Greatest french book... ever... ( this is not a hitlist - this is not a hitlist- this is not a Aaarg

SnakLe Salon Littéraire du Peuple pour le Peuple

Bliv bruger af LibraryThing, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg

Greatest french book... ever... ( this is not a hitlist - this is not a hitlist- this is not a Aaarg

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

1Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 1:44am

The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Plague by Camus Albert
The Fall by A. Camus
A Happy Death by Camus A.
The First Man by Camus
Exile and the Kingdom by le petit Albert
Betwixt and between by la société A. Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus by Alberto Camelloto
Nuptials by Albertine Camusette
The Rebel by el senor Kaasmuis

2absurdeist
nov 11, 2009, 2:04am

Mac is on a Smack roll!

3A_musing
nov 11, 2009, 8:13am

Camus' budy, Paul Nizan, should get a shout out for Antoine Bloye.

4aethercowboy
nov 11, 2009, 8:57am

Perhaps we should ponder the perennial Planet of the Apes par Pierre: percentages paramount to pieces as Papillon.

5slickdpdx
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 10:24am

Excellent list Mac! Don't forget Gaston Leroux.

6Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:31am

Cheri Bibi !!!

I am impressed slick. Wow.

7urania1
nov 11, 2009, 10:39am

Okay, since this is not a hitlist, I won't hit Camus (although I may on another forum). No, I will gently usher him offstage and substitute Julien Gracq.

8Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:41am

Le rivage des Syrtes ?

9Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:43am

seriously the French list is made up by Proust-Flaubert-Hugo and Celine

The others you can fill in as you wish

10urania1
nov 11, 2009, 10:46am

Au château d'Argol

11A_musing
nov 11, 2009, 10:47am

Drop Flaubert for Stendhal.
Drop Celine for Balzac.
Add Rabelais, Robbe-Grillet and Duras.

12Macumbeira
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 10:49am

10 don't know that one. Good ?

13Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:49am

11 ( shaking his head in unbelief ) Blasphemy....

14urania1
nov 11, 2009, 10:53am

>12 Macumbeira:,

Très fab. Dark scary gothic hermetic philosophy. I was biting my nails in terror throughout the entire read. Ask DavidX.

15aethercowboy
nov 11, 2009, 10:54am

Don't pass by an always-to-favor author of wordly constraint: G_org_s P_r_c; you may not wish to a-void his work.

16A_musing
nov 11, 2009, 10:54am

Weren't we going to read something about misbehaving flora?

17Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:56am

Wait, we have the list :

Proust-Flaubert-Hugo and Celine
Balzac yes, Stendhal...yes
add Camus

top it with Diderot and Pierre de marivaux

I would sugest Gide but he is a bit boring Why not Huysmans or Samuell Beckett ?

18Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 10:58am

P_r_c and Robbe grillet are a class appart. Shouldn't we put them together in another list ?

19Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:00am

Together with Guillaume Apollinaire , Artaud, Quenau ? Roussel, Joyce , jarry and other Lewis Caroll's ?

20urania1
nov 11, 2009, 11:05am

If Gracq doesn't go on the list, I will definitely hit somebody.

21A_musing
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 11:13am

I loath Celine, whose writings convinced me of the existence of Hell because to not imagine him in the innermost circle is unthinkable. Mann should have cast Celine as Faustus, but for his prior claims to the role of Mephistopheles.

Rabelais, Rabelais, Rabelais. All is a footnote to Rabelais. Well, all except La Fontaine.

I have not read Gracq, but he is on my TBR list, so there is a list there somewhere for him.

22aethercowboy
nov 11, 2009, 11:08am

>20 urania1:.

this is not a hit list. plz.

23Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:26am

Urania you know that I make this lists specially for you... So Julien is in....

Celine was a nasty bastard but his book " Voyage au bout de la nuit " is superb and really one of a kind. The passion with which it is written is breath taking.

24A_musing
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 11:35am

Well, it should be good - it cost him his soul. But why the devil did he have to give up the soul before he even set pen to paper?

But I suspect you would like Herta Muller if you like Celine. I'm not so sure he's one of a kind.

25Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:40am

Hopla one more on the TBR list ! : )

26Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:41am

My next list will be UNGLORIOUS LITTERARY BASTARDS...

Celine, Muller ( ? ), Ezra Pound etc

27aethercowboy
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 11:44am

>26 Macumbeira:.

Please, spell it correctly:

UInglourious Litterary Basterds

(you were right on the middle word).

Edit: I was wrong on the first word...

Edit: Twice!

28Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:47am

huh ?

29PimPhilipse
nov 11, 2009, 11:47am

Montaigne Montesquieu Sade Voltaire Rousseau Diderot ... pkchttt ...

(Yeah, those 18-th century guys really mean something for me (OK, Montaigne lived in another century... but somehow, for me, he's into enlightenment avant la lettre))

30aethercowboy
nov 11, 2009, 11:49am

>28 Macumbeira:.

Like the Tarantino flick. You know? Inglourious Basterds.

31Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:49am

ok

32Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 11:51am

Pim, die zijn te oud !

33unlucky
nov 11, 2009, 12:47pm

Ew! Rabelais. Yuck, why on Earth would you want him on this list?

34aethercowboy
nov 11, 2009, 12:56pm

'cause otherwise, he'll send Gargantua and Pantagruel after you.

35PimPhilipse
nov 11, 2009, 1:07pm

>32 Macumbeira:: Dan moesten we maar eens ... Maeterlinck van stal halen.

36polutropos
nov 11, 2009, 1:11pm

Mac,

you are not only great, you are also hilarious.

I could go along with the list in #1. I would also be prepared to make a list consisting only of the works of Balzac.

The one in #17 if we insist on variety.

Nobody in all these posts has mentioned Zola.

37polutropos
nov 11, 2009, 1:13pm

#32, 35

Belgian Waffles have to translate now for the rest of us.

38MeditationesMartini
nov 11, 2009, 1:17pm

Lists till the break of break of dawn! Imma have to go:

Balzac, Old Goriot
Proust, Recherche
Flaubert, Madame B
Sartre, The Age of Reason
Genet, Miracle of the Rose
Rabelais, Gargantua
Zola, L'Assommoir (anyone know why the title of this is seemingly never translated?)
Dumas, The Three Musketeers
and I wanted to leave the last spot for a French philosopher,but the names are crowding in hard and fast . . . I think I have to give it to Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaux, because it succeeds better as metaphor story than say Discipline and Punish or Of Grammatology

39MeditationesMartini
nov 11, 2009, 1:28pm

Oh oooops! Drop the philosophes, add Michel de Montaigne.

40Macumbeira
nov 11, 2009, 1:42pm

35 LOL
Couldn't get any closer than that !
Touché

41rolandperkins
nov 11, 2009, 1:57pm

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Fall by Albert Camus

Pensees {Thoughts by Blaise Pascal

Poems by Paul Verlaine

Poems by Paul Eluard

Paroles by Jacques Prevert

Poems by Pierre Emmanuel

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

JʻAccuse by Emile Zola

42semckibbin
nov 11, 2009, 2:16pm

Celine - Not a fan. Hate isnt an emotion I dig.

43rolandperkins
Redigeret: nov 11, 2009, 3:27pm

#41, I didnʻt intend to make any particular number of choices; it turned out to be 9. And I didnʻt intend any order of preference. But I must admit that Camusʻs The Fall was the first one that came to mind for this thread.

Two that should definitely have been on the list:
Moliere, especially for The Doctor in Spite of Himself--the only one of his that I have seen a production of (in English and more an adaptation than a literal translation, with Zero Mostel in the title role.) AND RABELAIS, agreeing with some of the above posts (and contrary to one of them.)

AND Claude Emmanuel Pastoret,
(1756-1844) historian and proto-anthropologist, especially for his Zoroastre, Confucius, et Mohammed of which I have done a translation.

On Les M. I should note that Hugo was better known, in his own time, as a poet than as a novelist. And for sheer sound-effects, some of his poems far outdo those of the poets I listed.

Some that I considered but who didnʻt finally "make the cut" for the list:

Voltaire: (his Candide is worthy of at least an Honorable Mention listing. And, I donʻt know the title of it, but he wrote something similar to the later JʻAccuse by Zola -- and, in the 18th c., was probably taking a greater risk than Zola.)

Honorable Mention also to Racine, especially for his Athalie and Brittanicus, to Francois Villon the 15th c. poet, and to Jules Laforgue, the
19th c. poet.

44slickdpdx
nov 11, 2009, 3:52pm

No Dumas! C'est impossible.

45rolandperkins
nov 11, 2009, 4:08pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

46rolandperkins
nov 11, 2009, 4:08pm

To SLickdpdx (#44)

If I were re-writing my list (#43), Dumasʻs The Man in the Iron Mask would be on my "Honorable Mention" list. I read it in Tonga in the 80s. A lot of books find their way to those islands, and a lot more donʻt. I could get a hold of "Iron mask" only in a not very up to date English translation that was in our university library. On the other hand, on a visit to Tonga, in 2004, I bought the original French of Verneʻs LʻIle Mysterieuse in a small book & magazine shop which didnʻt exist when I lived in Tonga. I gave the Verne to our Public Library system here in Hawaiʻi; it has a small French Language collection.

His Count of Monte Cristo definitely wouldnʻt be on my list, because I hate "revenge" yarns. (Every time I catch someone writing one, I swear I will "get" them before I die! Grr ! and I donʻt mean get their book for my library!)

His short novels The Black Tulip and The Corsican Brothers were good. His Queen Margot has been on my TBR (which is only in my head, not on paper) for a long time.

47Third_cheek
nov 11, 2009, 5:54pm

48anna_in_pdx
nov 11, 2009, 8:02pm

I'm a literary gourmand and also a sentimental fool. That said:

- The Little Prince (hey I SAID I was a sentimental fool) (I also loved Terre des Hommes by the same author)
- Proust Un Amour de Swann (only Proust I ever read so I am so waiting for the Proust read next summer)
- Poetry. I like so many French poets particularly:
* Hugo - Les Orientales
* Baudelaire - Les Fleurs du Mal
* Verlaine and Rimbaud (don't remember names of poetry books)
- Stendhal, the Red & The Black (read this in English though)
-Malraux, La condition humaine
- and of course Camus, L'etranger

I am a French Lit major....

49urania1
nov 11, 2009, 10:22pm

>48 anna_in_pdx: Count me in as another sentimental fool. Le Petit Prince was the first novel I ever read en français (9th grade French class). It is the only French novel that I cannot bear to read in translation - not that I've read that many.

50urania1
nov 11, 2009, 10:39pm

For anna and Medelia

Art Poétique

De la musique avant toute chose,
Et pour cela préfère l'Impair
Plus vague et plus soluble dans l'air,
Sans rien en lui qui pèse ou qui pose.
Il faut aussi que tu n'ailles point
Choisir tes mots sans quelque méprise
Rien de plus cher que la chanson grise
Où l'Indécis au Précis se joint.
C'est des beaux yeux derrière des voiles,
C'est le grand jour tremblant de midi,
C'est, par un ciel d'automne attiédi,
Le bleu fouillis des claires étoiles !
Car nous voulons la Nuance encor,
Pas la Couleur, rien que la nuance !
Oh ! la nuance seule fiance
Le rêve au rêve et la flûte au cor !
Fuis du plus loin la Pointe assassine,
L'Esprit cruel et le rire impur,
Qui font pleurer les veux de l'Azur,
Et tout cet ail de basse cuisine !
Prends l'éloquence et tords-lui son cou !
Tu feras bien, en train d'énergie,
De rendre un peu la Rime assagie.
Si l'on n'y veille, elle ira jusqu'où ?
0 qui dira les torts de la Rime !
Quel enfant sourd ou quel nègre fou
Nous a forgé ce bijou d'un sou
Qui sonne creux et faux sous la lime ?
De la musique encore et toujours !
Que ton vers soit la chose envolée
Qu'on sent qui fuit d'une âme en allée
Vers d'autres cieux à d'autres amours.
Que ton vers soit la bonne aventure
Éparse au vent crispé du matin
Qui va fleurant la menthe et le thym...
Et tout le reste est littérature.

--Paul Verlaine

51slickdpdx
nov 11, 2009, 11:16pm

#46: I agree the Count's revenge is taken a bit (okay, a lot) too far for modern sensibilities. But I loved that book. He was very prolific and a good writer. I don't know how he could be left off.

I too enjoyed the Mysterious Island!

52DavidX
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 2:24pm

You have driven me to violate my no list rule. When I am burning in hell for this I am naming names. At least that way I'll suffer eternal damnation in good company. ;)

All lists are in alphabetical order.

Poets:

Baudelaire
Chateaubriand
Lautreamont
Mallarme
Nerval
Rimbaud
Verlaine
Vivien(English, but she lived in Paris and wrote in french)

I haven't gotten to Apollinaire yet. I'm embarrassed to admit it.

Playwrights:

Artaud
Genet
Moliere
Racine
Sartre

Novelists:

Balzac
de Sade
Dumas
Gautier
Genet
Gracq
Huysmans
Lorrain
Proust
Rabelais
Rachilde
Stendhal
Verne
Villiers de l'Isle-Adam
Zola

I know that's way too many. I did the best I could.

I'm not saying anyone should alter their own list. I think it's fun and useful to compare favorites.

I love The Little Prince too. I'm also a sentimental fool...with some issues. Jules Verne is a childhood favorite I still have great fondness for.

Jean Genet is my saint. My number one and two novels, in any language, would be The Thief's Journal and Miracle of the Rose.

A Rebours and La Bas by J.K. Huysmans would be next after Genet's novels.

Baudelaire is the greatest poet of all time, excepting Homer, Nerval was the most beautiful soul who ever lived, and Theophile Gautier and Alexandre Dumas are the two figures in literature I would most like to have dinner with. They were such jolly, charming fellows.

I am a Dumas fanatic. The Marie Antoinette series is my favorite.

Marie Antoinette Series:

Joseph Balsamo1589632249
the Memoirs of a Physician1589632133
The Queens Necklace1589632095
Taking the Bastille1589632389
The Countess de Charney1589632303
The Chevalier de Maison Rouge158963229x

Of his other novels Georges and Le Reine Margot stand out as favorites. I also love his non-fiction Celebrated Crimes.

53slickdpdx
nov 13, 2009, 12:02am

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I've now got to run out and get the Marie Antoinette series!

54DavidX
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 12:51am

I added the isbn's of my Fredonia reprints of the 1902 edition for you. It's hard to find a complete set.

And here's of an illustration of Alhotas, Joseph Balsamo's immortal mentor, brewing up a batch of the elixir of life to entice you.

55absurdeist
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 12:40am

That's fantastic! I've always wondered is there more to Dumas than The Count... and The 3 Musketeers... yes, indeed there is, thanks to you, Mr. X!

What do you think of Our Lady of the Flowers? Where does it rate among Genet's work?

56DavidX
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 3:38am

Our Lady of the Flowers was Genet's first novel, written in prison, his own private fantasy world, a masterpiece. I love all his novels, plays, and poems.

My ranking of the Genet novels.

The Thief's Journal
Miracle of the Rose
Our Lady of the Flowers
Funeral Rites
Querelle
Prisoner of Love

Divine of John Water's fame got her/his name from Lady Divine in Our Lady of the Flowers incidentally.

57A_musing
nov 13, 2009, 9:15am

OK, gang, quick survey. Reading DavidX's posts above we all feel:

(a) Awed (by the scope of his knowledge of French lit);
(b) Ignorant and unread;
(c) Eager (to get reading) (while checking pockets soon to be emptied by amazon et al.);
(d) Eager (to draft DavidX for next summer's "Proust Cabal");
(e) All of the above.

So, David, are any of those Dumas books appropriate to read to a 9 year old whose recent books include Journey to the West, the Illiad and Gilgamesh? Or should I stick with the Count and the Musketeers? And could some of that Marie Antoinette series be appropriate for reading with a 12 year girl who is crazy about history?

58Third_cheek
nov 13, 2009, 9:36am



A rebours is a tasty novel, but La Bas? For me, Houellebecq's Atomised has more literary merit than La Bas among the shock-lit genre, not that I think it's especially good.

For myself, I'd want Laclos's Les Liasons Dangereuses.

Not much contemporary French literature among the suggestions so far, so what about Marie Darrieussecq and Andrei Makine?

59polutropos
nov 13, 2009, 10:41am

Not that I think either of these could possibly displace anything on David's original lists, but only as an addition to #58, if we start adding contemporary, then Duras and Sagan need to be mentioned.

60anna_in_pdx
nov 13, 2009, 11:10am

57: (e) for me....

61lilisin
nov 13, 2009, 12:00pm

Alright. I'm usually a lurker with this group but being French, I have to churp in!

One of the great French authors that gets overlooked has to be Romain Gary. Very famous in France but not well known outside. His Les Racines du ciel (The Roots of Heaven) is just extraordinary reading. Unfortunately he hasn't been re-published in English since about 1950 or so so you have to find used copies on amazon, etc... But should not be missed!

For modern authors I think JMG Le Clezio needs some mention. Patrick Modiano is also very famous in France and deserves mention.

For the classics I have to go with Dumas and Hugo (Les Mis is great but Notre-Dame is quite incredible) as my favorites.

I've read a lot of other modern French lit but, although quite good, I don't know if they belong amongst "the greats!".

62anna_in_pdx
nov 13, 2009, 12:02pm

61: Merci for your input! I have Le Desert but have not read it yet. I will have to look for Romain Gary, who I had not heard of before.

I loved The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Looking forward to reading Les Miserables next month with this group.

63Third_cheek
nov 13, 2009, 12:22pm

61>

I'm not so sure about Le Clezio (though I've only read him in translation). Although I guess that on the basis of his Nobel Prize we can expect him to do something great in the future.

It's a cheap joke, sorry.

64lilisin
nov 13, 2009, 12:25pm

No, no, the joke was good. :)

That's why though I only said Le Clezio needed mention and not Hugo-like praise. I'm quite partial to Le Clezio's "L'africain" but only because it gave me a wonderful glimpse into my mother's childhood growing up in Senegal.

65slickdpdx
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 12:28pm

63: His op-ed yesterday or the day before in the NY TIMES was worse than nothing special. But, that's certainly not the correct measuring stick.

66anna_in_pdx
nov 13, 2009, 12:39pm

65: Well, that's a low bar. Most op-eds in the NY Times are much worse than nothing special.

67slickdpdx
nov 13, 2009, 1:57pm

Sorry, it was Sunday, which if I had thought about it would be obvious. It seemed a promising enough topic.

The Savage Detective
By J. M. G. Le CLÉZIO
Claude Lévi-Strauss, the last great French philosopher, reshaped the simple art of gathering information about so-called primitives.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/opinion/08le-clezio.html?th&emc=th

68DavidX
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 3:02pm

As a 45 year old 9 year old I would say pretty much anything by Dumas or Verne would be ideal for a 9 year old. Dumas' Camptain Pamphile and Georges would be excellent choices. Gautier's Captain Fracasse would be a wonderful story for a 9 year old as well.

Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame is another favorite from childhood. I reread it a couple of years ago and it was every bit as wonderful as I remembered it. I have not yet read Les Mis.

I read Swann's Way years ago but have yet to read the rest of In Search of Lost Time. It is on my life goal list.

Moby Dick was my favorite book when I was eleven. But Clarel I will never read, I assure you. Life is much too short.

I have read none of these contemporary authors. I very rarely read something by a living author. Just because there are so many incredible dead authors left for me to read. I will make note of the modern authors mentioned for my I should probably make myself read this list.

It is not so much the shock factor of La Bas that I like. It is Huysmans beautiful writing. The bit about the bell ringer is my favorite part. I have had a crush on Huysmans since I was a teen.

A_Musing, I am very impressed that your 9 year old is reading The Iliad. I have hope for the future now.

Sadly, I cannot read or speak a word of French. I hope to learn enough before I die to read a few lines of my beloved Baudelaire in the original language.

I am a self educated art school drop out. You are all much smarter than me. What I do have is passion and enthusiasm for great literature and art.

I think these lists are very helpful as recommended reading lists. Maybe not limiting them to a top ten is a good idea.

69polutropos
Redigeret: nov 13, 2009, 2:40pm

David #68

Behind me on a bulletin board I have an Einstein quote: "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."

That is in reference to your self-deprecating "I only have passion and enthusiasm". THAT is what it takes, man. You have that, and there are no limits.

Thank you for sharing your passion and enthusiasm. We are richer for it.

70Porius
nov 13, 2009, 4:00pm

heigh-ho Dave. what about Huysman's CATHEDRAL. lots of tin-tin-ab-ulations there.

71absurdeist
nov 14, 2009, 2:58am

I agree with cowboy in #15, Perec is a must.

And tell me, where the hell is Colette on this list? Abominable list w/out mention of The Claudine Novels.

72DavidX
Redigeret: nov 14, 2009, 2:24pm

71. Yes, Colette should definitely be on the list, as well as George Sand.

Celine belongs on the list too. He was a very nasty man and a great writer. Journey to the Edge of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan are important books because they are so uniquely unrepentantly hateful and so well written. On my bad mood days I channel Celine.

I will add Camus for Mac. I left him off my list because he was jealous of Genet because Sartre called Genet the greatest writer of the twentieth century and for that I had to punish him.

And A-Void looks awesome. I must order a copy.

70. Hidey ho Porius. Cathedral is exquisite. The description of Chartres and it's history in the beginning used to be published as a pamphlet for tourists visiting the cathedral. I would love to find one of those. I want to be des Essientes/Durtal.

I left off philosophers entirely. The greatest poets, novelists, playwrights, and philosophers are french. This list could go on and on and on.

Re: The Count of Monte Cristo.

Just before writing Monte Cristo, Dumas wrote Georges. It's the story of the son of a mulatto(like Dumas) planter in the Isle de France. He strikes the son of the wealthiest white planter on the island for insulting his father and treating him as an inferior because of his race and is sent away to France by his father for his protection. He rises to the top of French society and later returns to Isle de France to avenge the social injustice done to his family. It is a story about avenging social injustice, like Monte Cristo. Which is something, I, and many other people relate to, hence the popularity.

I didn't mean to leave Hugo of my list, likely the result of synaptic failure(brain fart).

I had to correct this post because I inadvertantly wrote Notre Dame instead of Chartres as Huysmans Cathedral. Which I take as a sign it's time to reread it.

73Third_cheek
Redigeret: nov 14, 2009, 2:32pm

68> There's an excellent translation of Les Fleurs du Mal in the Oxford Classics series - English/French side by side, give it a go...

I read A-Void years ago and thought little other than how clever Perec obviously was. It's an impressive formal exercise but beyond that I didn't think so much of it. The collection of Perec's essays and fragments - 'Species of spaces and other pieces' - is worth a look.

Claude Levi-Strauss was a surprisingly entertaining writer, if not exactly a philosopher - his Tristes Tropiques is a great read, especially in conjunction with Derrida's Of Grammatology (though you probably all already know this). I was lucky enough to attend a Derrida lecture... he was obviously peddling the same line on just about everything in his final years, and he admitted as much, but he was also funny - something I hadn't expected.

Philosophers - Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil anyone?

74DavidX
Redigeret: nov 14, 2009, 2:33pm

I enjoyed the Derrida documentary done shortly before his death. For me, it is much easier, and more fun, to follow Derrida talking than to read him. And yes, he was quite funny.

75DavidX
nov 14, 2009, 2:43pm

Simone de Beauvoir should definitely be on the philosopher list. Has any one mentioned Foucault yet? I'm afraid I'm ignorant of Simone Weil(adding to tbr list immediately).

Have Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot been mentioned yet?

There are just so many great french authors, poets, playwrights, and philosophers. These lists may have to break up into subcategories.

76Third_cheek
nov 15, 2009, 5:37am

>75 DavidX: I think they've all had a mention. Though they could do with more support. I think the list is based on the merit of fiction more than on general literary merit, sadly. I propose La Nouvelle Eloise en lieu of Reveries of a solitary walker, which would be my preferred Rousseau.

As to Simone Weil. There are several collections, some focusing on the more religious/mystical writings (which aren't really my taste - eg 'Gravity and Grace') and others on the more broadly secular. I'd recommend her essay on the Iliad - The Iliad, or the poem of force and Oppression and Liberty.

A good general collection is that edited by Sian Miles.

77DavidX
nov 15, 2009, 5:59pm

Ditto on Eloise and Reveries of a Solitary Walker. Rousseau is a character in Dumas' Marie Antoinette Series incidentally. Dumas' characterization paints a very endearing portrait of Rousseau. It still makes me smile to think of it.

Thank you for the information on Simone Weil. I'll put it to good use.

78devondoyle
nov 17, 2009, 12:13pm

What about George Bataille? His book Story of the Eye surely belongs here?

79tomcatMurr
nov 17, 2009, 8:15pm

Simone Weil was a sanctimonious prude who needed a good.... you- know-what. She would have been a lot happier.

80copyedit52
Redigeret: nov 21, 2009, 3:52pm

post 72:

"Journey to the Edge of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan are important books because they are so uniquely unrepentantly hateful and so well written."

I agree. And when I'm in the mood for essays, Montaigne.

For phenomenogy: Henri Bergson

For so-called mystery, or novels of detection: Sebastien Japrisot, though perhaps because I've read him more recently than others, including Simenon, and was surprised that he's not as well known as he should be. Jean-Claude Izzo is okay too.

For lucidity, Camus, of course, and, because he is so obscure, Henri de Monfreid, who wrote (I've read) 89 books, only one of which has been translated into English: Adventures of a Red Sea Smuggler, also published, simply, as Hashish.

81unlucky
maj 16, 2015, 11:24pm

Re: Third Cheek: I think to some extent Weil's mystical ideas found in Gravity and Grace can be secularized, though. Several of her ideas- but especially her concept of attention and its relation to justice- are found mostly or only on her spiritual work and are some of her most philosophically interesting contributions even if their origin is theological.

Her essays The Power of Words and Human Personality are also notable works.

And Tomcatmurr: she was an exemplary individual who fought oppression her entire life and died because of her compassion for others and her inability to shake her sense of responsibility. A little respect, I think, is owed to her.

82LolaWalser
jun 1, 2019, 10:42pm

Le petit prince, like it's even up for discussion. (And no, no one cares if you find it either heartwarming or sickening.)

Sorry.

Encore un effort, les scribouillards!

83rolandperkins
Redigeret: jun 3, 2019, 4:05pm

He may not have been prolific, but there's little
doubt, to my mind that Albert Camus (who was
of Algerian Birth, and was part Spanish) is the
greatest French writer of them all

84LolaWalser
jun 3, 2019, 4:02pm

Will the provocations never end! :)

Hi, Roland--fascinating choice (see >1 Macumbeira:), I hope they'll bite, les Camuseaux...

85dypaloh
jun 4, 2019, 1:10am

Provocations? I don’t know, except this Alcamust fella . . . he seems some stranger or rebel philosopher stoned on visions provoked by the mythos of syphilis.

86LolaWalser
jun 4, 2019, 10:40am

>85 dypaloh:

Brilliant observation, dypaloh! Dead centre on the missing link between the glory that was Al-Andalus and the starry gutter of Rimbaud.

What can Camusolini teach us about the difficulties of reconciling the franks and les beurs today, we wonder...

87Macumbeira
jun 4, 2019, 1:27pm

Lola, tu veux le beurre et le franc du beurre. C'est l'un ou l'autre.

88LolaWalser
jun 4, 2019, 1:33pm

Nom d'un nom de nomnomnom! Les croissants au beurre pour tout le monde!

Does it not worry you Mac that we still haven't identified the best French book... do you suppose... it might have been... whispers ***written by a Belgian***

89Macumbeira
Redigeret: jun 4, 2019, 2:07pm

Must have been. Those Gauls steal our artists. Brel, Axelle Red, Johnny Halliday and so many others.
But writers ? Let me think...Georges Simenon ? Marguerite Yourcenar ?

90LolaWalser
Redigeret: jun 4, 2019, 7:04pm

Huysmans? Rodenbach? VercorsHAEREN?

91Crypto-Willobie
jun 4, 2019, 8:41pm

Candide?

Andre Gide: "Victor Hugo, alas!"

92LolaWalser
jun 5, 2019, 2:43pm

Yeah, I never got that. I suspect it's a joke of some kind.