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Mémoires d'Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar

Mémoires d'Hadrien (original 1951; edition 1977)

by Marguerite Yourcenar

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,716852,025 (4.16)173
Title:Mémoires d'Hadrien
Authors:Marguerite Yourcenar
Info:Gallimard (1977), Poche
Collections:Your library
Tags:historical fiction

Work details

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (Author) (1951)

  1. 41
    I, Claudius by Robert Graves (bertilak)
  2. 20
    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (foehnwind)
  3. 20
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
  4. 00
    SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard (stevereads)
  5. 00
    Count Belisarius by Robert Graves (nessreader)
    nessreader: Literary historical fiction, about the later roman empire, the decline and fall. sumptuously written.

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» See also 173 mentions

English (56)  French (8)  Italian (6)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Memoirs of Hadrian is a beautiful, eloquent portrait of one of Rome's great emperors that can also be read as a tutorial on leadership. Hadrian was ambitious, ruthless and devious when necessary, hungry for experiences of all kinds, loyal when possible, self-deprecating but also prideful. He enjoyed life, both its pleasures, and his acts of self-discipline and courage. He appealed to Yourcenar, as she states, in part because he brought peace and prosperity (and security) to Rome; one must credit those people lusting after power who then have admirable goals for what to do with it once obtained.

“Each time that I have looked from afar, at the bend of some sunny road, toward a Greek acropolis with its perfect city fixed to a hill liked a flower to a stem, I could not but feel that the incomparable plant was limited by its very perfection, achieved on one point of space and in one segment of time. Its sole chance of expansion, as for that of a plant, was in its seed; with the pollen of its ideas Greece has fertilized the world. But Rome, less light and less shapely, sprawling to the plain at her river’s edge, was moving toward vaster growth: the city has become the State.” ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
The author's addendum Reflections on the Composition is possibly eveb better than the novel. ( )
  encephalical | Aug 25, 2018 |
I gave up on this highly acclaimed novel of the life of Emperor Hadrian. I’m sure it deserves its reputation but I wasn’t in the mood for a rambling philosophical essay. I gave up before the 50-page mark and feel bad that the writing style didn’t appeal to me. I’m likely the poorer for throwing in the towel, but there’s so many other books waiting to be read.
  Zumbanista | Jul 25, 2018 |
It took me a while to believe that what I was reading can be written.

At a performance of a complex musical composition one is sometimes afraid for the musician, lest a mistake spoil the sublime, but then gives in and is carried away; this happens with this novel. Its text incarnates a person, induces a person into the reader, and all too often I had to stop and stare to still the senses.

I experienced works of literature this way 25 or thirty years ago, and my memory is not as it used to be; words may disappear, but I am sure that when the weather changes I will feel the cut this novel made years into the future. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
Match found in the German National Library.
  glsottawa | Apr 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
'La mayoría de los hombres gusta resumir su vida en una fórmula, a veces jactanciosa o quejumbrosa, casi siempre recriminatoria; el recuerdo les fabrica, complaciente, una existencia explicable y clara. Mi vida tiene contornos menos definidos. Como suele suceder, lo que no fui es quizá lo que más ajustadamente la define: buen soldado pero en modo alguno hombre de guerra; aficionado al arte, pero no ese artista que Nerón creyó ser al morir; capaz de cometer crímenes, pero no abrumado por ellos. Pienso a veces que los grandes hombres se caracterizan precisamente por su posición extrema; su heroísmo está en mantenerse en ella toda la vida. Son nuestros polos o nuestros antípodas'.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yourcenar, MargueriteAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calderaro, MarthaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Creus, JaumeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duquesnoy, TheodorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick, GraceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hakamies, ReinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hornelund, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaffé, FritzÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandfort, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Storoni Mazzolani, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuin, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallquist, GunnelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My dear Mark,
Today I went to see my physician Hermogenes, who has just returned to the Villa from a rather long journey in Asia.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374529264, Paperback)

Both an exploration of character and a reflection on the meaning of history, Memoirs of Hadrian has received international acclaim since its first publication in France in 1951. In it, Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian's own era.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Both an exploration of character and a meditation on history, Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Memoirs of Hadrian has received international acclaim since its publication in France in 1951. Written in the form of a testamentary letter from the emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius, the work is as extraordinary for its psychological depth as for its accurate reconstruction of the second century of our era. In it, Yourcenar reimagines Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his reordering of a war-torn world."--Jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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