nineteenth century! Not counting the subtitle—'A Chronicle of the 19th Century' (which I didn’t know of until just now: it’s not on the cover or the title page of either copy of the book I have on hand)—I count eight mentions of the phrase ‘nineteenth century’ by the omniscient narrator, of which two are apostrophes, including the quote above, which is from one of the later chapters. Revolution and the turmoil of change in the world has led to this lamentation, in much the same way our generation has lamented and continues to lament the condition of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries: e.g., its treatment of women; the suppression of the spirited by the powerful; the state of marriage; the hypocrisy and lack of empathy at all levels. Once again, there is nothing new in the world. The prose is engaging and moves quickly (though the typos and formatting mistakes of my almost-free Kindle copy, frustratingly, did get in my way quite a bit). I especially enjoyed the sarcasm of the authorial interludes and the ingenious tying-together of threads and characters as the work reached its end. The book was nothing like I’d expected. I had a vague notion it would be a dry, perhaps violent, political read. It's neither dry nor violent, except for the main character’s violent emotions; and it is intentionally, and entertainingly, farcical at times (i.e., the bedroom scenes). It is political, but its focus is on the personal (including the psychology of those personalities) within that dynamic. Overall, it’s an uneven read; ultimately, it's a fascinating one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Siti

    Sdegno, rabbia, orgoglio, ferocia ed energia. Giovinezza e ambizione. Il mito napoleonico irripetibile e non più imitabile, un contesto sociale ostile, classista e irraggiungibile, fatto di privilegi e di privilegiati. Una Francia all’ombra della seconda Rivoluzione. La storia di una scalata sociale? La storia di un fallimento? L’emblema di un’epoca? Chi è Julien Sorel? L’ideale che si scontra con il reale? L’ipocrisia fatta persona? Uno squarcio anacronistico nella storia? Difficile rispondere. Sdegno, rabbia, orgoglio, ferocia ed energia. Giovinezza e ambizione. Il mito napoleonico irripetibile e non più imitabile, un contesto sociale ostile, classista e irraggiungibile, fatto di privilegi e di privilegiati. Una Francia all’ombra della seconda Rivoluzione. La storia di una scalata sociale? La storia di un fallimento? L’emblema di un’epoca? Chi è Julien Sorel? L’ideale che si scontra con il reale? L’ipocrisia fatta persona? Uno squarcio anacronistico nella storia? Difficile rispondere. Basti questo: un personaggio memorabile che si imprime nell’immaginario del lettore a dispetto di qualche sgambetto sornione che gli tende il suo autore. La materia di un romanzo complesso che tra il serio e il faceto restituisce un’epoca ai suoi contemporanei, in tempi non facilissimi. Un universo complesso e mutevole, difficile da decifrare ma che Stendhal ha riproposto con realismo disarmante, con gradevole ironia, attingendo da diversi moduli narrativi: romanzo politico, romanzo storico, romanzo psicologico con a capo un plebeo ribelle, un fallito dongiovanni, lo specchio dei tempi che vive come il romanzo che lo rappresenta: “Eh, signori, un romanzo è uno specchio che viene trasportato lungo una strada maestra. Ora vi rimanda l’azzurro del cielo, ora il fango dei pantani…” Infine, la storia di una vita, eroica e disperata, ricca e vacua, un’eterna dicotomia, un oscillare opportunista tra il rosso e il nero in un esempio perfetto di mirabile trasformismo che si risolve nell’autodistruzione. Un libro sempre attuale. Da leggere.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Το Άσχημο Ρύζι Καρολίνα

    Πόσο με μπέρδεψε αυτό το βιβλίο! Χωρίς αμφιβολία το βρήκα αριστουργηματικό, αλλά αναρωτιέμαι, αν πρόκειται για σάτιρα των ηθών του 19ου αιώνα και δη της εποχής της Παλινόρθωσης των Βουρβόνων (1814 – 1830) ή αν είναι μια αλληγορία για τους Ναπολεόντιους χρόνους που προηγήθηκαν, αν είναι ένα ρομαντικό ή κοινωνικό - ρεαλιστικό μυθιστόρημα, δεν κατάλαβα καν ποια είναι η αληθινή κοσμοθεωρία του συγγραφέα. Είναι ένα βιβλίο που πολύ εύκολα μπορεί να παγιδέψει τον αναγνώστη σε λανθασμένα συμπεράσματα. Α Πόσο με μπέρδεψε αυτό το βιβλίο! Χωρίς αμφιβολία το βρήκα αριστουργηματικό, αλλά αναρωτιέμαι, αν πρόκειται για σάτιρα των ηθών του 19ου αιώνα και δη της εποχής της Παλινόρθωσης των Βουρβόνων (1814 – 1830) ή αν είναι μια αλληγορία για τους Ναπολεόντιους χρόνους που προηγήθηκαν, αν είναι ένα ρομαντικό ή κοινωνικό - ρεαλιστικό μυθιστόρημα, δεν κατάλαβα καν ποια είναι η αληθινή κοσμοθεωρία του συγγραφέα. Είναι ένα βιβλίο που πολύ εύκολα μπορεί να παγιδέψει τον αναγνώστη σε λανθασμένα συμπεράσματα. Ακόμα και τα επιγράμματα στην αρχή του κάθε κεφαλαίου, τα περισσότερα από αυτά φαίνεται πως είναι πλαστά, κατασκευασμένα από τον ίδιο τον συγγραφέα. Γιατί όλο αυτό το μασκάρεμα; Δεν έχω την παραμικρή ιδέα. Ο Σταντάλ για εμένα είναι ένα αίνιγμα και αυτό είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο του που διαβάζω. Η υπόθεση είναι φαινομενικά απλή. Ο νεαρός Ζυλιέν Σορέλ έχει μια σπάνια ικανότητα φωτογραφικής μνήμης. Χάρη σε αυτό το ταλέντο και στην αγάπη του για τα βιβλία, καταλήγει να προσληφθεί ως παιδαγωγός στην οικογένεια ενός επαρχιώτη ευγενούς, του δημάρχου ντε Ρενάλ της μικρής πόλης Βεριέρ, η οποία βρίσκεται στην ανατολική Γαλλία, κοντά στη Μπεζανσόν. Από εκεί και πέρα και ως το τέλος του βιβλίου αναπτύσσεται η εξέλιξη του Ζυλιέν που είναι όμορφος και εντελώς αλλοπρόσαλλος τόσο στην σκέψη, όσο και στην συμπεριφορά και στις πράξεις. Το βασικό πρόβλημα όλων των κεντρικών ηρώων της ιστορίας αυτής είναι που δεν σου επιτρέπουν να προβλέψεις σε τί ενέργεια θα προχωρήσουν μετά. Ως το τέλος του βιβλίου θα ορκιζόμουν πως η υπόθεση θα είχε την ακριβώς αντίθετη εξέλιξη. Για ψυχολογικό μυθιστόρημα, το βρήκα εντελώς «αψυχολόγητο». Οι χαρακτήρες αποτυπώνονται ρεαλιστικά και λεπτομερώς. Όλες οι εκφάνσεις του ψυχισμού τους, όλες οι αντιφατικές πλευρές του χαρακτήρα τους σκιαγραφούνται με απαράμιλλη τεχνική. Ο Σταντάλ είναι στυλίστας από τους πλέον σπάνιους. Αλλά είναι τόσοι οι ελιγμοί της σκέψης και τόσες πολλές οι ψυχολογικές μεταπτώσεις των ηρώων, που αισθάνθηκα χαμένη σε έναν λαβύρινθο δίχως τέλος. Υπάρχει ένα απόσπασμα που, έχω την εντύπωση, πως κάπως αχνά φωτίζει λίγο, τη φιλοσοφία με την οποία έχει γραφτεί αυτό το έργο: «Ένας άγγλος ταξιδιώτης διηγείται πως ζούσε, με πολλή οικειότητα, μαζί με μια τίγρη. Την είχε μεγαλώσει και την χάιδευε, μα πάντα στο τραπέζι του βρισκόταν ένα πιστόλι γεμάτο». (σελ.506) Η ζωή που περιγράφει η παραπάνω πρόταση είναι ένα αλλόκοτο κράμα ηδονής και πόνου. Είναι μια σχέση που παίζει με τον θάνατο, ακροβατεί ανάμεσα στην τρυφερότητα και το δόσιμο και στην πιο σκληρή αμυντική στάση, είναι κάτι εξαιρετικά επικίνδυνο και ενδιαφέρον, άρρωστο και γοητευτικό, είναι αντιφατικό και σε τελική ανάλυση αυτό που περιγράφει είναι η αλληγορική εικόνα μιας εξαρτητικής σχέσης. Το να γοητεύεσαι από αυτό που μπορεί να σε βλάψει, και να είναι αυτό ακριβώς που νοηματοδοτεί τη ζωή σου, είναι ένας εθισμός που μπορεί να έχει πολύ κακά αποτελέσματα. Πραγματικά μόνο έτσι μπορώ κάπως να αρχίσω να ξετυλίξω αυτό το μπερδεμένο κουβάρι, ετούτης της ιστορίας ποια μοιάζει τόσο παλιά και αρχέγονη, όσο και το προπατορικό αμάρτημα. Ο Ζυλιέν δεν φαίνεται να έχει αυταπάτες για το θεό του χριστιανισμού. Θεωρεί πως η εκκλησία είναι μια κερδοφόρα επιχείρηση για όσους καταφέρουν να εγκολπωθούν μέσα της, και οι τυχερότεροι, δεν εξασφαλίζουν, μέσω αυτής, μόνο τον επιούσιο, αλλά και την εξουσία. Και δεν είναι τόσο το χρήμα και η κοσμική δύναμη, είναι κάτι άλλο που ο ήρωας το εντοπίζει στην έννοια της αλήθειας ή μάλλον στην παντελή απουσία της έννοιας αυτής: «Μα ποιον Θεό; Όχι τον Θεό της Βίβλου, τυραννίσκο σκληρό που διψάει για εκδίκηση... μα το Θεό του Βολταίρου, δίκαιο, καλό, άπειρο...» Όλες οι μνήμες της Βίβλου που ήξερε απέξω τον τάραζαν... «Μα πώς, μόλις βρεθούμε τρεις μαζί, να πιστέψουμε στο μεγάλο όνομα του ΘΕΟΥ, ύστερα από τη φοβερή κατάχρηση που του κάνουν οι παπάδες μας; Να ζεις ξεμοναχιασμένος!... Τί μαρτύριο!...» (σελ.584) Ωστόσο η ιδέα πως με το ράσο μπορεί να εξασφαλίσει μια υπέροχη ζωή απολαύσεων δεν είναι κάτι που τον ενοχλεί διόλου, αντίθετα αποτελεί μια από τις φιλοδοξίες του. Τόση αντίφαση και τόσες μεταπτώσεις μέσα σε ένα τόσο νεαρό και ντελικάτο πλάσμα! Ο Ζυλιέν είναι λάτρης του Μέγα Ναπολέοντα τον οποίο ταυτόχρονα φροντίζει να αποκηρύσσει μετά βδελυγμίας – έχετε αρχίσει να πιάνετε κάπως την αντιφατικότητά του; - και πιστεύω πως σε όλο το έργο μιμείται σε επίπεδο κοινωνικό, τις στρατηγικές τακτικές που εφάρμοσε ο σπουδαίος αυτός στρατηλάτης στα πεδία των μαχών αλλά και στην σφαίρα της πολιτικής. Μια σειρά από αδιάκοπες επιθέσεις, υπαναχωρήσεις, διαπραγματεύσεις, συμβιβασμούς και αδιαλλαξίες, έτσι ακριβώς κουμαντάρει τη ζωή του αυτό το αλλόκοτο πλάσμα. Για παράδειγμα το παρακάτω απόσπασμα αναφέρεται στον τρόπο που σκέφτεται να δράσει ο ήρωας σχετικά με μια ερωτική πολιορκία: «Στη μάχη που ετοιμάζεται, συνέχισε, η έπαρση της καταγωγής θα είναι ένα είδος ψηλού λόφου σε στρατηγική θέση ανάμεσα σ’ εκείνη και σ’ εμένα. Εκεί πάνω πρέπει να ελιχθώ. Έκανα πάρα πολύ άσχημα που έμεινα στο Παρίσι. Η αναβολή του ταξιδιού μου με ταπεινώνει και μ’ εκθέτει, αν όλα αυτά είναι σκέτο παιχνίδι. Τί κινδυνος υπήρχε αν έφευγα; Τους κορόιδευα αν με κορόιδευαν.Αν το ενδιαφέρον της για μένα ήταν κάπως πραγματικό, τότε θα εκατονταπλασίαζα αυτό το ενδιαφέρον». (σελ. 397) Σε καθαρά πολιτικό επίπεδο στην ιστορία αυτήν υπάρχουν οι φιλελεύθεροι μεγαλοαστοί που έχουν το χρήμα αλλά όχι τους τίτλους ευγενείας, οι τρομοκατημένοι ευγενείς που μετά από την περίοδο της εξορίας τους, μετά την Γαλλική Επανάσταση, θέλουν, αλλά δεν μπορούν, να επαναφέρουν τα μεσαιωνικά μοναρχικά ιδεώδη, η Εκκλησία διαιρεμένη ανάμεσα στους φιλοσοφούντες γιανσενιστές και τους πολιτικάντηδες ιησουίτες και ο λαός, μια μάζα γκρίζα και εξαρτημένη από όλους τους προηγούμενους, για την επιβίωσή της. Ο συγγραφέας συχνά πυκνά υποστηρίζει πως όσα γράφει, είναι αποτέλεσμα της εξονυχιστικής έρευνας που προκύπτει από την ενδελεχή παρατήρηση της κοινωνίας, την οποία απεικονίζει πιστά. Είναι λοιπόν ο κόσμος που ζούμε τόσο κυνικός, τόσο αλλοπρόσαλλος και αντιφατικός; Ας αναλογιστούμε για μια στιγμή, τις ζωές μας, τα όσα μας επιβάλλονται έξωθεν και άνωθεν. Τί υπάρχει λοιπόν να πιαστούμε για να επιβιώσουμε μέσα σε αυτήν την παράνοια; Μήπως είναι όλα μάταια; Αν το κόκκινο αναμιχθεί με το μαύρο, γίνεται μαύρο. Το μαύρο είναι η απουσία του φωτός που καταπίνει τα πάντα. Κι η αλήθεια, την οποία αναζητεί μάταια ο Ζυλιέν φαίνεται πως μπορεί να αποκαλυφθεί ίσως εν εσόπτρω και εν αινίγματι μέσα από τον καθρέφτη της Τέχνης και της Λογοτεχνίας: «Μάλιστα, κύριε, το μυθιστόρημα είναι ένας καθρέφτης που τον περιφέρουν σε έναν μεγάλο δρόμο. Άλλοτε αντανακλά στα μάτια σας το γαλάζιο τ’ ουρανού, άλλοτε το βούρκο απ΄τις λασπολακκούβες του δρόμου. Και τότε τον άνθρωπο που κουβαλάει τον καθρέφτη μ’ ένα κοφίνι στη ράχη του, θα τον κατηγορήσετε γι’ ανήθικο! Ο καθρέφτης του δείχνει το βούρκο κι εσείς κατηγορείτε τον καθρέφτη! Θα πρέπει να κατηγορήσετε τον μεγάλο δρόμο όπου είναι ο βόρβορος, κι ακόμα πιο πολύ τον επόπτη του οδικού δικτύου που αφήνει το νερό να λιμνάζει και να κάνει λασπολακκούβες». (σελ. 427) Update Ξημέρωμα 4ης Αυγούστου (μα να μη μπορώ να κλείσω μάτι) Ανακάλυψα πως το συγκεκριμένο μυθιστόρημα βασίζεται σε αληθινή ιστορία. Και συγκεκριμένα στην ιστορία του Antoine Berthet, γιου σιδερά ο οποίος εργάστηκε στην υπηρεσία ενός αξιωματούχου της Γκρενόμπλ, ονόματι Michoud. Η ιστορία του, πανομοιότυπη με αυτή του Ζυλιέν δημοσιεύτηκε στην εφημερίδα la Gazette des tribunaux στα 1828. (βλέπε: Harold Bloom, Stendhal (Bloom's Major Novelists: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide), Chelsea House Pub, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2001 και επίσης D. L. Gobert, Cliffs Notes on The Red and The Black, 1967) Τώρα όλα μου φαίνονται πιο ξεκάθαρα. Βέβαια αύριο στη δουλειά θα κουτουλάω αλλά χαλάλι. Αυτό που με ξένιζε σε αυτό το βιβλίο και με έκανε να φαντάζομαι διάφορα, ήταν ακριβώς το γεγονός ότι ο συγγραφέας χρησιμοποιεί έναν έτοιμο σκελετό. Η ιστορία – αρχή, μέση και τέλος – είναι ήδη προκαθορισμένη. Αλλά η σάρκα της, η επένδυση του σκελετού έχει τελείως διαφορετικό χαρακτήρα, γιατί εκεί επάνω ο Σταντάλ ασκεί την κριτική του και εκφράζει την δυσαρέσκειά του για την γαλλική κοινωνία του 1830. Κάπου λοιπόν αυτό το δέσιμο εμφανίζει ρωγμές. Μέσα από αυτές ξεδιπλώνεται το ταλέντο του συγγραφέα, αλλά η σκέψη και η κοσμοθεωρία του δεν είναι συμβατή με την αρχική ιστορία οποία θα απαιτούσε μια απλούστερη δομή και πιο συμβατικούς χαρακτήρες. Έτσι προκύπτει αυτό το αινιγματικό αμάλγαμα, από ένα λογοτεχνικό «ατύχημα» φαίνεται πως γράφτηκε ένα αριστούργημα της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας. Δεν ξέρω κατά πόσο στέκει όλο αυτό αλλά εμένα με ικανοποιεί, πάω να ξεραθώ ευτυχισμένη.

  19. 4 out of 5

    فهد الفهد

    الأحمر والأسود تأخرت كثيراً في الكتابة عن ستاندال وكتابيه، ولا أدري لماذا؟ ربما كان انشغالي بالمعرض هو السبب، وربما حقيقة أن الكتابين كانا ضخمين، وأردت فترة أهضمهما فيها وأخرج برأي، ستاندال من الأدباء المثيرين للجدل، فهناك من قدروه واعتبروه أباً للرواية النفسية وروائياً سابقاً لزمانه، وهناك من لا يطيقونه ولا يطيقون أسلوبه الكلاسيكي، عاش ستاندال في فترة حاسمة من تاريخ فرنسا، فهو قد ولد قبل الثورة الفرنسية بسنوات قليلة، وعاصر الحروب النابليونية، وكتب عن هذا بحكم أنه كره نابليون زمناً، وأحبه زمناً الأحمر والأسود تأخرت كثيراً في الكتابة عن ستاندال وكتابيه، ولا أدري لماذا؟ ربما كان انشغالي بالمعرض هو السبب، وربما حقيقة أن الكتابين كانا ضخمين، وأردت فترة أهضمهما فيها وأخرج برأي، ستاندال من الأدباء المثيرين للجدل، فهناك من قدروه واعتبروه أباً للرواية النفسية وروائياً سابقاً لزمانه، وهناك من لا يطيقونه ولا يطيقون أسلوبه الكلاسيكي، عاش ستاندال في فترة حاسمة من تاريخ فرنسا، فهو قد ولد قبل الثورة الفرنسية بسنوات قليلة، وعاصر الحروب النابليونية، وكتب عن هذا بحكم أنه كره نابليون زمناً، وأحبه زمناً آخر. لا أدري لماذا سمى ستاندال روايته بهذا الاسم ! ولا إلى ماذا ترمز هذه الألوان ! ولكنني أعرف أن هذه الرواية ترتكز على قصة حقيقية حدثت في فرنسا، قريباً من الزمن الذي عاشه ستاندال، وقد استخدم ستاندال تلك القصة التي هزت المجتمع، ولكنه أثراها بحيث فاقت الأصل جمالاً وقلت عنه غرابة. تدور الأحداث في بداية القرن التاسع عشر، وترتكز على قصة ارتقاء جوليان سورل ابن ناشر أخشاب في السلم الاجتماعي بفضل مواهبه وعلمه، وكيف أصبح معلماً لأطفال العمدة، ومن ثم سكرتيراً لمركيز، كيف عاش قصص حب مدمرة حتى وصل إلى نهايته الغريبة. سنلاحظ في هذه الرواية دور الدين والمال في مجتمع ذلكم الوقت، حيث كان الناس يتحركون في دوائر تحددها مذاهبهم الدينية ومقدار ما يملكونه من مال، كما أننا سنغرق في صراعات الأحرار واليعاقبة، وسنلاحظ أيضاَ التبدلات السريعة التي تطرأ على مشاعر الأبطال، كيف يمكن لكلمة أو نظرة أن تقلب الحب إلى احتقار، وكيف تتلاعب المكانة الاجتماعية والمال بالمشاعر. إنها رواية عظيمة، روح القرن التاسع عشر، وشخصية جوليان سورل من الشخصيات القليلة التي تثبت في ذهن القارئ حتى بعد سنوات طويلة من قراءة الرواية، إنها شخصية ذكرتني بعثمان بيومي بطل رائعة نجيب محفوظ (حضرة المحترم).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris_P

    I don't normally give up books. Yet, Stendhal's The Red and The Black somehow failed to make me want to finish it if only out of curiosity about what happens in the end. I get why it's considered a classic and the author's irony is certainly smart and well used, but the characters are too absurd for my taste and the prose too shallow. I could neither relate to any character in the book, nor justify their thoughts and actions which were constantly contradicting one another. I know that was part o I don't normally give up books. Yet, Stendhal's The Red and The Black somehow failed to make me want to finish it if only out of curiosity about what happens in the end. I get why it's considered a classic and the author's irony is certainly smart and well used, but the characters are too absurd for my taste and the prose too shallow. I could neither relate to any character in the book, nor justify their thoughts and actions which were constantly contradicting one another. I know that was part of the book's point but it was also the reason I never connected and, as a result, got tired. I really tried and I really wanted to like this, but 100 pages before the end, I admit my defeat.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hugo

    Clube dos Clássicos Vivos "– Outrora – dizia-lhe Julien – quando eu podia ter sido tão feliz durante os nossos passeios pelos bosques de Vergy, uma ambição fogosa atraía a minha alma para regiões imaginárias. Em vez de estreitar contra o coração esse braço encantador que estava tão perto dos meus lábios, o futuro afastava-me de ti; eu pertencia aos inúmeros combates que teria de travar para edificar uma fortuna colossal... Não, eu teria morrido sem conhecer a felicidade se não tivesses vindo ter Clube dos Clássicos Vivos "– Outrora – dizia-lhe Julien – quando eu podia ter sido tão feliz durante os nossos passeios pelos bosques de Vergy, uma ambição fogosa atraía a minha alma para regiões imaginárias. Em vez de estreitar contra o coração esse braço encantador que estava tão perto dos meus lábios, o futuro afastava-me de ti; eu pertencia aos inúmeros combates que teria de travar para edificar uma fortuna colossal... Não, eu teria morrido sem conhecer a felicidade se não tivesses vindo ter comigo" (p. 476)

  22. 4 out of 5

    TheSkepticalReader

    What makes this novel a masterpiece is our friend Julien. Not a very likable fellow, I must admit, but a fantastically written one. He’s incredibly flawed and that’s what makes him so utterly human. He constantly makes horrible mistakes, trips over himself, is mostly always way in over his head, but all of that just makes him more complex, and thus more interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    [P]

    When I was at university my best friend and I would regularly write to each other as, for the first time, we were at different ends of the country. These letters [yes, letters – we were not being pretentious; neither of us could afford a computer as kids and so didn’t know how to use email until later] would usually contain details of any, uh, girl-related activity, music recommendations and book recommendations. Parts of these letters have stayed with me – certain relationships [one in particul When I was at university my best friend and I would regularly write to each other as, for the first time, we were at different ends of the country. These letters [yes, letters – we were not being pretentious; neither of us could afford a computer as kids and so didn’t know how to use email until later] would usually contain details of any, uh, girl-related activity, music recommendations and book recommendations. Parts of these letters have stayed with me – certain relationships [one in particular with a girl called Julie; my mate had issues with Wayne, her ex], certain records he urged on me and which I bought as soon as I was able, and certain books I sought out from the library. One of the books he once recommended was a French novel, about a young man trying to make his way in the world. I replied to my friend that it sounded interesting, or something of that sort, and a week later a package, rather than the expected letter, arrived. Inside was Le Rouge et la Noir by Stendhal. As I opened the book I noticed that my friend had written something on the reverse of the cover. “Julien Sorel is you!” it said. What did he mean by that? Well, first of all, to call me, at that time, an arrogant boy with a chip on my shoulder about my upbringing is probably right on the money. Furthermore, I must admit, that I was, shall we say, a bit of a cad, and that, more specifically, I approached my relations with women almost as though they were a test of my daring or courage. I was, then, regularly getting myself embroiled in ridiculous situations, things like seeing how many girlfriends I could manage at the same time; or sleeping with my friend’s girlfriend, in the same halls of residence in which he also lived, only a couple of rooms away in fact, so that I had to hotfoot it out of there in the early hours of the morning, hoping that he wouldn’t be on the corridor and catch me. I also got up to various sordid things in photobooths, on trains and at concerts, and so on. Now, before anyone starts spamming me with negative comments, I am fully aware that this was not admirable, nor recommendable, behaviour; but, yes, it is fair to say that I was a little like Julien Sorel. Julien is the poor son of a carpenter, who has ambitions to be a priest; he is, on the surface at least, a sensitive, bookish sort. In the early stages of the novel one might think that The Red and The Black is going to be a French version of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, a book that will focus on the exploits of a generally good boy as he struggles to better himself. However, when Julien moves in with the de Renal’s, in the capacity of tutor to their children, it quickly becomes clear that he is a rather haughty and self-obsessed sort, who considers the world something to bring under his heel, and often sees and uses people dispassionately. This dispassionate approach is particularly interesting in relation to the lady of the house, Louise de Renal, with whom he starts an affair. Julien, whose hero is Napoleon, conducts this relationship as though undertaking a military campaign. He makes notes for himself, writes plans; he doesn’t behave intuitively, or act on passionate impulse, but, rather, does what he thinks he ought to do in order to win the mayor’s wife, making bolder and bolder plays seemingly as a way of finding out what exactly he can get away with. Crucially, he doesn’t really want the woman, but thinks it fitting that he have her, and enjoys the idea that a rich lady will fall for the likes of him; it is, for him, the winning that counts, he has no great interest in drinking the victory champagne. As suggested in my opening paragraphs, Julien, just like my good self, is particularly sensitive regarding his background; and this colours the way that he sees the world. He appears to believe that everyone undervalues him, or disdains him, and so, in a kind of retaliation, or boon to his ego, he wants to conquer them. “I ought to keep a diary of this siege, he said to himself on returning to the hotel; otherwise I will lose track of my assaults.” Madame de Renal, on the other hand, genuinely loves Julien, although it is suggested that she loves him more for what he is not than what he is. I found her a fascinating character, both in terms of her personality and psychology and what she says about Stendhal as a writer. She is considered in Verrieres to be a chaste, proud and high-minded woman, who will not succumb to flirtation, having spurned the advances of Valenod. However, Stendhal portrays her as essentially artless; she is a woman who does not consider herself superior to men, but, rather, thinking them coarse and dull, she has no interest in them. There’s a really nice insight when it is said that she doesn’t find her husband boring simply because she finds other men more boring than him. I loved that; a really clever, subtle distinction. She falls for Julien, then, because he is not a man; he is, at seventeen, literally a boy; indeed, when she first sees him she likens him to, even suspects him of being, a girl dressed as a boy, and notes his fine pale complexion. Once she gets to know him a little, he also gives the impression of being cultured and well-read and in touch with his own finer feelings. Everything he is, her husband, and other provincial men, are not. In the hands of many writers Louise de Renal would be unbearable. Dickens’ work features a number of these inexperienced, otherworldy women, and readers generally want to lynch them. Yet, while she does occasionally irritate, for the most part I found Madame thoroughly endearing. And this is because Stendhal doesn’t really judge his characters, or only in a gently satirical way, or try and tell you what to think of them; he allows them to breathe, and doesn’t make them ‘a type’ of one extreme or another. Louise, for example, is an adulteress, who adores her lover more than her own children, which is not particularly admirable, of course. Yet she is also sympathetic, primarily because she is clumsily dealing with the novel state of being in love, and because her husband is a boor. She is strangely noble, because her feelings are pure, but ignoble in her actions. Likewise, she is artless, but not dim; she is both strong and weak…she is, as much can be the case with any fictional character, like a real person. While Book One is a pretty standard, but very enjoyable, tale of a cheating milf and her young lover, featuring much roguery and melodrama, the second, which involves Julien’s relationship with Mathilde de La Mole, is something else entirely. Of course, it is different on the most literal, basic level, in that Mathilde is a younger woman, similar in age to Julien, and she is not married, but this is obviously not what makes Book Two so extraordinary. I was once in a relationship that simply would not settle down, would not work; it was, I think I have said elsewhere, an Israeli-Palestinian type deal. Anyway, after some time spent needling each other, my ex-girlfriend one day said to me, “we both want the power in the relationship; we’re too proud and bloody-minded to allow ourselves to submit, even for a moment, to the other. And so we are constantly trying to make the other submissive.” Or words to that effect. And I think she was right. What is so startling about Julien and Mathilde’s relationship is that it is just like this so modern a conflict. They are equals – not socially, but intellectually and emotionally – and they are both too proud to give in to the other; so they spend much of their time antagonising each other, butting heads; yes, they will occasionally call a truce, and so come together, but one or both will regret it almost immediately afterwards. The thing is, love can only flourish if one relinquishes one’s ego, one’s absolute power over oneself. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that, once again, Mathilde esteems Julien for what he is not, rather than what he is; he is not like the tiresome, predictable suitors she has previously attracted; she sees danger in him and reckless passion. None of this, however, is the novel’s real selling point; I was very impressed by much of what Stendhal pulls off in The Red and The Black but there is one thing about it that had me in awe. Andre Gide said that the book was far ahead of its time, and Friedrich Nietzsche spoke glowingly of the Frenchman’s psychology, but neither, in my opinion, quite goes far enough in their praise. Ahead of its time? Reading it you’d think Sendhal had a DeLorean. The first psychological novel? It’s as though Henry James had looked at Dumas’ body of work and thought ‘I can do that – rascals, heroism, cheating women – a piece of piss!’ And, lo, he did do it, furnishing the adventure story with unrelenting, complex introspection. In all seriousness, I couldn’t believe what I was reading: there are pages and pages given over to the characters’ thought processes, so much so that for much of the second half there’s hardly any plot at all. For example, there’s a chapter in my translation called Dialogue With a Master, most of which is dedicated to de Renal’s interior monologue concerning his suspicions about Julien and his wife. Moreover, Mathilde’s presence in the text is almost entirely in her head and Julien’s. And this book was published in 1830! Truly, if Virginia Woolf is to be called a modernist, then what is Stendhal?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susana

    (review in English below) Gostei muito, e estou de certo modo surpreendida por isso. Ao início irritei-me com a personalidade de Julien, interesseiro e calculista, e na verdade nunca me senti realmente envolvida emocionalmente na história. Mas, de alguma forma, o autor conseguiu manter-me sempre interessada, nunca me aborrecendo - mesmo quando se discutiam aspectos da História francesa que me são completamente desconhecidos. As poucas notas de rodapé são interessantes, mas souberam-me a pouco. A v (review in English below) Gostei muito, e estou de certo modo surpreendida por isso. Ao início irritei-me com a personalidade de Julien, interesseiro e calculista, e na verdade nunca me senti realmente envolvida emocionalmente na história. Mas, de alguma forma, o autor conseguiu manter-me sempre interessada, nunca me aborrecendo - mesmo quando se discutiam aspectos da História francesa que me são completamente desconhecidos. As poucas notas de rodapé são interessantes, mas souberam-me a pouco. A verdade é que, na época em que esta tradução foi feita, a cultura francesa tinha, na sociedade portuguesa, o papel e a influência que tem hoje a cultura americana. Assim, calculo que os leitores da altura tivessem um conhecimento razoável dos principais personagens e acontecimentos históricos aqui referidos. Mas eu gostaria de ter tido mais enquadramento (confesso que sou preguiçosa e não fui pesquisar). Gostei bastante da escrita, cheia de apontamentos críticos e humorísticos ou irónicos sobre a sociedade francesa do século XIX, incluindo o clero. A história é baseada em factos reais mas provavelmente os seus contornos dramáticos foram exagerados, chegando-se a uma narrativa que eu senti dinâmica e capaz de ser facilmente transformada numa peça de teatro, num filme ou numa mini-série (e há realmente 8 - oito! - filmes baseados neste livro, embora eu nunca tenha ouvido falar de nenhum deles...). É também um romance "psicológico", em que o autor nos mostra constantemente os pensamentos e reflexões dos personagens, principalmente dos protagonistas (como não podia deixar de ser), que me pareceram algo psicóticos, todos os três - Julien, Mathilde e a senhora de Rênal. Recomendo particularmente a quem goste de clássicos e romances históricos. I really liked it, and I'm somewhat surprised with that fact. In the beginning I was annoyed by Julien's personality - selfish and manipulative - and I never really felt involved in the story. But somehow the author managed to keep me interested all the time and I was never bored, even when the characters discussed aspects of French history which I completely ignore. The footnotes are relevant, but scarce. In fact, when this translation was made, French culture had a big influence among the Portuguese society - like American culture these days. So, I guess Portuguese readers at that time would have a decent knowledge about the main historical characters and events mentioned in this book. But I would've liked to have more information (I must confess I'm lazy and I didn't look it up). I enjoyed the writing very much, with all the criticism and humor and irony about the French society of the 19th century, including the clergy. The story is based on real events but the dramatic details were probably exaggerated, resulting in a dynamic narrative that would easily translate into a play, a movie or a mini-series (and there are, in fact, 8 - eight! - films based on this book, although I never heard about any of them...). This is also a psychological novel, with the author letting us in the characters thoughts and considerations, specially the protagonists' (as one would expect) who seemed quite psychotic to me, all three of them - Julien, Mathilde and Mrs. de Rênal. I'd recommend it particularly to those who like classics and historical novels.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Se Julien tivesse conta no twitter seria o típico usuário obsessivo da hashtag #odeiopessoas. Stendhal sabia escrever sobre os sentimentos. Com requinte e alguma ironia construiu um dos melhores e complexos personagens de todos os tempos. Ainda tem a capacidade de conversar com o leitor de forma despretensiosa e muito cativante. Esta é a considerada a sua obra-prima, um romance histórico psicológico. Uma leitura indiscutivelmente inesquecível. CONTINUA AQUI: http://amulherqueamalivros.blogs.sapo. Se Julien tivesse conta no twitter seria o típico usuário obsessivo da hashtag #odeiopessoas. Stendhal sabia escrever sobre os sentimentos. Com requinte e alguma ironia construiu um dos melhores e complexos personagens de todos os tempos. Ainda tem a capacidade de conversar com o leitor de forma despretensiosa e muito cativante. Esta é a considerada a sua obra-prima, um romance histórico psicológico. Uma leitura indiscutivelmente inesquecível. CONTINUA AQUI: http://amulherqueamalivros.blogs.sapo...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Proença

    Li este livro há quase quarenta anos. Mais precisamente em 1978. Como sei? É simples. Pela data de edição do meu exemplar. Na altura, tinha uma bolsa pequenita onde cabia pouco mais do que um ou dois livros por mês. Isto nos meses bons; nos maus tinha de apertar muito o cinto para conseguir, pelo menos, um. Assim, nunca tinha livros à espera de ser lidos (hoje tenho quase novecentos). E, não sei se era pela raridade, ou por pensar que o Tempo era infinito, todos os livros que li na juventude era Li este livro há quase quarenta anos. Mais precisamente em 1978. Como sei? É simples. Pela data de edição do meu exemplar. Na altura, tinha uma bolsa pequenita onde cabia pouco mais do que um ou dois livros por mês. Isto nos meses bons; nos maus tinha de apertar muito o cinto para conseguir, pelo menos, um. Assim, nunca tinha livros à espera de ser lidos (hoje tenho quase novecentos). E, não sei se era pela raridade, ou por pensar que o Tempo era infinito, todos os livros que li na juventude eram bons e nunca desisti de nenhum. Agora, ouço constantemente o "relógio" a dizer-me: - apressa-te, apressa-te, e não desperdices tempo com livros que não te emocionam. Memórias de O Vermelho e o Negro só tinha as equivalentes a gostei muito. Decidi relê-lo, em conjunto com a Susana e a Carmo. Mas não consigo sentir o mesmo entusiasmo que elas. A cada página me enfado com o Julião Sorel, me impaciento com os esposos de Rênal, me canso com os abades de não sei das quantas. Reli metade (e sinto-me uma valente). Vou arrumá-lo na estante, pois se continuo terei de reduzir-lhe as 4* do passado. E não quero, nem devo. Este foi um livro para eu ler e apreciar aos vinte anos. Agora é outro tempo... finito...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    First published in 1830, The Red and the Black is the bildungsroman of Julien Sorel, an intelligent and ambitious young man from a working class family in a rural area of France. Highly romantic, Julien admires Napoleon Bonaparte and has dreamed of a military career: the "Black" in the title represents the colour of the military uniform. However, a distinguished military career is not something a young man of his class can aspire to and Julien turns his attention to the Church: the uniform of w First published in 1830, The Red and the Black is the bildungsroman of Julien Sorel, an intelligent and ambitious young man from a working class family in a rural area of France. Highly romantic, Julien admires Napoleon Bonaparte and has dreamed of a military career: the "Black" in the title represents the colour of the military uniform. However, a distinguished military career is not something a young man of his class can aspire to and Julien turns his attention to the Church: the uniform of which is represented by the "Red" of the title. In addition to being a psychological portrait of Julien, the novel also satirises French society under the Bourbon Restoration, in particular the upper classes and the Church. I listened to a French audibook edition of the novel, downloaded at no cost from www.literatureaudio.com. The narrator was competent, although not inspirational. However, listening to the book was still preferable to reading, because it forced me to understand unfamiliar words in context rather than interupt the story to check such words in the dictionary. I wish that I'd enjoyed the novel more than I actually did. It certainly has its strengths. In particular, the concentration on Julien's psychology gives the novel a more modern feel than any English language novel of the same period with which I am familiar. The political and social context of the novel is also interesting, although my lack of knowledge about that period of French history put me at something of a disadvantage. However, in spite of the novel's strengths, I did not warm to the characters. I don't need to like the characters in a novel in order to like the novel itself. But I do want to feel strongly about them. Julien is intelligent, manipulative, selfish, egotistical and immature. I didn't like him, but I also didn't feel strongly enough about him to dislike him. I probably didn't even understand him as well as I should have, because I struggled to comprehend how two very different women could fall passionately in love with him. I didn't warm to the female characters either: one is naive but should have known better. The other is manipulated into falling in love with Julien by a variation on the "treat them mean and keep them keen" principle. She also should should have known better. I also didn't feel strongly about these characters either. Towards the end of the novel I started caring more about Julien's fate and about Stendhal's views on French society, but still not enough to lift the novel into four or five star territory. Overall, I'm very glad I listened to the audiobook. Until tackling the novel as a group read for the Readers Review Group, all I knew about Stendhal was that there is a psychosomatic illness named after him. I know more about him now and I expect to read more of his work in the future. However, I don't think that the story of Julien Sorel will make it to my "must re-read" list.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

    Julián Sorel es junto a Dorian Gray, Raskólnikov, Ana Karenina o Madame Bovary, uno de esos personajes inolvidables de las novelas decimonónicas. Julián Sorel es el perfecto arribista. Nada significan para él el amor, la amistad, la camaradería o la honestidad. Así, la estrategia, la mentira y la hipocresía constituyen su modus vivendi aplicando la máxima maquiavélica de que el fin justifica los medios. La maestría de Stendhal reside en mostrarnos al personaje desde todas sus caras sin ocultarnos Julián Sorel es junto a Dorian Gray, Raskólnikov, Ana Karenina o Madame Bovary, uno de esos personajes inolvidables de las novelas decimonónicas. Julián Sorel es el perfecto arribista. Nada significan para él el amor, la amistad, la camaradería o la honestidad. Así, la estrategia, la mentira y la hipocresía constituyen su modus vivendi aplicando la máxima maquiavélica de que el fin justifica los medios. La maestría de Stendhal reside en mostrarnos al personaje desde todas sus caras sin ocultarnos nada, dibujando, en líneas generales, a un completo idiota que necesita constantemente justificarse a sí mismo. Sorel no es más que una caricatura grotesca de una persona gris y mediocre que se cree algo. Pero Rojo y negro no es solamente Julián Sorel. Es un retrato impecable de la Francia de mediados del XIX, de la de provincias y de la parisina, de sus gentes y sus miserias. ¿Cuántos Julián Sorel conocéis? ¿Cuántas sociedades similares a la descrita por Stendhal identificáis en la actualidad? Creo que alguna respuesta se puede encontrar en la película Match Point (2005) de Woody Allen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nib7a...

  29. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    I promised myself I wouldn’t spend too long clacking out a review of this one: usually, after a frenzied Sunday of reading I like to mellow out for the last few hours, and not dissertate (apparently that’s a word!) on a lofty French classic. Plus there are a few tip-top reviews already, like this one and this one and this one, so who cares what the anaemic Scot has to say? Really? In short: loved the epigrams, didn’t mind the frequent blurring of narrator with interior narration and dialogue, an I promised myself I wouldn’t spend too long clacking out a review of this one: usually, after a frenzied Sunday of reading I like to mellow out for the last few hours, and not dissertate (apparently that’s a word!) on a lofty French classic. Plus there are a few tip-top reviews already, like this one and this one and this one, so who cares what the anaemic Scot has to say? Really? In short: loved the epigrams, didn’t mind the frequent blurring of narrator with interior narration and dialogue, and thought Julian a loveable little bastard. Sure, the persistent tuggings between affection, class, love, ambition, and so on, became unbearable, and Julian shooting his true love because she threatened his insincere love didn’t quite scan on the plot level, but who cares with prose this schizomanic? Love Stendhal.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gorkem

    Cok üzülerek söylüyorum iş bankası yayınları dizginleme olarak harika olsa da okunabilirlik olarak çok feci çeviri kokuyor. Daha fazla bu işkenceye bu edisyonda devam edemeyeceğim. Bertan Onaran Fransızca çeviri konusunda çok usta kabul edilse de keşke stendhalı Volkan Yalçıntoklular çevirseymiş demeden edemedim. Elimde 2 çevirdiği kitap daha var. Umarım Zola Nana için de aynı hüsranla karşılaşmam

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