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The Ball by Irène Némirovsky
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The Ball (1930)

by Irène Némirovsky

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English (9)  Spanish (8)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Greek (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (26)
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Recensione su: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-cp
Review at: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-cp ( )
  Saretta.L | Jun 8, 2013 |
Two very different tales are in this slender volume. [[Irene Nemirovsky]] was a master at creating vivid characters and settings.
The first tale [Le Bal] takes place in 1930's Paris. 14 yearold, Antoinette is bridling from the constant criticism of her overbearing mother. Her nouveau-riche parents are hoping to gain acceptance in Paris society by hosting a ball. Antoinette's excitement is shattered when she is informed she is to young to attend. In a fit of pique she decides to sabotage her mother's plans.
Snow in Autumn takes us to Russia where two sons of the aristocracy are being farewelled as they go off to war. We observe the family through the eyes of the nanny who has been with the family for 51 years. The family is forced to flee to Odessa first, leaving Nanny to close up the house. She witnesses a shocking event and travels to join them before they continue their flight to Paris.
I was immediately drawn in to both of these stories and despite their brevity they were nonetheless satisfying to read. These snippets of history were crafted with a deft hand. ( )
  HelenBaker | Mar 8, 2013 |
La Némirovsky è sempre brava, in pochissime pagine sa raccontare una storia e delle intere vite, ma questo non è certamente fulminante come, per esempio, Il calore del sangue. Forse i personaggi sono troppo antipatici, le ragioni che li muovono troppo meschine per gli adulti e troppo indefinite per la figlia adolescente. O forse in così poche pagine - è in realtà un racconto, più che un romanzo sia pure breve - non è possibile entrare con la dovuta passione. Per carità, ottima scrittura e ottimo tratteggio, ma un libro che per me è stato indifferente.
  Lilliblu | Aug 4, 2012 |
Superb. A beautiful portrait of human nature narrated with an unrivaled melancholy grace. Loved it. ( )
  Gracie94 | Apr 8, 2012 |
I enjoyed both of the stories in this edition but particularly the first, Le Bal. A tale of a couple trying to climb the Parisian social scale, grudgingly bringing their daughter in tow. Nemirovsky's portrayl of the brilliantly odious and quite frankly rather evil mother is sublime.

I particulary like the character development of the girl, who experiences a watershed maturation over the short course of the story. The girl learns from her mother as she ascends toward womanhood and the impact of her parental treatment starts to show.

I read this over a train journey, and deliberately stayed on after my stop in order to finish it!

The second story, Snow in Autumn, I found much more subtle, sad and restrained. It tells of a family who flee Russia for Paris with their faithful servant, and while they shift and adapt, she is lost in the new world.

Both stories explore the position of those pulled along by other people's change, and their experience of being out of place in Paris, but they are quite different. There is also a lovely symmettry in the respective rise and fall of the young and old protagonists.

A gem. ( )
  Swirl3d | Sep 8, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irène Némirovskyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sarkar, ManikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, SandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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La señora Kampf entró en la sala de estudios y cerró la puerta con tal brusquedad que la araña de cristal tintineó con un leve y puro sonido de cascabel, todos sus colgantes agitados por la corriente de aire.
Madame Kampf walked into the study and slammed the door behind her with such force that a gust of air made the crystal beads on the chandelier jingle with the pure, light sound of a small bell.
Mme Kampf entra dans la salle d'études en fermant si brusquement la porte derrière elle que le lustre de cristal sonna, de toutes ses pendeloques agitées par le courant d'air, avec un bruit pur et léger de grelot.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0676979661, Paperback)

From the acclaimed author of Suite Française comes Némirovsky’s third novel, a masterpiece of French literature, available for the first time in Canada.

Le Bal is a penetrating and incisive book set in early twentieth century France. At its heart is the tension between mother and daughter. The nouveau-riche Kampfs, desperate to become members of the social elite, decide to throw a ball to launch themselves into high society. For selfish reasons Mrs. Kampf forbids her teenage daughter, Antoinette, to attend the ball and banishes her to the laundry room. In an unpremeditated fury of revolt and despair, Antoinette takes a swift and horrible revenge. A cruel, funny and tender examination of class differences, Le Bal describes the torments of childhood with rare accuracy.

Also included in this volume is Snow in Autumn, in which Némirovsky pays homage to Chekov and chronicles the life of a devoted servant following her masters as they flee Revolutionary Moscow and emigrate to a life of hardship in Paris.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:22 -0400)

Antoinette Kampf's parents want to be accepted into Parisian society, so they decide to hold a lavish ball. No expense is spared, as they hope to create a perfect social event. Antoinette is excited at the prospect of such a grand occasion, until her mother reveals that her presence is not required -- indeed, not wanted. Antoinette decides to wreak a terrible revenge on her mother.… (more)

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