Read The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Alain-Fournier Free Online
Book Title: The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes)|
The author of the book: Alain-Fournier
ISBN 13: 9780141441894
Edition: Penguin Classics
Date of issue: May 3rd 2007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.76 MB
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The Lost Estate is Robin Buss's translation of Henri Alain-Fournier's poignant study of lost love, Le Grand Meaulnes. This Penguin Classics edition also contains an introduction by Adam Gopnik.
When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house - and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais - his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier's compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.
Robin Buss's translation of Le Grand Meaulnes sensitively and accurately renders Alain-Fournier's poetically charged, expressive and deceptively simple style. In his introduction, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik discusses the life of Alain-Fournier, who was killed in the First World War after writing this, his only novel.
Henri Alban-Fournier (1886-1914), better known by the pseudonym Alain-Fournier, was born in La Chapelle d'Angillon, the son of a country school-master. He was educated at Brest and Paris, where he met the original Yvonne, who left a lasting impression on his life and work. Le Grand Meaulnes was published in 1912. Alan-Fournier joined the army as a Lieutenant in August 1914, and was killed in action on the Meuse less than a month later. Les Miracles, a volume of poems and essays, appeared posthumously in 1924.
If you liked Le Grand Meaulnes, you might enjoy Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education, also available in Penguin Classics.
'I read it for the first time when I was seventeen and loved every page. I find its depiction of a golden time and place just as poignant now as I did then'
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Read information about the authorAlain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri-Alban Fournier (1886 – 1914), a French author and soldier. He wrote a single novel, Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), which was adapted into two feature films and is considered a classic of French literature.
Alain-Fournier was born in La Chapelle-d'Angillon, in the Cher département, in central France, the son of a school teacher. He studied at the Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris, where he prepared for the entrance examination to the École Normale Supérieure, but without success. He then studied at the merchant marine school in Brest. At the Lycée Lakanal he met Jacques Rivière, and the two became close friends. In 1909, Rivière married Alain-Fournier's younger sister Isabelle.
Alain-Fournier interrupted his studies in 1907 and from 1908 to 1909 he performed his military service. At this time he published some essays, poems and stories which were later collected and re-published under the name Miracles. Throughout this period he was mulling over what would become his celebrated novel, Le Grand Meaulnes.
On the first of June 1905, Ascension day, while Alain-Fournier was talking a stroll along banks of the Seine, he had met Yvonne de Quiévrecourt, with whom he became deeply enamoured. The two spoke, but he did not manage to win her favours. The following year on the same day he waited for her at the same place, but she did not appear. That night he told Rivière, "She did not come. And even if she had, she would not have been the same". They did not meet again until eight years later, when she was married with two children. Yvonne de Quiévrecourt would become Yvonne de Galais in his novel.
Alain-Fournier returned to Paris in 1910 and became a literary critic, writing for the Paris-Journal. There he met André Gide and Paul Claudel. In 1912, he quit his job to become the personal assistant of the politician Casimir Perrier.
'Le Grand Meaulnes' was finished in early 1913, and was first published in the Nouvelle Revue Française (from July to October 1913), and then as a book. 'Le Grand Meaulnes' was nominated for, but did not win, the Prix Goncourt. It is available in English in a widely-admired 1959 translation by Frank Davison for Oxford University Press.
In 1914, Alain-Fournier started work on a second novel, 'Colombe Blanchet', but this remained unfinished when he joined the army as a Lieutenant in August. He died fighting near Vaux-lès-Palameix (Meuse) one month later, on the 22nd of September 1914. His body remained unidentified until 1991, at which time he was interred in the cemetery of Saint-Remy-la-Calonne.
Most of the writing of Alain-Fournier was published posthumously: Miracles (a volume of poems and essays) in 1924, his correspondence with Jacques Rivière in 1926 and his letters to his family in 1930. His notes and sketches for Colombe Blanchet have also been published. From Wikipedia
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