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Nouvelle histoire de Mouchette (1937)

par Georges Bernanos

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252482,852 (3.73)5
One of the great mavericks of French literature, Georges Bernanos combined raw realism with a spiritual focus of visionary intensity. Mouchette stands with his celebrated Diary of a Country Priest as the perfection of his singular art. "Nothing but a little savage" is how the village school-teacher describes fourteen-year-old Mouchette, and that view is echoed by every right-thinking local citizen. Mouchette herself doesn't bother to contradict it; ragged, foulmouthed, dirt-poor, a born liar and loser, she knows herself to be, in the words of the story, "alone, completely alone, against everyone." Hers is a tale of "tragic solitude" in which despair and salvation appear to be inextricably intertwined. Bernanos uncompromising genius was a powerful inspiration to Flannery O'Connor, and Mouchette was the source of a celebrated movie by Robert Bresson.… (plus d'informations)
Récemment ajouté parbibliothèque privée, THBevilacqua, jncc, Mattbr, haveasafenight, dandydancing, ToddSherman
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» Voir aussi les 5 mentions

4 sur 4
read on most lovely sofa across from fireplace at the Met ( )
  Overgaard | Jan 3, 2021 |
I still find this book disturbing, and yet, Bernanos tilts ever so slightly toward merciful.
Having read this book four years ago, I still champion Mouchette; the girl, not the novel. ( )
  runningbeardbooks | Sep 29, 2020 |
Mouchette, all of fourteen years old, leads an isolated existence. She’s the odd one out at school -- her family is dirt-poor; she can’t sing; her hands are always filthy -- and the headmistress systematically singles her out as the bad example other pupils would do well to avoid. Things are much the same at home: she is barely tolerated within her poverty-stricken and child-rich family, in that she’s just useful enough to deserve her food and lodging. Her father is an alcoholic who is physically abusive; her mother is distant and a stranger to caresses.

One night, while lost in a forest during a storm, Mouchette runs into the local smuggler, Mr. Arsène, who shelters her from the elements, shares his illicitly distilled alcohol with her, and makes her complicit in his maybe-he-did-maybe-he-didn’t murder of the gendarme by making her his alibi. He also rapes her.. In the hours that follow, Mouchette will see, understand, really grok that a woman’s expected lifestyle, in her village, is one of suffering in silence, even though she lacks the words to verbalise that understanding.

This novel was short, but pretty well-written. In keeping Mouchette firmly at omniscient-narrator distance, its readers are forcibly reduced to powerless observers. Its themes of social injustice and gendered discrimination fall naturally out of its almost-ya story and its setting in a timeless hamlet by the sea. Recommended (given the appropriate trigger warnings)! ( )
1 voter Petroglyph | Jun 7, 2019 |
Imagine a typical mid century European-continental novel. It's existentialist. It's full of angst. There are large dollops of absurd events. There is a political point in there somewhere, but everything is so personal and subjective that you're never sure what that political point might be. And there's lots of reflection. Okay. And now, instead of the middle-class, twenty or thirty something, over-educated male protagonist, put in a completely impoverished pubescent girl who lacks the words to describe any kind of emotion, thought or abstract notion. And you have this book, which is, thanks to its hero, far more interesting than anything I've read by Camus/Sartre/Moravia et al. I don't know how accurate the translation is, but it's very readable. ( )
1 voter stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
4 sur 4
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» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (4 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Georges Bernanosauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Howe, FannyIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Whitehouse, J.C.Traducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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One of the great mavericks of French literature, Georges Bernanos combined raw realism with a spiritual focus of visionary intensity. Mouchette stands with his celebrated Diary of a Country Priest as the perfection of his singular art. "Nothing but a little savage" is how the village school-teacher describes fourteen-year-old Mouchette, and that view is echoed by every right-thinking local citizen. Mouchette herself doesn't bother to contradict it; ragged, foulmouthed, dirt-poor, a born liar and loser, she knows herself to be, in the words of the story, "alone, completely alone, against everyone." Hers is a tale of "tragic solitude" in which despair and salvation appear to be inextricably intertwined. Bernanos uncompromising genius was a powerful inspiration to Flannery O'Connor, and Mouchette was the source of a celebrated movie by Robert Bresson.

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