Mysteriously satisfying As far as historical recreations go, something like the polar opposite of Deadwood or Amalgamation Polka the past is interesting not because of its excessive color and profuse cocksucking but because of the relentless nature of its blandness I find myself puzzling over how exactly Y manages this She gets a certain amount of momentum from establishing and then abjuring scenes everything is setup for setup, narrative for narrative, until you realize that, like most narrative heavy books Bolano s 2666 is another good example , the real hero of this story is fate, meaning Death, the end The End to which all good things must come Which makes you think, Okay, I guess it s okay if none of the normally exciting things happen, since really this is a book like its protagonist that sees excitement as a sort of cop out, excuse, avoidance Emotional syncopation, maybe or noncopation removing the stress from the score entirely And yet I have to admit The Abyss ends up resembling someone I never thought it would during the first 2 3rds Albert Camus Y s hero makes a legitimate, believable stand, and does indeed feel heroic for doing so Relentlessly unhistrionic. beautifully written historical novel, maybe one if the best ever a story of Zenon a typical renaissance person who a bit resemble de vinchi and arasmus from roterdam in the ability to look for truth, the strong will for liberty and the believe in the ability of man things which are easily forgotten in dark times Opera negra l oeuvre au noir the french title better than the abyss is the first stage of the transformation alchemist to gold We use the most vulgar matter not differencied It will be followed by works with the white and the red Z non, physician, alchemist are shared between two times the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, between Aristote and Plato But on the metaphysical level, this alchemist transformation is also that of man who progresses on the way of knowledge.The end is tragic but did the death gain For Z non which exceeded for a long time the work with the black, it is the ultimate sublimation The novel takes on a metaphorical dimension Then I think to a sentence of Goethe Die and becomes in the life, it is necessary to die to certains things to rebirth to others. Marvelloussimply marvellous The action takes place between 1510 and 1569, in Europe, mainly in Bruges and the historical reconstitution is rigorous By that time, Flanders was a very violent place The Reformation, the birth of modern science, the beginnings of industrialisation originated intrigues , peasant revolts and religious wars Zeno, the alchemist, healer and philosopher hero, represents these new ideas, these new possibilities He is one of the most real fictional characters I have ever come across He was inspired by Da Vinci, Giordano Bruno, Galilei, Copernicus, Paracelsus and others , but mainly by Erasmus of Rotherdam, also a bastard son And like some of these free spirits Zeno s ending is tragic. En Cr Ant Le Personnage De Z Non, Alchimiste Et M Decin Du XVIe Si Cle, Marguerite Yourcenar, L Auteure Des M Moires D Hadrien, Ne Raconte Pas Seulement Le Destin Tragique D Un Homme Extraordinaire C Est Toute Une Poque Qui Revit Dans Son Infinie Richesse, Comme Aussi Dans Son Cre Et Brutale R Alit Un Monde Contrast O S Affrontent Le Moyen Age Et La Renaissance, Et O Pointent D J Les Temps Modernes, Monde Dont Z Non Est Issu, Mais Dont Peu Peu Cet Homme Libre Se D Gage, Et Qui Pour Cette Raison M Me Finira Par Le Broyer I enjoyed this very much It is not a page turner, but a novel of reflection It helps to have some understanding of the situation in the Low Countries during the Reformation period, when they were ruled by Spain and the Duke of Alva was resident Also, though less important, the conflicts between the Holy Roman Empire and France during this period. The jaded public library copy I ve been reading just gave out And for the best I need my own copy it has been torture, resisting the urge to underscore all the aphoristic sparkle. This is a must read if you want to know something about the way scholars were treated by the church in the Middle Ages It s not an easy read, but Yourcenar s language, even in translation, is so poetic The book was composed of several stories the author wrote was she was a young girl For years those stories were left unpublished Finally Marguerite Yourcenar picked up the story, edited it and published it as L uvre au noir The title refers to the alchemist process of finding the ultimate wisdom or the philospher s stone or the process of making gold Scholars alchemist were looking for the ultimate knowledge during the medieval time It was a search that has to be done in secret They travelled a lot, hiding their profession Many of time became doctors, because they also examined the working of the human body But everything they did was forbidden by the church and when caught their books were burned and scholar was accused of heresy and burned at the stake Yourcenar tells a story about one of those men, longing for knowledge and following the path of his own heart and wishes The book concentrates on three parts of his life his travels through Europe gathering all the secret knowledge his return to his birth place under a false name and finally his confrontation with the church I borrowed the book from the library, after my husband and I visited a exhibition about Marguerite Yourcenar s life in Kassel in France I had never heart of this author, but she was very famous in France and was the first woman who was offered a place at the Academie Francaise.At the exhibition we also saw fragments of the movie that was made of this story I borrowed that too and although very dramatic it followed the plot line very accurately In English the title is The Abyss A Novel Truly epic Writing a review for The Abyss leaves me torn since it is almost like writing a review for two different books awkwardly stuck together The first book is structured with a clear direction with repeated examples of the absurdity of the human condition such as fear of new technology, petty interests, manipulative greed, religious zeal, resignation, etc and excellently paints a picture of the most ridiculous aspects of human nature that hold us back as a species and as a society In the middle of this scene are put two young men, Zeno and Maximilian one seeking a life of knowledge and the other seeking a life of glory but, ultimately, their journeys follow a much different course than they could have imagined The second book seems to meander with no clear purpose, direction or discernible structure I think the themes and writing is richer in the second half of the book but when you combine the first and second sections of the book, it feels disjointed and confused The second half of the book explores institutionalized cruelty, innocent sins, lack of trust, loyalty, unjust punishments, death, etc.I think the first half of this book and the second half, the two sections into which the author divided the book, would have both been great books on their own had they been completed and fleshed out following a natural course but instead we have two books, written at different times, haphazzardly strung together The overall impression is a lack of cohesiveness and a dissonance that is readily noticeable to the reader I think Marquerite Yourcenar is a capable writer but, in this case, what was being attempted leaves the reader wanting.The one thing that will really stick with the reader is the vivid feeling of being trapped in a world with the cruelest of creatures where every path or road you take leads to the same abyss from which the only escape is your inevitable death.Do I regret reading this book No.Would I read it again knowing what I know now Yes.This is a tough book to review I liked the writing and it was a pleasurable read but the overall experience leaves a lot to be desired.
The first woman to be elected to The French Academy, the multi talented personality of Marguerite Yourcenar was a novelist, essayist, playwright, short story writer, poet and translator She was an artist at reconstructing historical eras in the form of her novels Her novels, dealing with modern issues set in historical eras won her immense fame as a writer.The inheritance Yourcenar received
- Mass Market Paperback
- 480 pages
- L'Œuvre au noir
- Marguerite Yourcenar
- 21 February 2019 Marguerite Yourcenar