October book discussion - Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier
We stay on the French road.
Our next read is 'Le Grand Meaulnes' by Alain-Fournier.
This is the only novel by French author Alain-Fournier, who was killed in the first month of World War I. The novel, published in Protected content , a year before the author's death, is somewhat biographical – especially the name of the heroine Yvonne, for whom he had a doomed infatuation in Paris. Fifteen-year-old François Seurel narrates the story of his friendship with seventeen-year-old Augustin Meaulnes as Meaulnes searches for his lost love.
It promises to be an engrossing read and a great discussion!
For those of you, like me, whose French is limited to ' Parlez-vous anglais?', I am trying to find out which English translation is the best one, will update the event once I know more.
More about the book:
There is no doubting the classic status of Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes. A poll of French readers a dozen years ago placed it sixth of all 20th-century books, just behind Proust and Camus. Most French people read it at school; yet very few of them (according to my own private poll) ever reread it. This may stem from an understandable reluctance to revisit set texts; but more, perhaps, from a fear that the novel's magic might not work a second time around – as if, in adulthood, we know too much to fall under the its spell again. Yet this would be a mistake. What John Fowles called "the greatest novel of adolescence in European literature" can only ever be partly grasped by adolescents, because they don't yet know exactly what it is they are going to lose by growing up.
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