Catalogue


The red and the black : a chronicle of 1830 /
Stendhal ; a new translation by Burton Raffel ; introduction by Diane Johnson ; notes by James Madden.
edition
Modern Library pbk. ed.
imprint
New York : Modern Library, 2004.
description
xxii, 524 p. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
0812972074
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Modern Library, 2004.
isbn
0812972074
general note
Includes a reading group guide.
catalogue key
6115774
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) was born in Grenoble in 1783. He served in Napoleon's cavalry and thereafter lived in Italy and Paris, where he wrote many books, including On Love, the autobiographical Life of Henri Brulard, The Charterhouse of Parma (which he wrote in fifty-two days), and The Red and the Black. He died in 1842 Burton Raffel is a distinguished professor of humanities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Diane Johnson is the author of ten novels, two books of essays, two biographies, and the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's classic film The Shining. She has been a finalist four times for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Chapter one A Small Town Put thousands together Less bad, But the cage less gay. Hobbes The little town of Verrieres might be one of the prettiest in all Franche-Comte. Its white houses with their sharp-pointed roofs of red tile stretch down a hillside, every faint ripple in the long slope marked by thick clusters of chestnut trees. A few hundred feet below the ruins of the ancient fortress, built by the Spanish, runs the River Doubs. To the north, Verrieres is sheltered by a great mountain, part of the Jura range. The first frosts of October cover these jagged peaks with snow. A stream that rushes down from the mountains, crossing through Verrieres and then pouring itself into the Doubs, powers a good many sawmillsan immensely simple industry that provides a modest living for most of the inhabitants, more peasant than bourgeois. But the sawmills are not what brought prosperity to the little town. It was the production of printed calico cloth, known as "Mulhouse," which ever since the fall of Napoleon has created widespread comfort and led to the refinishing of virtually every house in Verrieres. Just inside the town, there is a stunning roar from a machine of frightful appearance. Twenty ponderous hammers, falling over and over with a crash that makes the ground tremble, are lifted by a wheel that the stream keeps in motion. Every one of these hammers, each and every day, turns out I don't know how many thousands of nails. And it's pretty, smooth-cheeked young girls who offer pieces of iron to these enormous hammers, which quickly transform them into nails. This operation, visibly harsh and violent, is one of the things that most astonishes a first-time traveler, poking his way into the mountains separating France and Switzerland. And if the traveler, entering Verrieres, asks who owns this noble nail-making factory, deafening everyone who walks along the main street, he'll be told, in the drawling accent of the region, "Ahit belongs to His Honor the Mayor." If the traveler spends just a moment or two on Verrieres's grand thoroughfare, which ascends along the bank of the Doubs right up to the top of the hill, the odds are a hundred to one he'll see a tall man with an air both businesslike and important. As soon as he appears, every hat is respectfully raised. His hair is grizzled, he's dressed in gray. He wears the insignia of several knightly orders; his forehead is lofty, his nose aquiline, and taking him all in all there's a certain orderliness about him. At first sight, one even feels that he blends the dignity of mayoral status with the sort of charm still often to be found in a man of forty-five or fifty. But it does not take long for a Parisian traveler to be struck, most unfavorably, by clear signs of self-satisfaction and conceit, topped off by who knows what limitations, what lack of originality. Finally, one is aware that his talents are confined to making sure he is paid exactly what he is owed, while paying what he himself owes only at the last possible moment. This then is Monsieur de Renal, mayor of Verrieres. Crossing the street with solemn steps, he goes into City Hall and disappears from the traveler's sight. But if the traveler keeps on walking, no more than another hundred paces up the hill he will see a distinguished-looking house and, if he looks through an adjoining wrought-iron gate, a very fine garden. Beyond that, he will see a horizon shaped by Burgundian hills, which seems to have been put there expressly for the purpose of pleasing the eye. This view will help the traveler forget the foul smell of petty financial transactions, which had begun to asphyxiate him. He is informed that this house
First Chapter
Chapter one

A Small Town

Put thousands together
Less bad,
But the cage less gay.
—Hobbes

The little town of Verrières might be one of the prettiest in all Franche-Comté. Its white houses with their sharp-pointed roofs of red tile stretch down a hillside, every faint ripple in the long slope marked by thick clusters of chestnut trees. A few hundred feet below the ruins of the ancient fortress, built by the Spanish, runs the River Doubs.

To the north, Verrières is sheltered by a great mountain, part of the Jura range. The first frosts of October cover these jagged peaks with snow. A stream that rushes down from the mountains, crossing through Verrières and then pouring itself into the Doubs, powers a good many sawmills—an immensely simple industry that provides a modest living for most of the inhabitants, more peasant than bourgeois. But the sawmills are not what brought prosperity to the little town. It was the production of printed calico cloth, known as “Mulhouse,” which ever since the fall of Napoleon has created widespread comfort and led to the refinishing of virtually every house in Verrières. Just inside the town, there is a stunning roar from a machine of frightful appearance. Twenty ponderous hammers, falling over and over with a crash that makes the ground tremble, are lifted by a wheel that the stream keeps in motion. Every one of these hammers, each and every day, turns out I don’t know how many thousands of nails. And it’s pretty, smooth-cheeked young girls who offer pieces of iron to these enormous hammers, which quickly transform them into nails. This operation, visibly harsh and violent, is one of the things that most astonishes a first-time traveler, poking his way into the mountains separating France and Switzerland. And if the traveler, entering Verrières, asks who owns this noble nail-making factory, deafening everyone who walks along the main street, he’ll be told, in the drawling accent of the region, “Ah—it belongs to His Honor the Mayor.”

If the traveler spends just a moment or two on Verrières’s grand thoroughfare, which ascends along the bank of the Doubs right up to the top of the hill, the odds are a hundred to one he’ll see a tall man with an air both businesslike and important.

As soon as he appears, every hat is respectfully raised. His hair is grizzled, he’s dressed in gray. He wears the insignia of several knightly orders; his forehead is lofty, his nose aquiline, and taking him all in all there’s a certain orderliness about him. At first sight, one even feels that he blends the dignity of mayoral status with the sort of charm still often to be found in a man of forty-five or fifty. But it does not take long for a Parisian traveler to be struck, most unfavorably, by clear signs of self-satisfaction and conceit, topped off by who knows what limitations, what lack of originality. Finally, one is aware that his talents are confined to making sure he is paid exactly what he is owed, while paying what he himself owes only at the last possible moment.

This then is Monsieur de Rênal, mayor of Verrières. Crossing the street with solemn steps, he goes into City Hall and disappears from the traveler’s sight. But if the traveler keeps on walking, no more than another hundred paces up the hill he will see a distinguished-looking house and, if he looks through an adjoining wrought-iron gate, a very fine garden. Beyond that, he will see a horizon shaped by Burgundian hills, which seems to have been put there expressly for the purpose of pleasing the eye. This view will help the traveler forget the foul smell of petty financial transactions, which had begun to asphyxiate him.

He is informed that this house belongs to Monsieur de Rênal. The mayor of Verrières owes this fine, just-completed dwelling, built of cut stone, to the profits earned by his noble nail factory. His family, it is explained, is Spanish, ancient, and (as the story is told) settled in the region long before Louis XIV conquered it.

Ever since 1815, his status as an industrialist has embarrassed him. It was 1815 that made him mayor of Verrières. The terrace walls around the different parts of this magnificent garden, holding in place each of the different levels descending almost to the Doubs, are yet another reward for Monsieur de Rênal’s iron-trade business acumen.

Nowhere in France can you hope to find the picturesque gardens surrounding Germany’s manufacturing towns—Leipzig, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, etc. In Franche-Comté, the more walls you put up, the more your property bristles with rocks heaped one on top of another, the more claim you have on your neighbors’ respect. Monsieur de Rênal’s gardens, packed with walls, are even more admired because he bought—for just about their weight in gold—the bits and pieces of land on which they lie. For example, the sawmill located so strangely right on the bank of the Doubs, which caught your eye as you entered Verrières, and on which you noticed the name sorel, written in gigantic letters on a board protruding over the roof, until six years ago had stood exactly where, at this very moment, they are building the wall for the fourth terrace of Monsieur de Rênal’s garden.

For all his haughty pride, Monsieur de Rênal had been obliged to make a good many overtures to old Sorel, a tough, stubborn peasant; he had to count out a stack of handsome gold coins before the old man agreed to move his business elsewhere. As for the public stream that had powered the sawmill, Monsieur de Rênal relied on the influence he enjoyed in Paris to have it diverted. This official favor had come to him after the elections of 182-.

To get one acre, he had given Sorel four, situated five hundred paces farther down the bank of the Doubs. And even though the new location was far more advantageous for his trade in pine boards, Père Sorel (as they call him, now that he’s a rich man) knew how to play on his neighbor’s pressing impatience, and his land-owning mania, squeezing out a sale price of six thousand francs.

To be sure, the transaction was criticized by wiser heads in the area. Once, about four o’clock on a Sunday, coming home from church, dressed in his mayoral robes, Monsieur de Rênal saw in the distance old Sorel, surrounded by his three sons, watching him and smiling. That smile proved fatally illuminating to the mayor: he realized, from then on, that he could have bought the land for less.

To earn a public reputation in Verrières, the essential thing—while of course building a great many walls—is not to adopt some design carried across the Jura gorges by Italian stonemasons, in their springtime pilgrimages to Paris. Any such innovation would earn the imprudent builder the unshakable taint of rebel; he would be forever after ruined in the eyes of the wise, moderate folk who parcel out reputation in Franche-Comté.

In truth, these wise fellows wield an incredibly wearisome despotism, and it is precisely this wretched word that makes small towns unlivable for those who have been successful in that great republic we call Paris. The tyranny of opinion—and such opinion!—is every bit as idiotic in the small towns of France as it is in the United States of America.


From the Hardcover edition.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[Burton Raffel's] exciting new translation ofThe Red and the Blackblasts Stendhal into the twenty-first century." Salon.com
"[Burton Raffel's] exciting new translation of The Red and the Blackblasts Stendhal into the twenty-first century." Salon.com
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Summaries
Main Description
A Major New Translation The Red and the Black, Stendhal's masterpiece, is the story of Julien Sorel, a young dreamer from the provinces, fueled by Napoleonic ideals, whose desire to make his fortune sets in motion events both mesmerizing and tragic. Sorel's quest to find himself, and the doomed love he encounters along the way, are delineated with an unprecedented psychological depth and realism. At the same time, Stendhal weaves together the social life and fraught political intrigues of postNapoleonic France, bringing that world to unforgettable, full-color life. His portrait of Julien and early-nineteenth-century France remains an unsurpassed creation, one that brilliantly anticipates modern literature. Neglected during its time,The Red and the Blackhas assumed its rightful place as one of the world's great books, and Burton Raffel's extraordinary new translation, coupled with an enlightening Introduction by Diane Johnson, helps it shine more brightly than ever before. From the Hardcover edition.
Main Description
The Red and the Black, Stendhal's masterpiece, is the story of Julien Sorel, a young dreamer from the provinces, fueled by Napoleonic ideals, whose desire to make his fortune sets in motion events both mesmerizing and tragic. Sorel's quest to find himself, and the doomed love he encounters along the way, are delineated with an unprecedented psychological depth and realism. At the same time, Stendhal weaves together the social life and fraught political intrigues of postuNapoleonic France, bringing that world to unforgettable, full-color life. His portrait of Julien and early-nineteenth-century France remains an unsurpassed creation, one that brilliantly anticipates modern literature. Neglected during its time, The Red and the Black has assumed its rightful place as one of the world's great books, and Burton Raffel's extraordinary new translation, coupled with an enlightening Introduction by Diane Johnson, helps it shine more brightly than ever before.
Main Description
A Major New Translation The Red and the Black, Stendhal's masterpiece, is the story of Julien Sorel, a young dreamer from the provinces, fueled by Napoleonic ideals, whose desire to make his fortune sets in motion events both mesmerizing and tragic. Sorel's quest to find himself, and the doomed love he encounters along the way, are delineated with an unprecedented psychological depth and realism. At the same time, Stendhal weaves together the social life and fraught political intrigues of postNapoleonic France, bringing that world to unforgettable, full-color life. His portrait of Julien and early-nineteenth-century France remains an unsurpassed creation, one that brilliantly anticipates modern literature. Neglected during its time, The Red and the Black has assumed its rightful place as one of the world's great books, and Burton Raffel's extraordinary new translation, coupled with an enlightening Introduction by Diane Johnson, helps it shine more brightly than ever before. From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
Biographical Notep. v
Introductionp. xv
Translator's Notep. xxi
A Small Townp. 3
A Mayorp. 6
A Priestp. 9
A Father and Sonp. 14
A Negotiationp. 18
Boredomp. 25
Elective Affinitiesp. 33
Minor Occasionsp. 43
An Evening in the Countryp. 50
A Large Heart and a Small Fortunep. 58
An Eveningp. 61
A Journeyp. 65
Fishnet Stockingsp. 71
English Scissorsp. 76
Cock Crowp. 79
The Day Afterp. 83
The First Deputyp. 87
A King in Verrieresp. 92
Thinking Leads to Sufferingp. 104
Anonymous Lettersp. 112
Conversation with the Head of the Housep. 115
Patterns of Behavior, in 1830p. 128
A Civil Servant's Sorrowsp. 140
A Capital Cityp. 153
The Seminaryp. 160
The World, or What the Rich Man Is Missingp. 167
First Experience of Lifep. 176
A Processionp. 180
The First Forward Stepp. 186
An Ambitious Manp. 201
Country Pleasuresp. 219
Entering Societyp. 229
The First Stepsp. 236
The de La Mole Mansionp. 240
Sensitivity and a Devout Aristocratic Ladyp. 252
Pronunciationp. 254
An Attack of Goutp. 261
Which Medals Are Honorable?p. 268
The Ballp. 278
Queen Margueritep. 287
A Young Girl's Imperial Dominionp. 295
Will He Be Another Danton?p. 299
A Conspiracyp. 304
A Young Girl's Thoughtsp. 313
Is It a Conspiracy?p. 318
One O'Clock in the Morningp. 323
An Old Swordp. 329
Terrible Timesp. 334
Comic Operap. 339
The Japanese Vasep. 348
The Secret Notep. 354
The Discussionp. 359
The Clergy, Their Woodlands, and Freedomp. 367
Strasbourgp. 375
The Mistress of Virtuep. 381
Love of a Moral Sortp. 388
The Church's Best Jobsp. 391
Manon Lescautp. 395
Boredomp. 399
A Box at the Operap. 402
Make Her Afraidp. 406
The Tigerp. 411
The Hell of Weaknessp. 416
A Man of Spiritp. 421
A Thunderstormp. 427
Somber Detailsp. 432
The Towerp. 438
A Powerful Manp. 443
Plottingp. 449
Tranquillityp. 453
The Trialp. 457
p. 463
p. 468
p. 472
p. 479
Notesp. 487
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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