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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good translation of a haunting novel 29 décembre 2013
Par LIBRARIAN - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
There are four French-to-English translations of this haunting novel presently offered for sale in the Kindle Store. Two of them are particularly good and worthy of praise: this one by Frank Davison and another by R. B. Russell. The other two, by Jennifer Hashmi and Robin Buss, are not bad, but come across, comparatively speaking, as less smooth and natural. For instance, instead of using an ellipsis of three or four dots (periods), Hashmi regularly uses many dots (...........................) to indicate incomplete statements; this translational gimmick (unique to her) is quite distracting and draws undue attention to itself (especially when several such appear on the same page/screen). And to me, Buss's English syntax occasionally seems stilted. Again, neither is terrible, but given the luxury of comparative choice, Hashmi's and Buss's translations are not as much to my liking as Davison's and Russell's. (Please sample all four to decide for yourself.)

As to the merits of the novel itself, I have written about this wonderful and quite amazing book in my previous review of Russell's translation (and I would invite you to type "Russell Le Grand Meaulnes" in the Kindle Store searchbox to read that review). This is a very special book depicting one young man's mysterious transition from childhood to adulthood; it should be read by those who can still remember what it was like to be young and impressionable, a time of discovering life and the world, and being in love (for the first time) with one very special person in that world. Events depicted in this enchanting story seem quite real as we encounter them, but their reality ultimately proves to be not unlike the reality of dreams, which we (upon waking, recalling, and reflecting) ultimately recognize as having been more fanciful than factual, rooted in reality but operating somehow outside it. But whether real or a dream, whether fact or fancy, at some level, everything we read herein is undeniably true to human nature and all quite unforgettable to those still receptive to (or who can recall) the stirrings of adolescence and young-adulthood. This is a magical tale, one which will pleasantly haunt you for the rest of your life IF you approach it with the requisite suspension of disbelief required of all such fantasies. Author John Fowles, so affected, credits this book as being a major influence on his own bestseller "The Magus." Admittedly, any objective literary critic will recognize and must admit the work is stylistically flawed (even the admiring Fowles says as much), but only a curmudgeon would choose to dwell on this truly one-of-a-kind book's imperfections. The brilliance of this unique work overcomes ordinary criticism, and as we read and fall under its spell, we experience something quite hard-to-define and truly special (not only AS we read it but lingering long afterward--indeed, for many of us, a lifetime).

Although Davison translated the previous Penguin edition (which I own and have enjoyed reading in paperback), Penguin opted for Robin Buss to translate its current edition; in my opinion, Davison's is the more natural (and better) of those two. But as much as I like Davison's version (and I like it very much), I ultimately prefer the translation by R. B. Russell for two reasons: (1) It is, to me, ever so slightly smoother, more natural and, therefore, even more enjoyable than Davison's, and (2) it costs only half as much. Price aside, however, you can't go wrong with either Davison's or Russell's translation. But you CAN go wrong if you read too much ABOUT this book (either in plot-revealing reviews or in analytical introductions) before you actually read it. Russell's edition is refreshingly free of all editorial comment, but this one has an introduction which can adversely affect the magic. SKIP IT until after you have finished reading the book.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 We can never go home again. 2 mars 2013
Par still searching - Publié sur
At the start of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca the narrator reminds us that `we can never go back again' as, in her dream, she wanders the winding, overgrown path to Manderley. Likewise, George Webber, Thomas Wolfe's `hero' reluctantly concludes, that `you can't go home again' at the end of his novel of the same name. And this, in essence, is the theme that haunts this elegiac tale of childhood lost and with it the innocence that often, in adulthood, we wish was ours still to claim.

The story of Augustin Meaulnes or, Le Grand Meaulnes, as he is entitled by its narrator, Francois Seurel, 15 years old at the story's opening, begins when 17 year old Augustin becomes a pupil in the school run by Francois' father. Its setting is the small village of Saint-Agathe in the Department of Cher about as close to the centre of France as you can get, in the years leading up to the Great War. The two boys quickly become friends and the older boy soon becomes the kind of hero-like figure that features, commonly, in the developing life of a post-pubescent teen-aged boy. Augustin has a charm and a certain otherwordliness absent in the other pupils with whom Francois is familiar and he is keen to enter into the adventures that friendship with Le Grand Meaulnes suggest might be forthcoming.

Instead, taking off in the dead of night, Augustin embarks on his own escapade; one that will determine the direction in which his life, and those close to him, from then on, will travel. On his return he appears distracted and preoccupied and, eventually, relates his adventure to Francois.

This is a wonderfully written, haunting, tale that will, in all likelihood, remain with the reader long after the last word is read, which accurately recalls all of the sweet pain of youth, during which dreams and life become one and the world seems replete with possibility.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautifully written 17 mars 2014
Par L. E. Wilson - Publié sur
This book is such a pleasure to read. It is dreamy, and yet engaging and never dull. I have read a lot of French novels and was surprised to find one I hand't read before. It is about youth and young love, mainly, from a boy's point of view, and despite the pain, longing, and regrets, you can't help but enjoy every word and feel sentimental about one's own teenage years when reading it.

In another way, towards the end, it shows the foolishness and capriciousness of humans, of both genders, when young. It has people acting in ways contrary to common sense, and yet tries to explain why they do such things. There is a lot of psychology in this book, showing and exploring the human psyche.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Supposedly the forerunner of Catcher in the Rye 19 mars 2014
Par Michael J. McDermott - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An engaging coming of age story with some nice plot elements. I'm not sure this really set the stage for Salinger's masterpiece, but I enjoyed reading it. If you get this edition, skip the introduction until after you read this short book, then go back and read the intro. It's full of interesting tidbits about the author's life and its reflection in the novel.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 First love never dies 4 avril 2014
Par marthawrites - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Poignant coming of age story with strong sense of place. I imagined a couple of scenarios for the ending which were not correct. The aura of mystery, the narrator's innocence--in fact, the vulnerability of several main characters-- all combined to provide a haunting novel with a fantastical element.
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