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The Red and the Black [红与黑]

所属栏目: Classic

点    击: 4002

作    者:Stendhal

小说大小:1.98 MB

推荐等级:2级

整理时间:2009-12-18

内容简介

Review

Novel by Stendhal, published in French in 1830 as Le Rouge et le noir. Set in France during the Second Restoration (1815-30), the novel is a powerful character study of Julien Sorel, an ambitious young man who uses seduction as a tool for advancement. The Red and the Black is generally considered the author's major work and one of the greatest 19th-century novels. Sorel is a sensitive and intelligent youth who, seeing no road to advancement in the military after Napoleon's fall, endeavors to make his mark in the church. Viewing himself as an unsentimental opportunist, he sets out to win the affections of Mme de Renal, whose children he is employed to tutor. After spending time in a seminary, he goes to Paris, where he seduces the aristocratic Mathilde, the daughter of his second employer. The book ends with Sorel's execution for the attempted murder of Mme de Renal after she had jeopardized his projected marriage to Mathilde. The title apparently refers to both the tensions in Sorel's character and to the conflicting choice he is faced with in his quest for success: the army (symbolized by the color red) or the church (symbolized by the color black). Incisively and with subtlety, the novel examines careerism, political opportunism, the climate of fear and denunciation in Restoration France, and bourgeois materialistic values. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Background

Occurring from September of 1826 until July of 1831, Le Rouge et le Noir is the Bildungsroman of Julien Sorel, the intelligent, ambitious, protagonist from a poor family, [1] who fails to understand much about the ways of the world he sets to conquer. He harbours many romantic illusions, becoming mostly a pawn in the political machinations of the ruthless influential people about him. The adventures of the flawed hero satirize French nineteenth-century society, especially the hypocrisy and materialism of the aristocracy and the Roman Catholic Church in foretelling the coming radical changes that will depose them from French society.

The first volume’s epigraph is attributed to Danton: “La vérité, l’âpre vérité” (“The truth, the harsh truth”), which is fictional, like most of the chapter epigraphs. The first chapter of each volume repeats the title Le Rouge et le Noir and the Chronique de 1830 sub-title. The novel’s title denotes the contrasting uniforms of the Army and the Church. Early in the story, Julien Sorel realistically observes that under the Bourbon restoration it is impossible for a man of his plebian social class to distinguish himself in the army (as he might have done under Napoleon), hence only a Church career offers social advancement and glory.

Julien Sorel’s story concludes with the quotation: “To the Happy Few”, a dedication variously interpreted to mean either the few readers who could understand Stendhal’s writing; or a Shakespearean allusion to Henry V (1599); or a sardonic reference to the well-born of society (viz. Canto 11 Don Juan, 1821, by Byron)l or to those living per “Beylisme”: personal happiness being the purpose of existence — accordingly, every action taken to achieve that is permissible — hence Julien’s expediency with people — wherein “La force d’ame” (“Force of the soul”) is the most important virtue, realised as courage, resolution, and moral energy.

《红与黑》主人公于连是出身于外省的青年,有些聪明才智,在当地市长家中做家庭教师,勾搭上主人年轻的妻子,后来在巴黎又勾搭上一位贵族小姐。市长妻子出于嫉妒,写信揭发于连的丑行,于连一怒之下开枪击伤市长夫人,被判死刑。这原本是报纸上的一则真实案件,司汤达通过这一情杀题材从外省写到巴黎,从底层写到高层,通过教会、政党以及各阶层错综复杂的矛盾关系,再现了查理十世统治下法国的政治斗争、社会矛盾、人情风物。
司汤达在这部作品中显示出卓越的天才,尤其是在性格刻画及对人物喜悦、痛苦、忏悔种种复杂心理的表现方面,的确绘声绘色,扣人心弦,被评论家称作“现代小说之父”。

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