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Posts Tagged ‘French Literature’

Book XX: Zadig, By Voltaire, 1747, 65 pages
“That the things of this world did not always answer the wishes of the wise and that men were in the wrong to judge of a whole, of which they understood the smallest part”. Ah satire and 18th century satire at that.  I must admit I have soft spot for this type of narrative.  From Gulliver’s travels, to the later Peer Gynt, to Voltaire’s own Candide I just cant get enough of them.  The funny thing is all of these stories are poking fun at the political and cultural environments of their time, yet are somewhat still appropriate today.  Times change, but people don’t and that is exactly what these stories show to me.  Like Candide  the story of Zadig is that of a promising good natured, honest, genuine, young man who is scorned in love, in knowledge and in moral.  despite all his hardships brought upon by following his heart he stays true to his own integrity of belief.  One must admire such.  I for one a lover of Candide may actually consider Zadig a better work.  It had me laughing out loud at times and out raged at others.  A definite read.

How about lets return to British Literature with the 20th century transcendentalist/stream of consciousness writing of Virginia Wolf and her ground breaking novel Mrs. Dalloway for book XXI.

With a mug like this I must say Voltaire had to be a pimp back in his time!

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Book IX: Peer Gynt, Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1867, 169 pages

I feel like I have been on a world tour of literature lately.  I went from British lit, to French, to South American and now with the addition of the play Peer Gynt find myself taking a stab at Norwegian literature.  Written primarily in verse Henrik Ibsen takes the reader on a lyrical journey with main character Peer Gynt.  Supposedly the play is based on an old Norwegian folk tale of the same title.  Its rather easy to read and the form flows quite nicely and this comes form a person who is not a fan of poetry.  I am about half way done with this play already considering I have not had a chance to make this entry here yet.  Never the less I implore you to pick Peer Gynt up and give it a read.

Summary of Book VIII: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Garcia Marquez has yet again managed to captivate me in another of his novels.  I rather enjoyed Chronicle of a Death Foretold although a bit disturbing.  The whole book is written knowing the main character is going to be brutally murdered from the first sentence.  In  Marquez’s usual style there is plenty of sex, scandal and moral upheaval one has come to expect from his works.  I definitely suggest if you missed this book when I first entered it into the book club to give it some look.

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Book VII: Boule De Suif & Selected Stories, Guy De Maussant, Stories published from 1880-1890, 283 pages

Taking a break from English Literature I picked up this collection of short stories by Guy De Maussant.  I cant remember the last time I read anything from the French and the last time I gave short stories a run was last December.  I get a kick out of short stories and French writing is so erotic, even back then.  Maussant was the protege of the renowned author of Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert.  Madame Bovary being one of my all time favorite books I figured I had to check out the works of Maussant.  Im about half way through already considering I started the book before my long trip home and did nothing but read for most of it.  So far I am enjoying it.

Summary of Book VI: Great Expectations

For whatever reason Dickens is an author I have read very scarce.  Considering he is one of the greatest of his time that is rather sad.  That being said I found Great Expectations to be an enthralling read.  I could not put the book down.  The characters are all so unique and the plot amazing to the last sentence.   If you have left this book out as I did for so long it is time to pick it up.  You wont be sorry.

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