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L'objet du scandale (1970)

par Robertson Davies

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

Séries: La trilogie de Deptford (Book 1)

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2,940783,556 (4.17)1 / 372
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.… (plus d'informations)
Récemment ajouté parreecejones, bibliothèque privée, Carolingian_Dan, PKapoor, qwertify, ErinBurns, whiten06, snoorlax
Bibliothèques historiquesNewton 'Bud' Flounders, Tim Spalding
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Anglais (67)  Espagnol (6)  Catalan (5)  Toutes les langues (78)
Affichage de 1-5 de 78 (suivant | tout afficher)
Enjoyable, but man, the bar to be considered a "classic Canadian novel" is really, really low. ( )
  bishnu83 | Apr 6, 2021 |
Not objective on this one. Loved it when I read it as a teenager and apparently when I read it in 2005. The long sentences, more elevated diction, authoritative narrative voice -- not what I read that much these days but in this book I love it. Sexist and racist (by omission: one barely mentioned person of color) but given the identity of the protagonist and his era, that's to be expected. I love the story of it, and the long monologues, and the discussion of big ideas. ( )
1 voter erikasolberg770 | Jan 19, 2021 |
A Trilogy

I think I would rate this book lower if I hadn't known going in that it's the first book in a trilogy, and would view the weak ending differently - unsatisfactory - after an engaging, well-told story. I find it worrisome that Fifth Business is on the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list but the successive volumes are not, because it deserves to be and I want the next novels to be just as good.

Fifth Business is the story of Dunstable Ramsey and his friend and nemesis Percy Boyd Staunton, who we witness grow from mischievous boys in small-town 1908 Canada to old men. Across their fifty year journey, they harbor a secret which altered the lives of the Dempsters by causing the premature birth of their only son. Dunstable will spend his life attempting to, if not rectify, at least pay penance for the consequences of his and Staunton's actions. He will lose a leg and be disfigured during the Great War (an extremely well-written section of the novel) and end up unmarried, teaching history at an all-boys school, where he goes by his shortened name Dunstan.

But Dunstan's life is not a lonely, academic existence. He is a hagiographist; he spends his vacations traveling the world researching the lives of saints, about whom he writes multiple best-selling books. Even though he professes to not be religious, he expends a great deal of thought and discussion on Christianity in an attempt to have Mrs Dempster canonized for the three miracles she performs. The book's most challenging concept is that a man can be lead to Christ through his sinful interaction with her.

In his travels, Dunstan also encounters the now-grown Dempster son, a world-class illusionist who still bears the emotional scars of his childhood. I usually object to these types of fantastic coincidences, but in this story they fit perfectly within the narrative and enrich its complexity.

You will not drown in Fifth Business's details but keep google handy so that you'll understand several of the historical and mythological references (e.g. Cauldron of Ceridwen). They add depth to an entertaining, thought-provoking work worth reading. ( )
1 voter skavlanj | Jan 18, 2021 |
Libro regalado a Elías Sanz. Libro perturbador... un niño que ve o que provoca ¿? un accidente que causa la locura de alguien. El quinto en discordia es alguien con una vida mucho más intensa de lo que parece... no sobra, no se le echa de menos, ¿es discapacitado físico? Es... raro, muy raro. Está bien, me gustó. Muy diferente. ( )
  tonyhp | Nov 3, 2020 |
A holy burden
swallowing guilt like a stone
bitter sanctity. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 78 (suivant | tout afficher)
"A marvelously enigmatic novel, then, elegantly written and driven by irresistible narrative force."
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (14 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Davies, Robertsonauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
BascoveArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Godwin, GailIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Fifth Business ... Definition
Those roles which, being neither those of
Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain,
but were none the less essential to
bring about the Recognition or the denouement
were called the Fifth Business in drama
and opera companies organized according
to the old style; the player who acted these
parts was often referred to as Fifth Business.
- Tho. Overskou, Den Danske Skueplads
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My lifelong involvement with Mrs Dempster began at 5:58 o'clock p.m. on 27 December 1908, at which time I was ten years and seven months old.
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" ... You despise almost everyone except Paul's mother. No wonder she seems like a saint to you; you have made her carry the affection you should have spread among fifty people. Do not look at me with that tragic face. You should thank me. At fifty years old you should be glad to know something of yourself. That horrid village and your hateful Scots family made you a moral monster. Well, it is not too late for you to enjoy a few years of almost normal humanity."
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Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.

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