This Would Be Most Appreciated. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in The Pastoral Symphony in French, La Symphonie Pastorale was one of his more famous novels and was originally published in While translating this novel I thought it would make an excellent subject for a movie. I subsequently looked it up, and sure enough, a film was produced with the same name in France in
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This Would Be Most Appreciated. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in The Pastoral Symphony in French, La Symphonie Pastorale was one of his more famous novels and was originally published in While translating this novel I thought it would make an excellent subject for a movie.
I subsequently looked it up, and sure enough, a film was produced with the same name in France in I look forward to seeing it one day. This is my fourth translation of a classic French novel.
Both authors write in a formal French literary style, but Mauriac is more formal than Gide with almost every sentence written in the subjunctive. This style occurs with Gide as well, but to a lesser extent. Gide was also known for challenging the cultural norms of the time the two were contemporaries, but Gide was older than Mauriac. It would be fun to see a modern film rendition of this story. He graduated from West Point and is a Vietnam veteran.
He subsequently worked in engineering and in marketing for a leading semiconductor company. That company sent him and his family to live in Toulouse, France, for two years in the s.
During that time he learned to speak French fluently, building upon his high school French and Latin classes. After taking early retirement, he founded Beaux Voyages, Inc. He still watches the French national news every day on the French language channel TV5. Walt says that living in a foreign country was a life-altering experience for himself and his family. Walt plans to translate other books by Gide in the near future.
First Notebook 10 February The snow, which has not stopped falling for three days, is blocking the roads. I was not able to travel to R… where twice each month for the past 15 years we have held a religious celebration. I will take advantage of the leisure provided by this forced confinement to step back and recount how it was that I came to take care of Gertrude.
I had planned to write here everything concerning the training and development of this pious soul whom I only led out of the darkness because of adoration and love. Blessed be God for having confided this task to me. Two years and six months ago, as I was returning to La Chaux-de-Fonds, a young girl whom I did not know came looking for me in all haste to take me seven kilometers from there because a poor old woman was dying. The horse was not uncoupled. I put the child in the carriage after obtaining a lantern, because I thought that I would not be able to return before nightfall.
I thought I knew the area around the community rather well, but after passing the farm at la Saudraie, the child made me take a road that until then I had never adventured upon. Two kilometers from there, however, I noticed on the left a little mysterious lake where as a young man I had sometimes gone to ice skate. I had not seen it for 15 years because none of my pastoral duties had called me in this direction. I would no longer be able to say where it was, and I had at this point stopped thinking about it.
Then it seemed to me, when I recognized it suddenly in the pink and gold enchantment of the evening, that I had only seen it previously in a dream.
The road followed the course of a stream, cutting through the extremity of the forest, and then ran alongside a peat bog. Certainly I had never been there before. The sun was setting, and we were walking for a long time in the shadows. Finally my young guide pointed with her finger to a thatched cottage on the side of a hill that one would have thought to be uninhabited except for a thin line of smoke that was escaping from it which was blue in the shadows and then became blonde in the gold of the sky.
I tied the horse to a nearby apple tree and then rejoined the child in the obscure room where the old woman had just died. The silence and the solemnity of the countryside at that moment made me numb. A young woman was genuflecting next to the bed.
The child, whom I had taken to be the grandchild of the dead woman but who was actually only her servant, lit a smoky candle and then stood motionless at the foot of the bed. During the long ride I had tried to engage her in conversation, but she said almost nothing. The kneeling woman stood up.
She was not a relative, as I had first supposed, but simply a neighbor, a friend that the servant had asked to come when she saw that her mistress was weakening. This woman had offered to watch over the body. The old woman, she told me, had passed away without suffering. We discussed together what dispositions to take for the burial and funeral ceremony.
As was often the case in this lost countryside, it was up to me to decide everything. I was a bit bothered, I confess, to leave this poor house, which had such a poor appearance, in the care of just this neighbor and this servant child.
It did not appear probable that there was some sort of hidden treasure in some corner of this mis erable place. But what was there for me to do? In any case I asked if the old woman had any heirs. The neighbor then took the candle and led me towards a corner of the foyer, and there I could distinguish, crouched in front of the hearth, an uncertain being who appeared to be asleep.
The thick mass of her hair almost completely hid her face. This blind child, a niece, according to the servant, is what the family has been reduced to, it appeared. She would have to be placed in a hospice. Otherwise, I did not know what would become of her. I did not want to say anything about this in front of her, worried about the chagrin these words might cause her.
I do not think that she is sleeping. But she is an idiot, she does not talk and understands nothing of what people say. Since this morning when I came into this room, she has hardly budged. At first I thought that she was deaf. The servant says that she is not, but simply that the old woman, who was deaf herself, never said a word to her or to anyone else.
For a long time she had only opened her mouth to eat and drink. Beyond that I know nothing more than you. But after I had prayed, or more exactly during the prayer that I did along with the neighbor and the young servant who were both kneeling at the bedside and where I was kneeling myself, it suddenly appeared to me that God had placed in my path a sort of obligation and that I could not avoid it without showing cowardice.
When I stood back up my decision was made to take the child that same evening, even though I had not clearly asked myself what I was going to do with her subsequently, or to whom I would entrust her. Then returning to the side of the blind girl, I told the neighbor of my intentions. And that was all.
Everything was very simple and without the fanciful objections that people sometimes are pleased to invent. The features of her face were regular and attractive enough, but they were perfectly inexpressive. I had taken a blanket from the straw mattress on which she normally rested in a corner of the room underneath an interior staircase that led to the attic. The neighbor was complacent and helped me to wrap her up carefully, because the clear night was cool.
After having lit the lantern of the carriage, I left, carrying this package of flesh without a soul snuggled up against me and from which I only perceived life by the communication of a dark heat.
And what kind of dark sleep is it? And how does the sleep of the old woman differ from this? Hosted in this opaque body, an immured soul is without doubt waiting to finally touch some ray of your grace, Father! Would you permit my love, perhaps, to help her escape from this horrible night?
My wife is a garden of virtue, and even in those difficult moments that we sometimes go through, I never doubted for an instant the quality of her heart. But her natural charity does not like being surprised. Her charity is regulated as if love was an exhaustible treasure. This is our only point of disagreement. They were open mouthed, full of questions and of surprise. How this welcome was so far from what I would have wished for. Only my dear little Charlotte began to dance and clap her hands when she understood that something new, something living, was going to get out of the carriage.
But the others, who were already styled after their mother, quickly became cold and walked away from her. There was a moment of great confusion. And since my wife and the children did not yet know that the girl was blind, they could not understand the extreme attention that I was taking to guide her steps.
I myself was all upset by the bizarre groans that the poor sick child began to make, so much so that my hand abandoned hers which I had been holding since she got out of the carriage. Her cries were not human. One could say they sounded like plaintive yaps from a little dog. Having been pulled out of the tight circle of customary sensations that formed her entire universe for the first time, her knees yielded underneath her.
But when I brought a chair for her to sit on, she let herself collapse to the ground like someone who did not know how to sit. Then I led her into the house, and she calmed down a little bit when she could cuddle up near the fireplace in the same position she had taken in the home of the old woman. In the carriage she had already slipped to the bottom of the seat and had made the entire trip snuggled up against my feet.
My wife made an instinctive movement to help me, which I appreciated, but it is true that her logic was always battling and often won out against her heart. My soul shivered upon hearing those words employed in such a way, and I had difficulty controlling a movement of indignation.
But I saw that she was going to protest, and it was then that I made a sign to Jacques and to Sarah who, being accustomed to our small conjugal differences, and for the rest hardly curious of their nature a bit too insufficiently in my opinion , led the two small children out of the room. The poor child understands nothing.
This was the habitual prelude to the very longest of explications.
In , he became mayor of La Roque-Baignard , a commune in Normandy. In , Gide rented the property Maderia in St. This period, —07, is commonly seen as a time of apathy and turmoil for him. Gide and Marc fled to London, in retribution for which his wife burned all his correspondence — "the best part of myself," he later commented. In , he met Dorothy Bussy , who was his friend for over thirty years and translated many of his works into English. In , he published a book on Fyodor Dostoyevsky ; however, when he defended homosexuality in the public edition of Corydon he received widespread condemnation. He later considered this his most important work.
The Pastoral Symphony
Yobei A serial killer is targeting women in the seedy district of Montmartre. Two wonderful novellas, though LSP gets most of the praise. The island of Sein,in the nineteenth century,in Brittany. The film score was by Georges Auric.