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The Red and the Black (Konemann Classics) [Hardcover]

Stendhal
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 April 2001 Konemann Classics
Marie-Henri Beyle (1783-1842), better known by his penname Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels The Red and the Black (1830) and The Charterhouse of Parma (1839). The military and theatrical worlds of the First French Empire were a revelation to Beyle. He was named an auditor with the Conseil d'État, and thereafter took part in the French administration and in the Napoleonic wars. He travelled extensively in Germany and was part of Napoleon's army in the 1812 invasion of Russia. He formed a particular attachment to Italy, where he spent much of the remainder of his career, serving as French consul at Trieste and Civitavecchia and writing. One of his early works is On Love (1822), a rational analysis of romantic passion. This fusion, or tension, of clearheaded analysis with romantic feeling is typical of Stendhal's great novels; he could be considered a Romantic realist. Other works include: Armance (1827) and The Abbess of Castro (1832).
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Konemann UK Ltd (10 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3829069901
  • ISBN-13: 978-3829069908
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 13 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,257,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Julien Sorel, son of a country timber merchant, parlays his admiration for Napoleon and a successful career in the church into a place in Parisian high society. His cunning and ambition lead him to trouble, and to high military office, but his passion for two women the aristocratic Mlle Mathilde de la Mole and the loyal Mme de Rênal finally decides his fate. --the Globe and Mail --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A colourful tale... 23 May 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Stendahl's Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) is a classic novel that was very important to me in early formation of directions in life. I found I could identify quite strongly with Julien Sorel, who wanted a better life, a life of meaning and importance, and was torn about which direction in which to go.
The Red (symbolising the church, the scarlet of cardinal's robes) and the Black (symbolising the military, the uniform, etc.) were both options held out to me early; in fact, I rejected both for a while, but have found myself drawn back in the red direction.
The story is one of coming of age as a bookish fellow in a working-class family, then ambition (but not overpowering ambition; in fact, Julien's father wishes he had more), then shifting careers (rare in an era and country where one's path is usually set for life early; however, this was the post-revolution era in France, in which some things were giving way, some more than others, it seems). Julien is pulled by events rather than being the director and creator of realities; Julien finds he loves the affect of various roles in life (more than the substance and responsibilities that come with such roles) -- for instance, he loves the swagger and the horsey-ness of being a soldier, but doesn't particularly like to get dirty or have to fight. He likes the trappings of religious office, but isn't inclined so much to spirituality, and Julien ran up against this in seminary:
The seminary director said to Julien: `Truth is austere, sir. But our task in this world is austere, too, is it not? You must take care to guard your conscience carefully from this weakness: Excess of feeling for vain exterior charm.'
There is love, a love triangle in fact, romance and thwarted desires, and loves fulfilled, if not completely.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in flagrante delicto 21 Aug 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
About halfway through this arch and amusing tale of the foolish, machiavellian Julien Sorel we read: "He almost went mad with joy on finding an edition of Voltaire. He ran and opened the library door so as not to be caught in the act. Next he gave himself the pleasure of opening each of the eighty volumes." You too will almost go mad with joy when you slip into a book that can startle with its pulse, its passion, its ability to seem like a forbidden pleasure. You will smile with glee as you run your hands across pages racy enough to make you feel like you could be caught in the act. You'll find yourself sighing on page 248 when you realize Julien has a full eighty volumes of Voltaire to keep his fires burning, while you only have 500 pages of the Red and the Black. But don't give into that familiar panic--that it might end, that you will spend years regretting those 500 pages of momentary pleasure--because it only gets better with each successive read. Like Cleopatra, it doesn't cloy where most it satisfies, but leaves you short of breath, wanting more--
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Red and the Black by Stendhal 19 Mar 2013
Format:Leather Bound|Verified Purchase
I received this book soon after ordering it. Although it was a Franklin LIbrary edition, it was not in the binding in the illustration but the binding is nevertheless very elegant. The book is in very good condition.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first modern novel 23 May 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A forerunner to the great novels to come for the rest of the 19th century after 1839 onwards. Pre-Freudian, internal surveys of the mind and the man at odds with his hypocritical milieu. Stendhal deals with breathtaking pace and suspense the universal themes that make great literature.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What makes this book grand AN Alternative View 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Ah the sweet murmurings of Julien Sorel's soul. A character so deep and written so introspectively it is hard not to mistake for an old memory of a distant friend. Stendhal with unprecedented psychological insight develops characters that live and breathe in the very pages book. While expressing a range of emotions that is so wide in expanse you forget that the human soul is so dynamic. Julien with unmatched character easily sees through each man's character to include his own and recognizes the hypocrisy that so many men refuse to see or hide. A noble character for a noble book that we may never see the likes of again in an age where there is no need for hypocrisy.
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