Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I once read part of Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and loved it. Unfortunately, I lost it before I even got a fourth of the way through. What struck me was that, even in translation, how contemporary the novel was, making it totally readable with not a hint of being dated (it was published almost 200 years ago). One of the hallmarks of a classic is that it reads like it was written yesterday-something about illuminating the universals...
As someone says to the protagonist Julien: 'Truth is austere, sir...You must take care to guard your conscience carefully from this weakness: Excess of feeling for vain exterior charm.' Quite so: dialog like that makes one realize that at least someone has really thought about this crazy life.
Since this Stendhal fellow is soooo cool, I thought I’d borrow the title of his memoir for my journal, just for awhile.
P.S. Found it, finished it, loved it-considered the first 'modern novel' in the way it deals with the complexity of the human condition given the world we now live in-read it!