En l'absence des hommes review Ô 103

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En l'absence des hommes review Ô 103 · ❴Download❵ ✤ En l'absence des hommes Author Philippe Besson – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Like Michael Cunningham's homage to Virginia Woolf in The Hours and Jean Rhys's to Charlotte Bronte in The Wide Sargasso Sea Philippe Besson's extravagantly praised first novel pays tribute toLike Michael Cunningham's homage to Virginia Woolf in The Hours and Jean Rhys's to Charlotte Bronte in The Wide Sargasso Sea Philippe Besson's extravagantly praised first novel pays tribute to Marcel Proust It also dares to introduce an asthmatic middle aged Proust into its masterfully manipulated plot and invents a series of deeply felt letters written by. This is one of those books that makes me amazed and wonder why I decided to pick up in the first place Because after reading it it felt like a whirlwind piece of fiction and it left me dazed and wondering what just happenedBelieve me it's a good thing I actually like this book It's just that I rarely encounter books of this kind that when I actually read one I get a little shocked So what is this book aboutThis tells the story of Vincent de l'Etoile a sixteen year old boy of aristocratic descent and his relationships with two people a platonic one with Marcel Proust who is portrayed here as a 45 year old writer; and a romantic one with Arthur Vales a twenty one year old schoolmaster but since it is set in World War I the Great War as the book calls it he is a soldierThe story is basically a triangle a story that centers between Vincent and Arthur and between Vincent and Marcel Arthur and Marcel are also related but I won't give that away since that was the ultimate surprise ending Yes I was able to predict it but only at the last minute when I realized that all the math added upSo the last time I read a piece of LGBT literature was back in May 2010 when I read Boy Culture by Matthew Rettenmund I ended up hating that book and so far I don't have a data point about reading LGBT literature and liking it This time I think the pattern will be brokenPerhaps what impressed me with this book is the various literary devices that were in place I had this idea that LGBT literature is all about superficial stories about the lives of LGBT people arguing for acceptance from the straight world Because until now that's the vibe I have been getting whenever I pick up a piece of LGBT literature However this book on the other hand felt so different It was psychological fiction the characters simply loved people of the same sex Replace one of the names with a female name and you'll get your run of the mill heterosexual romantic drama Perhaps what is most striking is the idea that the characters have real emotions too and they are human as well like the rest of the population They feel they fall in love they get hurtOne of the most interesting literary devices I saw in this novel was the fact that parts of it were written in the second person narrative There were a lot of references that started with You said and You verbed and depending on the chapter the second person varied This is because the chapters that were about Vincent and Marcel were alternating with the chapters about Vincent and Arthur I felt that this use of the second person narrative actually made the reader me involved because the prose felt like Vincent was writing or telling the story to me and I would fill in the role of Arthur or Marcel depending on the chapterThe book is divided into three parts The first part was written in the second person narrative as I mentioned above which chronicled events that happened in the span of one week At the outset Vincent meets both Marcel and Arthur for the first time and their relationships develop in 7 days Vincent meets Marcel in a salon while he meets Arthur in their estate since Arthur has a week of leave from the army and his mother is the governess for Vincent's familyThe second part is written in the epistolary format since both Arthur and Marcel leave Vincent in Paris Arthur is sent back to the trenches and Marcel has business to do in Illiers This part consists of letters that were sent back and forth between these three charactersFinally the third part is of a conclusion since the climactic point of the book is actually at the end of the second part and the third part serves as a nice way of tying things together I do not want to reveal what the climax was about but once everything fits into place one would just be swept awaySo overall I liked this book I definitely recommend it The story is simple and yet moving and powerful nonetheless I don't regret the fact that I strolled into the library looking for some piece of modern French literature which is why I grabbed a book from the P shelves since I was able to pick up this one I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for its brilliant structure

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Proust while at his parents' house in Paris he embarks on a sensual journey with Arthur Vales the soldier son of a family servant on leave from the front Unknowingly Vincent is also beginning a passage into a manhood that will be haunted by the secret he uncovers behind the love he bears for a doomed French infantryman and a famous middle aged Jewish writer. In The Absence of Men we are told the story 'I am Vincent De L'etoile I have green eyes black hair I am as old as the century' so many times that there's an inherent beauty in the repetition The language whether that of Besson or whoever translated the work into English is sumptuous and velvety At one point the narrator says 'this is my terrible my great my paltry my marvellous secret' the novel is a great blend of the beautiful and mundane After all what can be paltry and marvellous Vincent is a compelling obsessive narrator with no moral compass He has a great friendship with the novelist Marcel Proust although his carefree nonchalance can be cloying at times such as when he calls Proust ugly in a letter Vincent an aristocrat is also having a love affair with a commoner soldier on the front The first section of the novel chronicles these two relationships However the novel is like a triptych painting that starts with splendour and descends like a sunset into something murkier The second section of the novel is written in letters that feel contrived The nail in the coffin is the final section after the soldier dies if you didn't see that coming then you must be exemplary in your stupidity The reader learns the soldier's mother was a prostitute there's something Victor Hugo about an urchin selling her body in turn of the century Paris but again how predictable does Besson want his plot to be The soldier's father was none other than Marcel Proust Didn't see this coming because it's too absurd to even fathom The story is borderline ridiculous saved only by the marvellously descriptive writing

Philippe Besson Å 3 review

En l'absence des hommesHim to the novel's young protagonist Vincent de l'Etoile In the summer of the emotionally precocious Vincent who is the same age as the century En l'absence PDF awakens to the possibilities of both erotic and platonic love In the course of one week at literary salons at the Ritz in cork lined rooms Vincent launches an intense friendship with the celebrated. A brilliantly written novel filled with dauntlessness awareness finesse and amourThe writing reminded me of the fluidity of a steady moving stream as the water cascades over stationary stonesevermovingHere are a couple of excerpts that truly touched me and took hold of me deeplyVincent Arthur before Arthur leaves for Verdun A special memorable night that will forever bind themI come to your body once I from one world to another It is not so difficult to doFirst you take me in your arms Your immediate instinctive reaction is to touch me to press against me to impress your body on mine to wait for the moment when they are symbiosis the moment when marriage makes them one flesh First you seek out my lips you sketch out a kiss you find my tongue our saliva blends First there is this irresistible passion this need for one another for sensual intimacy First you are silent you do not say a single word The room is filled with our silence filled with the sounds of bodies brushing against each other with the sighs of mingled mouths It is the most sensual of silences one which says all there is to know about who we are what binds us what our future holds I leave everything to you More than that I expect you to behave like this My mouth travels down the length of your chest which I have bared It tries in vain to possess the skin the muscles the bones the very substance It is a carnivore's kiss Sometimes I feel a shudder I know that this is pleasure that there is no guilt no sense of wrong doing not in this moment in which we offer ourselves My lips continue their descent stop as then reach your lower abdomen where the flesh is the firmest where strength can be measured where power resides and where even so it seems most vulnerable where the risk is most evident because your defenses are down And then my mouth brushes lightly your member I am filled with wonder at the softness of your sex I do not know I cannot know if all men are that same but I have an inkling of the universal softness of the male sex With my tongue I slide back your foreskin I know these acts of pleasure like an expert like a novice I know them as though I have known them for eternity as though they were innate Your sex hardens in my mouth Nothing can study usLetter from Arthur to Vincent from a trench in the Verdun August 1916 We were sent together to the front In the midst of the terrifying din in the indescribable panic we fought side by side advancing the front line Because you know we have to advance at all costs win back inches of ground from the enemy reach the barbed wire hundred meters ahead We must move forward crouch resting on one knee on the ground stop aim perhaps kill someone set off again hope that we are not in someone else's sights And every time we advance we lose dozens of men The bullets whistle past and find their mark in dozens of hearts Th incessant thunder of cannon fire flings bodies into the air hurls bodies that are crippled mangled mutilated into the tracery of the shellfire To escape the slaughter we drag ourselves into the holes and try to huddle into the dirt waiting for the moment when the firing stops And when at last everything is calm if one can call the petrifying silence calm when it is calm once to we hear the feeble voices of the wounded calling for the mothers like some memory of childhood the voices of the dying begging to be saved or begging to be killed we can hear prayers from who knows where in the wreckage incantations which drift off with the smoke of exploded shells And then the pestilential stench reaches us from the field strewn with corpses the stink of a slaughterhouse mingled with gunpowder Make no mistake death has a smell And if I should survive I will certainly recognize it if I ever smell it again Then when we haul ourselves out of our makeshift shelters we see the corpses everywhere these bodies in curious poses sometimes entwined as in some love scene which seems incongruous here the frozen image of war