Alain-Fournier: Le Grand Meaules

A French classic, yes, but somehow it doesn’t seem to catch me, speak to me. Maybe because it’s been too long since I was a teenager. (This is supposed to be a growing up story.) Or maybe because the life these characters have doesn’t touch mine. Or I find their motivations too strange to me – the narrator Francois Seurel, or the Grand Meaules himself, who also narrates part of the story, or we read his diary, edited by Seurel – I seem to have no idea why they do what they do. But the novel’s time, the culture it’s situated in, the minor characters, they are well done, yes, and it is a pleasure to read the translation. I do wonder how the original language would affect me.

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