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Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel par Yann Martel

Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel (édition 2011)

par Yann Martel

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1,8791367,335 (3.24)91
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey--named Beatrice and Virgil--and the epic journey they undertake together.… (plus d'informations)
Titre:Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel
Auteurs:Yann Martel
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque

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Béatrice et Virgile par Yann Martel


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» Voir aussi les 91 mentions

Anglais (130)  Néerlandais (5)  Allemand (1)  Danois (1)  Toutes les langues (137)
Affichage de 1-5 de 137 (suivant | tout afficher)
I'm shocked. In the beginning I thought this would be a book about a writer who moves with his wife to another country in hope of starting a new life. But it turned out to be much more than that and I only realized that in the very end. Things start to get dark and sad. I'd describe this book precisely with those words: dark and sad. The Holocaust is not just something that happened in the past, it's also a way to remember that Humans have dark minds and are capable of anything to defend what they think is right. I'm probably not making much sense but this book is a must read for those who like Holocaust themed books. ( )
  _Marcia_94_ | Sep 21, 2021 |
I feel that this was Martel's attempt at a [b:Slaughterhouse-Five|4981|Slaughterhouse-Five|Kurt Vonnegut||1683562]-esque Holocaust novel. Like [b:Life of Pi|4214|Life of Pi|Yann Martel||1392700], I couldn't stop reading, but it rubbed me the wrong way. It strikes me as disingenuous in a way that other novels of the same kind do not. ( )
  irrelephant | Feb 21, 2021 |
As usual, my reaction to this story, having just considered a summary of the book as a whole, feels much more positive than in the minutes just after reading it; Martel fits several topics into one book. To be fair, I didn’t think very highly of Life of Pi, and these two books have a lot in common, most notably Martel’s less than subtle parallels with his narrator and the ability to induce profound boredom. In all honesty, I opted to read this book not only because I love Dante but also because I’m in the middle of two very long, very dry nonfiction works. I hoped this would be a quick, fun read to begin my time in Marrakech. Reading the taxidermist’s essay on his profession, in particular, caused me pain; I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep going. The same goes for the extensive, barely meaningful quotations from Gustav Flaubert’s The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitaitor. Toward the end, the book finally does stir some interest; the conflict between Henry and the cryptic, creepy taxidermist becomes more obvious, and the play goes on to describe torture and humiliation with such gruesome detail that the Holocaust allegory comes to light more strongly. Indeed, Martel’s Holocaust storyline requires some heavy thought on the part of the reader as the book comes to a close. References to the Holocaust appear at the very beginning of the book and come full circle in a cheeky way by the end. A table full of experts and editors reject Henry’s initial, flippant fiction/nonfiction book about the Holocaust. After giving up writing altogether, he winds up critiquing the elderly taxidermist’s play about two stuffed animals shunned from society, starving and talking about their lives and the “Horrors” they have been subjected to by an unnamed enemy. The taxidermist’s donkey – Beatrice’s – descriptions of her persecution cause revulsion; Martel doesn’t spare harsh descriptions of the torment in his play-within-a-novel. Altogether, though, the allegory comes off a bit cheeky, less because of those pictures of torture and more because of the source of the play – the taxidermist – and his language. The parallels between his world, his concern for stuffed animals and dying species and a dying art, struck me as flippant when compared to the reality of the Jew’s persecution in the Holocaust – the same kind of flippant as the rejected flipbook at the beginning of the text. Moreover, the comical tension between Henry the everyman author and Yann Martel himself add even more of a casual, amusing tone to the book – something that takes away from the seriousness of the Holocaust plotline. There’s not room on the market for a flippant book about the Holocaust, not now and hopefully not ever. There’s a reason books like If This Is a Man are as serious as they are, and so once his book ceases being boring, I found myself becoming more and more offended by the more “interesting” parts of the novel. ( )
  revatait | Feb 21, 2021 |
I enjoyed parts of it, but these parts went on too long, killing the charm. Because it was so indulgently slow-moving and drawn out, I lost interest after about half way and gave up. I'd like to have finished it but no there was no momentum, that's why I can only give it 2 stars. ( )
  Okies | Sep 3, 2020 |
Er valt van alles op dit boek aan te merken, maar sommige scènes en beschrijvingen vond ik zo indringend dat de 4 sterren voor mij toch verdiend zijn. Hoofdpersoon Henry, (die net als Martel een boek heeft geschreven met een belangrijke rol voor dieren -The life of PI dat ik niet heb gelezen) kan stil leven van het succes. Zijn 2e boek, dat een luchtige, of in elk geval andere manier wil zijn om om te gaan met de Holocaust, wordt neergesabeld door zijn uitgever en hij gaat met vrouw in een Europese grote stad wonen (ik vond het het meest lijken op Wenen). Daar komt hij in contact met een oude taxidermist met een schitterende verzameling dieren die Henry's hulp nodig heeft bij het voltooien van zijn levenswerk, een toneelstuk met in de hoofdrollen een ezel Beatrice en een brulaap Virgil. We lezen grote delen uit dit stuk, dat erg Godot-achtig is. Misschien nog wat absurder, doordat het zich bijvoorbeeld afspeelt in of op The shirt, inderdaad een (gestreept) hemd, en er ook geregeld haast onbegrijpelijke incrowdtaal tussen de twee dieren wordt gesproken. De 1e scène, een beschrijving door Virgil in dialoog met Bea van een peer, een vrucht die zij niet kent (wel ananas en avocado) vond ik werkelijk subliem. Gaandeweg wordt de grote, schonkige taxidermist steeds enger. Steeds duidelijker wordt dat zijn toneelstuk over de dieren een allegorie is voor de Holocaust, the Horrors zoals B. en V. het noemen. De beschrijvingen van de martelingen, de pijn en de dood aan het eind van het stuk zijn niet te lezen zonder heftige emoties, en ook niet weg te leggen. Ook heel indringend zijn de 13 'games for Gustav' korte dilemma's die na afloop beschreven worden, zoals die zouden kunnen spelen in de Holocaust. Maar daarvoor zitten ook meer humoristische Becket-imitaties. Kortom, de taxidermist heeft het boek geschreven dat Henry had willen schrijven. Maar er zijn wel losse einden en inconsequenties: hoezo is de taxidermist een Nazibeul die zijn misdaden wil goedmaken met zijn toneelstuk? Onwaarschijnlijk en ook niet goed te rijmen met de rol die Flaubert's St. Jean in het boek speelt. Beatrice en Virgil, is dat niet een erg willekeurige en flauwe toespeling op Dante? Waarom het onverwachte en tot niets leidende eind van het boek? Wat betekent het detail dat Henry's hond Erasmus rabies krijgt en kat Mendelssohn aanvalt, zodat beiden afgemaakt moeten worden -waarbij de suggestie sterk is dat de taxidermist, die erg ongeinteresseerd, zo niet vijandig, tegen de hond was wel verdacht moet raken. Maar, zoals gezegd, andere dingen wogen zwaarder voor me. ( )
2 voter Harm-Jan | Jul 3, 2020 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 137 (suivant | tout afficher)
I'm sorry, but this allegory is no "Animal Farm" or "Watership Down." It's a cloying episode of "Winnie the Pooh" In Which Piglet and Rabbit Are Hacked Apart and Eaten. Martel's attempt to represent 6 million Jews with a pleasant donkey and a friendly monkey is just well-meaning sentimentality dressed up with postmodern doodads. "Beatrice and Virgil" does little to bring us closer to appreciating the plight of those victims or to fathoming the cruelty of their murderers. Whatever "artful metaphor" Martel began with, it ends up skinned and stuffed -- not alive, not even lifelike.
Mr. Martel’s new book, “Beatrice and Virgil,” unfortunately, is every bit as misconceived and offensive as his earlier book was fetching. It, too, features animals as central characters. It, too, involves a figure who in some respects resembles the author. It, too, is written in deceptively light, casual prose... Nonetheless, his story has the effect of trivializing the Holocaust, using it as a metaphor to evoke “the extermination of animal life” and the suffering of “doomed creatures” who “could not speak for themselves.”
As the Holocaust has forever recast our understanding of humanity and historiography, so might Beatrice & Virgil, which ingeniously ruptures the division between worlds real and imagined, forcing us to reconsider how we think of documentary writing. Forget what this book is “about”: Yann Martel's new novel not only opens us to the emotional and psychological truths of fiction, but also provides keys to open its fictions ourselves, and to become, in some way, active participants in their creation.
At the end, author Henry develops some "games", 12 questions posing moral quandaries: would you allow your son to endanger his life to try to save the rest of the family? If you knew people were about to be killed and you couldn't stop it, would you warn them? If only Martel had bothered to dramatise any of these dilemmas, he might have produced a novel that didn't show the limits of representation quite so painfully.
Beatrice and Virgil is a chilling addition to the literature about the horrors most of us cannot imagine, and will stir its readers to think about the depths of depravity to which humanity can sink and the amplitude of our capacity to survive.

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (7 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Yann Martelauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Bridge, AndyArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Versluys, MarijkeTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Henry's second novel, written, like his first, under a pen name, had done well.
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When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey--named Beatrice and Virgil--and the epic journey they undertake together.

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Canongate Books

2 éditions de ce livre ont été publiées par Canongate Books.

Éditions: 1847677657, 1847679242

Penguin Australia

2 éditions de ce livre ont été publiées par Penguin Australia.

Éditions: 1921656255, 1921758279


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