Loosely following Pound’s advice from ABC of Reading, I studied Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Stendhal’s The Red and The Black back to back. Pound thought one could only understand the merit of a text by comparing it to another similar in magnitude. That’s how you determine the fine distinctions. Read a sunday morning comic then turn to Stendhal and obviously Stendhal will be “superbly profound”. Next to Flaubert, I don’t know if he can stand a chance. I don’t think Plato would’ve approved of either of their books I mentioned though. This flaw of the French didn’t fall out of the sky- they were already temperamentally receptive to the Euripidean dramas of “rancid Racine” over a century before these novelists emerged. Things take time to stew and ferment. The slackening of taboos, occurs incrementally across the generations. One rebels, the next reacts, the next reacts less. Another rebels against the lessness of that reaction, etc.
I’ve never been here to wear a bowtie and write a “journal review” or something, I’m more of the street-smarts kind. In terms of the basic Aristotelian formula I would say that Flaubert is more cathartic, thus more divine, thus a superior artist. The end of Madame Bovary rather haunts me, but in a way that makes me recurrently cackle. The long beard, the dirty clothes, I’m not going to spoil the end for you.
Bovary, Beauvoir – similar pronunciations as it so happens.
Situated historically, both Stendhal and Flaubert are firmly “grandsons of the Revolution”. Their works represent an ongoing attack on the Great Chain of Being.
Not to be rude but many of the prominent writers of French literature look like circus freaks similar to Danton. Coincidence? That’s for you to judge.
“Wait, who’s Danton? That rings a bell?” Uhh like the French Thomas Jefferson? Or is it too soon to make that joke still?
Nigger revolutions we have to live in the wake of.
Half of the main problems of the west can be seen clearly in The Red and The Black. So I strongly recommend it for that reason.
The question of whether Stendhal is writing a “veiled autobiography” is up in the air to me at this moment. My intuition is that, like many novelists, he is a type of schizophrenic who both relates and doesn’t relate to his protagonists. But leaning toward: Stendhal is a grandson and propagandist of the orc revolution.
While absorbing this most famous of “classic” novels of Stendhal I in fact had a repeated vision of a swirling black demon writing the book. Not like the occult has any objective validity, that was just my own experience.
Lower the rungs of the ladder that reaches heaven, out of revenge for being born some type of nigger.
If someone as sharp as Stendhal could be guilty of that, imagine the typical mulatto McAmerican.
I don’t like to spoil books for people. Just know that blank-slatism didn’t originate in France with people like Sartre. It’s older. Old as the hills? An open question. The point is that the beliefs people fervently believe in today can be traced to predecessors from centuries ago.
As a work of art I honestly thought The Red and The Black was a piece of junk.
Litterature is at least three removes from the best philosophy has to offer. But with that said, there’s still good literature that rivals philosophy. And I wouldn’t say Stendhal accomplishes that.
A hundred years later, Lewis’s Apes of God, a “novel of ideas” was published – this I personally prefer.
Could Lewis ever do what Flaubert did, STYLE-wise? No. There are story-tellers, and there are men of ideas. Lewis was more a man of ideas.
Is this getting too pedantic for you, so gentle reader of the so gentle fields swaying in the wind?
Fluff isn’t the style of my kind, I just study literature because I’ve overdosed on philosophy. Europeans in general are truly boring. I get the impression they gave the world a tease with their intellect and now they’re going to sleep. Chinese down syndrome to soon reign over the globe with cunning atm-kikes to collect coin around the sides.
Anyway, there are dark sides of Stendhal which I don’t ignore either. I’m not Catholic myself, I just see the French in general as excessively anti-Catholic. I think the Catholics got the right idea, though I wish they’d replace Jesus with Socrates, and that only 10% deviation from the main foundation could ever lead to a civilization higher than the “first-world”.
French often push way beyond 10%, which frankly doesn’t seem natural. They have artificial ideologies that motivate them, worse than Catholic dogmas. Trust me, I’m far from Catholic! If you push in the opposite extreme excessively though, it makes me relate to Catholics. And this is what I see these two novelists doing. It’s essentially a crypto-protestantism, their artistic craft. Yeah, I’m a prot too, I just also have values, and Plato would probably throw those two dandies in the fire. Instead of lit read phi and get back to me.