HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Le Grand Meaulnes (1913)

by Alain-Fournier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,138723,584 (3.78)2 / 183
When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house and a beautiful girl hidden within it, he has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier's compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.… (more)
  1. 40
    A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr (chrisharpe)
  2. 31
    Demian by Hermann Hesse (chrisharpe)
  3. 10
    Strait is the Gate by André Gide (chrisharpe)
  4. 00
    Les fruits du Congo by Alexandre Vialatte (catherine-ldg)
  5. 00
    Call me by your name by André Aciman (librorumamans)
    librorumamans: What these books share is a strong atmosphere of wistful regret, youthful admiration, a rural setting of great beauty, and wonderful, evocative writing.
  6. 11
    Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost (Booksloth)
  7. 00
    A Quiet Life by Beryl Bainbridge (celtic)
  8. 00
    Le Bachelier by Jules Vallès (askthedust)
Loading...

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

English (49)  French (9)  Italian (5)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
This is a difficult book to rate. On the one hand, it's a little clumsy in its storytelling, dwelling too long on some details and rushing impatiently over others, and there are aspects of the plot and tone of the novel which read as disjointed because I suspect they require greater knowledge of French culture, history, and language than I possess. And then there's Meaulnes, who is as aggravatingly elusive as his Lost Land and significantly less enchanting over time.

But. Le Grand Meaulnes, which I rather like titled as The Wanderer in its English translation, is a kind of fable or fairy tale, and I find myself just as charmed by it as by any other. It's poignant and naive and its narrator is some restful and appealing combination of hopeful and pragmatic and innocent and wise. And so in spite of the story's awkwardness and its hero's failings, I enjoyed spending time in its pages. Somehow, the spell of the Lost Land seems to have seeped into them, soothing all the dark, rainy, restless years into one magical day, warm out of season and flush with promise.

Someday I'd like to try reading the Frank Davison translation, as it takes a more poetic approach, but I've enjoyed Delisle's. An occasional inelegance of sentence structure leads me to believe his translation is rather strictly accurate, and this is the sort of book which, I think, benefits from a more unvarnished first encounter. ( )
  slimikin | Mar 27, 2022 |
I believe I have reviewed this under its English-translation title, "The Wanderer," already. But the book is a miracle. There's nothing else like it, and the world that produced it, a liminal and strange one even then, is gone entirely now. Alain-Fournier produced this one book before being wasted in the Great War along with so many others. The world we are in now would have been, I think, an entirely different one if Alain-Fournier's generation had not been killed and/or psychologically crushed by the idiocies of that war. This is an essential document of what was lost, how elusive, how powerful, how alive it was. ( )
  AnnKlefstad | Feb 4, 2022 |
A bittersweet gem of a book, 'Le Grand Meaulnes' - which goes by a long list of alternative titles - is rightly regarded as a classic of French literature. The titular character forever feels the tug of adventure, and must reconcile that sense of himself with the promises he makes to those closest and dearest to him. The narrator, Francois, stands in awe of his friend, but he too must learn to navigate the treacherous paths that lead from boyhood to the adult man. A wonderful read. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | May 22, 2021 |
I had kind of insanely high expectations for this from the start since it was recommended in the same article as The Secret History and The Magicians as two recommendations for reading post-Harry Potter, but it took me ages to find a copy. I liked it well enough, I just don't think Alain-Fournier is that talented of a writer. :S ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
The Great Meaulnes
Review of the Penguin Classics paperback edition (2007) translated by Robin Buss based on the French language original Le Grand Meaulnes (1913)

The Lost Estate follows the story of a not-so-worldly young boy who becomes swept up in the life and dreams of an older charismatic boy. The older boy has an adventure where he meets a girl but then loses her. He yearns to find her again. The younger boy is recruited into this quest and it meets with some success, but the story ends tragically nevertheless.

That sounds a lot like a simplified plot description of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925) doesn't it? Although I don't have any documented proof of it, it still seems like more than a coincidence that Fitzgerald's "Great" hints at a borrowing of Alain-Fournier's "Grand." Of course the two books are otherwise quite different, with Fitzgerald's stories of gangsters and car accidents vs. Fournier's stories of a mysterious lost chateau, abandoned fiancées & brides and wandering gypsies.

Regardless, The Lost Estate conjures up some of that same yearning for loss of innocence and youth and the eternal questions of what might have been. It contrasts between the safety of the stay-at-home lifestyle vs. one of reckless adventure that risks tragic outcomes. And it does construct a semi-happy ending even so.

The Lost Estate was the single novel of Alain-Fournier (pseudonym) of Henri-Alban Fournier (1888-1914) who was killed in the first year of the First World War.

I read The Lost Estate as part of a blind subscription to independent bookshop Shakespeare and Company's 2020 Year of Reading Lost Treasures. ( )
  alanteder | Nov 8, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
...Good bookshops, though, will have one copy. Usually it is just the one, thin and a little bit tired at the edges. Often the sellers won't need to replace it more than once or twice a decade - I bought a copy recently; the shop hadn't sold another in 13 years - but that's not the point: the kind of bookseller who stocks Le Grand Meaulnes doesn't really do so for good business. If you're going to run a bookshop, you had better love books, after all, and if you love books, then Le Grand Meaulnes is the kind of novel you'll want to have around.

If you talk to people about this book, you'll notice something interesting: not only have a lot of them read it, but they're still reading it. How and where they get hold of it is a mystery - possibly they are finding it on the shelves of better-read relatives (which is what I did myself). Some books succeed by word of mouth; Le Grand Meaulnes survives by even less than that, a barely audible system of Chinese whispers.But it remains a book that writers turn to; perhaps as much as any modern novel, it has a style which has echoed through the works of others. Despite the confusion of its titles and its dog-eared thinness and its faults, this is arguably one of the most influential novels of the 20th century.

Henri Alban Fournier was born in La Chapelle d'Anguillon in the Sologne in 1886; he was killed in battle on the Meuse, aged 27, in September 1914. The son of a schoolmaster, Fournier was sketching out both a play and a second novel at the outset of war, but his reputation rests almost exclusively on his only complete work of fiction, which narrowly missed winning the Prix Goncourt...
added by Cloud9 | editThe Guardian, Tobias Hill (Aug 16, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (104 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alain-Fournierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blair, FrederikaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buss, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlin, LauraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delisle, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, HavelockIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gopnik, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leuwen, DanielForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lustig, AlvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mélaouah, YasminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mes, HanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nord, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Widmer, WalterÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my sister Isabelle
First words
He appeared at our house on a Sunday in November 189-.

(Davison translation)
Time passed. (Epilogue: Lowell Bair translation)
Le Grand Meaulnes belongs to, and is the finest example of, a category of fiction that has no name, but exists. (Afterword)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house and a beautiful girl hidden within it, he has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier's compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Augustin Meaulnes, il romantico, avventuroso amico del figlio di un maestro di campagna, si sperde nei sentieri che solcano la Sologne e in un castello fantastico incontra la bionda Yvonne. Realtà e sogno si intrecciano in questo enigmatico romanzo di Fournier (1886-1914).
(piopas)
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.78)
0.5 1
1 8
1.5 1
2 37
2.5 14
3 110
3.5 55
4 153
4.5 18
5 135

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441895, 0141194820

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 176,762,493 books! | Top bar: Always visible