Handsome and ambitious, Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and make something of his life-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. Julien ultimately commits a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that will bring about his downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui. The complex, sympathetic portrayal of Julien, the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions, makes him Stendhal's most brilliant and human creation-and one of the greatest characters in European literature. Translated with an introduction by Roger Gard.
Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Renal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.
"Jerusalem has had many chroniclers, but Benvenisti is the city's leading living author. This is the one book that provides a history of the city at once knowing, unsentimental, yet evocative of the grace of that city. A book of great quality, a book of rare integrity."--Fouad Ajami, author of The Arab Predicament
Henri Marie Beyle, known through his writing as Stendhal, was born in Grenoble in 1783 and educated there at the cole Centrale. A cousin offered him a post in the Ministry of War, and from 1800 he followed Napoleon's campaigns in Italy, Germany, Russia and Austria. In between wars, he spent his time in Paris drawing rooms and theatres.
After the fall of Napoleon, he retired to Italy, adopted his pseudonym and started to write books on Italian painting, Haydn and Mozart, and travels in Italy. In 1821 the Austrian police expelled him from the country, and on returning to Paris he finished his book De l'amour. This was followed by Racine et Shakespeare, a defense of Romantic literature. Le Rouge et le noir was his second novel, and he also produced or began three others, including La Chartreuse de Parme and Lucien Leuwen. None of his published works was received with any great understanding during his lifetime.
Beyle was appointed Consul at Civitavecchia after the 1830 revolution, but his health deteriorated and six years later he was back in Paris and beginning a Life of Napoleon. In 1841 he was once again recalled for reasons of illness, and in the following year suffered a fatal stroke. Various autobiographical works, Journal, Souvenirs de l'egotisme and La Vie de Henri Brulard, were published later, as his fame grew.
Praise for Burton Raffel's translations For Balzac's Pere Goriot
"Raffel's Pere Goriot is both faithful and beautiful, and that makes it a masterpiece." --Alain Renoir
"I predict that this translation will give Balzac's great novel a new life for English and American readers. . . . The definitive translation for this generation." --Peter Brooks
"[Raffel's] translation has the vigor and elasticity of Balzac's style, and catches with uncanny accuracy the tone of the period." --Guy Davenport
For Cervantes's Don Quijote
"[Raffel's Don Quijote] recasts the original into lively English, without losing the complexity and flavor of the Spanish. . . . This Quijote flows smoothly and reads, in fact, like original prose rather than a translation." --Adrienne Martin
Praise for Burton Raffel's translations For Balzac's Pre Goriot "Raffel's Pre Goriot is both faithful and beautiful, and that makes it a masterpiece." -Alain Renoir "I predict that this translation will give Balzac's great novel a new life for English and American readers. . . . The definitive translation for this generation." -Peter Brooks "[Raffel's] translation has the vigor and elasticity of Balzac's style, and catches with uncanny accuracy the tone of the period." -Guy Davenport For Cervantes's Don Quijote "[Raffel's Don Quijote ] recasts the original into lively English, without losing the complexity and flavor of the Spanish. . . . This Quijote flows smoothly and reads, in fact, like original prose rather than a translation." -Adrienne Martin
Stendhal's dark, compelling tale of one man's descent into glamorous, greedy French society
INTRODUCTION In The Red and the Black , Stendhal paints a sweeping portrait of early nineteenth-century France -- its social classes, professions, politics, and manners -- in Paris and the provinces. The novel''s characters represent virtually every level of intelligence and sensibility, in a plot involving passion, intrigue, satire, and last-minute reversals. Changing scene and focus so often that it has frequently been called "cinematic," the novel is held together by Julien Sorel, whose life provides its structure. Julien leaves his provincial home to become a tutor, strives to raise himself professionally and socially, becomes embroiled in a series of romantic escapades, and finally faces a capital trial. Until Stendhal chose the enigmatic phrase Le rouge et le noir as the title just before the book''s publication, he called the novel Julien . Although Julien is indisputably the novel''s central character, whether we should see him as a hero is an open question. At the end of the novel, Stendhal places us in the same position as the jury at Julien''s trial, in effect asking us to evaluate Julien and compare our verdict with the court''s. Unlike omniscient narrators in the novels of George Eliot or Anthony Trollope, Stendhal''s is a playful, often ironic presence rather than a reliable touchstone. The narrator of The Red and the Black declares his "intention is to flatter no one" (p. 58), a statement in keeping with the novel''s epigraph "Truth, the bitter truth." However, "truth" proves far from straightforward. The epigraph is attributed to Georges Jacques Danton, the proponent of the French Revolution who was later guillotined, but Danton may never have said it. Many of the epigraphs that open each chapter are either very loose renditions of quotations or outright fabrications. Further, the narrator''s moods and opinions prove almost as changeable as those of the characters, who frequently argue with themselves and change their minds two or three times within a chapter. Thus the narrator, after one of the first interviews between Julien and Mme. de R
From his earliest childhood he had experienced moments of rapture. Then, he would dream with delight that he would one day encounter the beautiful women of Paris, and would compel their attention by some famous deed. Why should he not be loved by one of them as Bonaparte, while still poor, had been loved by the brilliant Mme de Beauharnais? For many years, scarcely an hour of Julien's life passed without his telling himself that Bonaparte, an obscure and penniless lieutenant, had made himself the master of the world with his sword. This idea consoled him for his sufferings, which he thought great, and redoubled his happiness when he had any. The construction of the church and the Justice of the Peace's judgements suddenly enlightened him; and idea came to him which made him distraught for some weeks, and seized hold of him with the overwhelming force belonging to the first idea with which a passionate nature believe itself to have been inspired. 'When Bonaparte made people talk about him, France was in danger of invasion; military talent was necessary and fashionable. Today one sees 40-year-old priests with stipends of a hundred thousand francs, that is to say, three times more than Napoleon's famous generals. They need people behind them to support them. Look at this Justice of the peace, so sensible, such a fine upstanding man until now, so established, who has dishonoured himself for fear of offending a young clergyman of thirty. It is necessary to be a priest.' On one occasion, in the midst of this new piety, and after he had already been studying theology for two years, he was betrayed into a sudden eruption of the fire that consumed his soul. At M. Ch
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