'The Red and the Black'
By Stendhal (Author), Roger Gard (Editor, Translator)
Charts the rise and fall of an ambitious young social climber in a cruel, monarchical society
Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Rênal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime—and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien—the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions—is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.
Roger Gard's fine translation remains faithful to the natural, conversational tone of the original, while his introduction elucidates the complexities of Julien's character. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading and an appendix on Stendhal's use of epigraphs.
'Raffel’s Père Goriot is both faithful and beautiful, and that makes it a masterpiece.'
'I predict that this translation will give Balzac’s great novel a new life for English and American readers. . . . The definitive translation for this generation.'
'[Raffel’s] translation has the vigor and elasticity of Balzac’s style, and catches with uncanny accuracy the tone of the period.'
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Henri-Marie Beyle, better known by his pen name Stendhal , was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839).