Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Le voleur d'enfants by Jules Supervielle

Le voleur d'enfants

by Jules Supervielle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
321347,362 (4)2



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

This is a very odd novel. And it seems to be as obscure as it is odd: even French amazon has only one review and, apart from discovering that a movie had been made from the book (how?), I can find little information about it.

Colonel Philomen Bigua and his wife have acquired three children, two of whom had been abandoned and one whom the Colonel kidnapped. As the book opens, he is kidnapping a fourth. A fifth child is later got; it's the presence of this one, the only girl, that becomes the undoing of the family.

Part of the strangeness lies in a serene detachment, not only of tone but of the characters themselves. One mother scarcely notices her child's absence and upon his return allows him to visit the Colonel often. The children adapt readily to their new parents and household. For much of the book the Colonel seems content to lead a life of sewing, drinking mate, and talking to himself. And, partly because none of the characters is sympathetic, the reader is likely to feel that same detachment. Supervielle's style and presentation also have a strange feel: he shifts setting and point of view freely but each person, whether tortured by lust or quietly praying, and each event has the same pitch, the same tone. The translator describes Supervielle's 'view of the universe' as a lighthouse beam, illuminating various objects and then moving on to pick out others. That seems to me a good analogy for the way The Colonel's Children is written.

It's not only for its oddness that I like this book: it's interesting, understated, rather evocative, and well-written, with the sort of perspectives and associations one would expect from a poet (it's for his poetry that Supervielle is best known). Overall, having read it is like having had a dream that one keeps returning to and wondering over the next day.
1 vote bluepiano | Feb 28, 2014 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 wanted2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4)
4 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,917,856 books! | Top bar: Always visible