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Claudine at School by Sidonie-Gabrielle…
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Claudine at School (original 1900; edition 1963)

by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Antonia White (Translator)

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245246,947 (3.84)12
Member:Caesia
Title:Claudine at School
Authors:Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Other authors:Antonia White (Translator)
Info:Penguin (1963)
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Fiction

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Claudine at school by Colette (1900)

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Here is a young heroine with a keen, socially observant eye who is shockingly, innocently, perfectly coquettish. Despite its popularity, it must have ruffled some feathers at the time -- this novel acknowledges high-school age girls as being sexually aware (however limitedly so).

Something about the girls' little idiosyncratic communication tics really get at the amusement inherent in being a teenage girl. There are some hilariously concise descriptions of such occurrences as barely stifled laughs, conspiratorial glances, and little gloaty "I know something" dances.

Although this is a predecessor of such dreck as the Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars series of YA books, its heroine is admirably self-aware and while she may come across as shallow, it's made clear that she is diamond-sharp and as introspective as she is aware of the motivations and designs of those around her. Claudine is bitingly funny and simply charming. ( )
1 vote double.entendrea | Sep 1, 2010 |
Strong narrative voice and engaging heroine; sullied by the sordidness. ( )
  wktarin | Feb 25, 2009 |
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
"La collaboration de Willy et Colette Willy ayant pris fin, il devenait indispensable de rendre à chacun la part qui lui est due et de remplacer la signature unique de ce volume par celles de Willy et Colette Wily.
Des raisons purement typographiques ont voulu que mon nom fût placé avant celui de Colette Willy, alors que toutes les raisons, littéraires et autres, eussent éxigé que som nom prît la première place" WILLY
Dedication
First words
En haut d'une maison neuve, on m'ouvrit un atelier vaste comme une halle, pourvu d'une large galerie à mi-hauteur, tendu de ces broderies de Chine que la Chine exécute pour l'Occident, à grands motifs un peu bâclés, assez belles.
- Et pourquoi cesserais-je d'etre de mon village?
'The eleven o'clock postman brought nothing. If Farou didn't write last night before going to bed, it's because he'd had a late rehearsal.'
La maison était grande, coiffée d'un grenier haut.
'Are you going fishing, Vinca?'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This is not "Claudine's House"/"My Mother's House" (La maison de Claudine), but "Claudine at schoool" (Claudine à l'école)
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A semi-autobiographical exploration of Colette's childhood, her relationship with her mother, feelings for nature, and first experience with love and sex.
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Claudine, sparkling with life and intelligence, sows merry hell among her classmates and teachers of a parochial school in turn of the century France.

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