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Commentaire: Bibliothèque Rouge et or collection souveraine de 1959. Avec sa jaquette illustrée. Envoi soigné et protégé sous 24 heures en enveloppe bulle. (souve).
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Le grand Meaulnes. Illustrations de C. Delaunay (Allemand) Relié – 1959

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5 13 commentaires
32 internautes sur 32 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 five French-to-English translations of this haunting novel presently offered for sale in the Kindle Store. Two are particularly good and worthy of praise: this one by Frank Davison and another by R. B. Russell. Another two, by Jennifer Hashmi and by 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. The 5th (and most recent to appear in the Kindle Store) is also the least expensive. By an anonymous translator, its English syntax is so absolutely terrible it should be avoided altogether. By all means sample the first four to decide for yourself which you prefer, but don't waste your time sampling the anonymous one.

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 chose 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) at the time I purchased it, Russell's cost only half as much. Since then, however, Davison's price has lowered and Russell's price has risen, such that price is no longer as much of a factor. In fact, 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.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 We can never go home again. 2 mars 2013
Par still searching - Publié sur
Format: Relié
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.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Losing Paradise 28 mars 2016
Par Lady Fancifull - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I first read Alain Fournier’s evocative, dream-like book in my early twenties. It was one of those intense reading experiences which rather stay with the reader – or at least, the sense of oneself, one’s responses to the read, stay forever. So it was with a feeling of trepidation and excitement that I embarked on a re-read. Would my memory of the strange beauty of Fournier’s writing, of the misty, yearning sense of longing for something mythic and deep, which the book evokes, stand up to mature reading? With its youthful protagonists, would this turn out to be a book which speaks primarily to the young, or would it have the power in speak meaningfully to a mature reader?

The answer is a resounding yes. Yes. Yes. In fact, probably more so. A lifetime of reading gives all sorts of layerings to the book, where influences upon Fournier, and influences Fournier has had on other writers, become a denser tapestry in revisiting – not to mention, the memory of myself as a younger reader, so that present experience and past experience mesh together

Fournier, who died aged 27 in the First World War, wrote this one complete novel which was published in 1913. And it is, without doubt, a masterpiece. No doubt this elegiac book whose subject might be titles ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’ – to steal a title from Jung – is made particularly potent because of that death. The reader cannot help wonder about all those young men, all those potentialities cut short. In the case of artists, we wonder not just about the potential of their lives, but the potential of their works.

The power of Fournier’s book, of course, goes well beyond the extra gloss given by his death – but there is an added poignancy in that the trajectory of the book is the search for a dreamlike, mythical Paradise, the lure of a golden, transformational time, some kind of Edenic longing, which is part of a collective unconscious, a sense of yearning for a shimmering idyllic estate. After that terrible war, this book rather begins also to accrue something which gets returned to again and again – the idea of that lost, golden, Edwardian summer before war was declared. The golden summer may not, in reality, have existed for many – but the idea of that reality, a backwards playing of perhaps a faulty memory, gains more reality than reality itself.

The book takes place in a roughly 15 year time span, starting some time in the 1890s. The narrator, looking back, now around 30, was a young schoolboy of 15, François Seurel, the son of the village schoolmaster. A slightly older, charismatic, adventurous, rather headstrong boy, Augustin Meaulnes, who, because of his size and presence becomes nicknamed Le Grand Meaulnes by his peers, is brought by his mother to the village school which Seurel père runs. He is entered as a boarder. A tragic accident, a little glossed over by his mother, has been responsible for this enrolment, but it does give a clue to the fact that Meaulnes is someone who will go his own way, and follow his own leanings. He is quickly destined to become a hero to the village boys, including François, who, becaiuse of an injury, is smaller and weaker than his peers.

Due to a particularly typical spirit of rebellion and adventure, Meaulnes embarks on a kind of prankish escapade, which goes horribly wrong, or, in another reading, horribly right. He ends up stumbling by chance into a strange ‘domain’ – a half deserted little country estate, which appears to be run entirely by children and young teens. And there he has two encounters which will change his life. The estate is a whim, a gift, which an indulgent father has given over to his teenage son, Frantz de Galais. Frantz and his compatriots have organised a fete, complete with a band of mummers, strolling players. Everyone is costumed in fashions of a time gone by, so there is a let’s pretend of an earlier, romantic period. The fete is a celebration, for a particular reason, organised by Frantz. If Frantz is master of the children’s estate, his sister Yvonne de Galais is its mistress. The meetings between Meaulnes and the de Galais siblings, and his recounting of his adventures there to François, sets in motion some at times conflicting quests, or calls to adventure, which will completely change the lives of all four, creating both tragedies and high, refined quests, which bring to mind the whole canon of medieval, courtly romance and crusade literature.

This book, and its wonderful, very lyrical and realistic descriptions of a time and place which were already vanishing, or about to vanish, following the dark carnage of that first war is both a realistic journey from adolescence to adulthood, and something larger and deeper – something which potently comes from collective unconscious.

There is a quality which recalls lyric poetry, folk tale and myth, about encounters between an enchanted world, where a hapless mortal crosses out of reality into the world of faerie (Thomas the Rhymer, La Belle Dame Sans Merci), but this is assuredly ‘realism’ not magic realism – but Fournier is also writing the metaphor of that realism. He may have been influenced by such earlier literature – but in his turn, has influence some very different writers – Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Fowles’ The Magus are two very different texts where the extraordinary presence of this book can be felt

Fowles called Fournier’s book “the greatest novel of adolescence in European literature” but it far, far more than that, or, rather, is far, far more than a book to speak to or for adolescence alone. It is most assuredly not a ‘YA’ book, but it is one which taps into some of the psychology and the transformational quality of that particular stage in a life journey.

A warning, however – I have had a look on ‘look inside’ at some of the other Kindle versions, modern translations, and find them pretty horrid compared to my ancient one, dating form 1959, by Frank Davison, which has a kind of courtliness and grace in its rhythms. There have been moves towards the prosaic, modern colloquial and even ‘street’ in the ones I’ve compared with, which seem quite outside the feel of the book, which Davison’s more formal approach enhances.

It doesn’t surprise me that it is Davison’s version which got re-published in the centenary edition!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Classic French Coming of Age Story 17 février 2015
Par James W. Fonseca - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is the Centenary Edition of the French classic Le Grand Meaulnes, a coming of age story of a boy and the companion he looks up to, nicknamed Le Grand Meaulnes. So we have all the usual boyhood stuff of bullies, juvenile delinquent episodes, boring school days, awkwardness around girls. One day Le Grand Meaulnes, very much the leader, while our narrator is the follower, gets lost and finds himself in an exotic costumed adventure in a fairyland, beautiful girl and all. The story becomes a search for this Lost Domain and the lost girl. Surprisingly, the novel is semi-autobiographical. Alain-Fournier spent much of his life looking for a girl he fell in love with at first sight. It was a short life because he was killed in WW I, at age 28, the same year the book was published, 1914. The main theme is shifting memory, and I thought at first that theme was owed to Proust, but Proust’s famous works started to be published the same year, so there must be an earlier source for the concern for memory that pervades even modern French novels. The book has a lot of local color of rural France – place names are real or barely disguised, and today the schoolhouse of the story is the Alain-Fournier museum. Read the Introduction after the book because it gives away much of the plot.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The greatest novel of adolescence in European literature 16 janvier 2015
Par technoguy - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The mystery of the book is contained in its title,which is untranslateable,the many shades of meaning of `grand', but it's equivalent in irony and applause is Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby,which was influenced by it a decade later.Also another small difficulty lies in the author's name(the author died in the 1st weeks of the Great War),actually named Alban-Fournier,the Alain was adopted.The apparent matter of the book is simple and myth-like.Francois Seurel, the 15 year old narrator,is living in the provincial village of St.Agathe,in the snowy, bleak Sologne,in central France,around the turn of the last century.He's the son of the villageschoolmaster, and one day a new, slightly older boy,August Mealnes,arrives at the school.His size,natural charisma and sheer, physical presence, lead to him being called "the Great Meaulnes".He's big in spirit and body-a country boy, innocent and oddly blessed,whom Francois quickly recognises as a romantic fool,a knight errant in schoolboy clothes.

Not long after his arrival, Meaulnes mysteriously disappears for 3 days. When he 1st comes back,he is tight-lipped about his absence.Eventually he confides to the star-struck Francois.Lost on a country road in the snow, Meaulnes had wandered into an old chateau, a " lost domain", a vast and beautiful country house and garden complete with stables and outbuildings.Not abandoned,it is weirdly alive with children and young people,who have gathered together for the wedding of Franz de Galais, a member of the aristocratic family who still seem to own the run-down place.Meaulnes,strangely,is welcomed by the celebrants warmly,as an old friend.Following a strange Pierrot figure in a dance through the old rooms. He sees a beautiful young girl playing the piano,and the next day sees her again, near a silver lake on the grounds.She is Yvonne de Galais, Franz's sister,and Meaulnes instantly falls in love with this frail and lovely girl. But the wedding is mysteriously cancelled,and quickly the entire party abandons the chateau; Meaulnes is taken and roughly deposited on the highway near St Agathe.

The rest of the book tells of Meaulnes's attempt to understand what has happened to him,-to return to the lost domain,the enchanted castle,to find and win Yvonne(his Daisy) and to make the vision that has changed his life part of others' lives too.He does all this,with results predictably disillusioning and oddly re-enchanting. (At the end,he marries Yvonne,but he flees her side-perhaps from guilt,perhaps from a feeling of unworthiness-for another woman,returns and is left with the daughter that she has given him before dying in childbirth.That daughter, we learn from the wizened but not disenchanted Francois,will become for Meaulnes the repository of another set of romantic desires.)

This novel although romantic,may in its treatment of it seem hard to understand.It is simply" French",reflecting the way that French life prolongs adolescence while accelerating sex: at moments the protagonists having schoolyard snow-ball fights;at other moments, frequenting fast women and contemplating suicide.The improbability of the incidents are matched by the extremity of the experiences.Some parts are far-fetched,like after Meaulnes's mysterious sojourn at the chateau,the reader is stopped cold by a long incident involving a"Bohemian" gypsy and wandering player,who turns out to be Franz,the son of the mansion,in disguise.The details of provincial life-the cold and snow,the chestnuts gathered-are as earthy and homely as a Sisley painting..But then we are off into a fantasy world where long moony trips to Paris take place with no visible means of support. Meaulnes himself is never entirely credible as a character,an odd and empty vessel: at moments a gawky schoolboy,at others as receptive a hero as Dante seeing Beatrice.His appeal to Yvonne is very hard to understand, but not to Francois.

The novel's incidents are improbable,the entanglements of the 2nd part of the book are hard to recall.But the force of the imagery-the lost chateau-is so strong that it blissfully erases the apparent point of the story.What readers recall is the force and simplicity of the fable-the lost domain of happiness,the abandoned chateau brought to life again by the presence of children,the perfect fairy princess found within it and then pursued at the cost of common sense and grown-up sexuality- and the way the fable is made credible by the voluptuous prose surrounding the dream. Fournier placed a medieval allegory of love in terms of the late 19th century realist novel.The simple story is not without tension of two parallel but counter-pointed impulses:the 1st towards the idealised erotic love(Yvonne); the 2nd towards the recapture of childhood,evoked by the lost domain,whereMeaulnes 1st sees her.The hero is torn between the two-between a desire to retake the lost domain,and a desire to conquer the beautiful unknown, to get the girl and keep her. The erotic world leads back to a state of child-hood bliss. Le Grand Meaulnes is not a coming-of- age story-though the hero marries and even fathers a child-but like The Catcher in the Rye, a refusal-to-age story,a story of a fight,seen by the narrator as Quixotic and noble,to remain within the enchanted world of childhood,and at the same time to make that enchanted world continuous with the post-adolescent world of romance and erotic love.

Le Grand Meaulnes is both a kid who refuses to grow up,Peter Pan in provincial France, and a Parsifal,pursuing his love to the ends of the earth even as she proves to be merely another girl.This gives the book its persistent poetic intensity in the midst of its strangely dated atmospherics.The intensity of LGM as imagery and fable seem to have come from Fournier's adolescent erotic experiences and the immediacy of such emotions for the author. The Yvonne of the novel mirrors Fournier's own experience of seeing a ravishingly beautiful,blonde,blue eyed young woman when he was 18 years old on the banks of the Seine."Vous etes belles",he said to her after stalking her one day.He's romanticising his own life before turning it into literature.The force of this revelation-of perfect beauty,the one true love, revealed in a glimpse and then lost,or never even held-stayed with him through the next few years,as he did 2 years of military service.When published,his book was an instant hit in 1913.In the book there is a fear of sex,an ambivalence about sexual intercourse.The intensity of the romance of childhood is married to an erotic romantic dream. Its hard to imagine tha act of sex that produces the child.Meaulnes's final image in the narrator's mind is of the same big schoolboy with a taste for adventure,not a man tempered by experience,which makes him matter to Francois and us.LGM offers a daydream which has lasted,an adolescent fantasy,a lost enchanted world published just as the lights were about to go out all over Europe.
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