Read e-book online Adolphe (Penguin Classics) PDF

By Benjamin Constant

ISBN-10: 0141960345

ISBN-13: 9780141960340

Adolphe is a privileged and sophisticated younger guy, bored via the stupidity he perceives on the planet round him. After a couple of meaningless conquests, he finally encounters Ellenore, a gorgeous and passionate older lady. Adolphe is enraptured and progressively wears down her resistance to his declarations of affection. yet as they embark on an excessive and tortured affair, Ellenore supplies strategy to a flood of emotion that in basic terms serves to repel her more youthful lover - but he can't convey himself to depart her and his procrastination can in basic terms deliver tragedy. in part encouraged via Constant's personal stormy affair with Madame de Staël, Adolphe (1816) is a penetrating mental depiction of affection that plumbs the depths of the passions, reasons and inconsistencies of the human personality.

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Sample text

Nowhere in Kafka is this gulf greater than in The Man Who Disappeared, with its pantomime vividness and gusto. ’ It’s an almost parodically meticulous transcription of an action, very nearly as modest as Kingsley Amis’s ideal novel sentence, ‘He put out his cigarette and left the room,’ except for its quotient of joy and its deliberate slowness. A lot of The Man Who Disappeared consists of direct speech – and Kafka’s characters like to talk, in Seamus Heaney’s line, ‘like a book of manners in the wilderness’ – interspersed with descriptions of gesture.

One of the Kitchen maids told me she had seen him on his way here. ’ Thus Schubal. It was the clear speech of a man, and to judge by the change in the expressions of the listeners, it was as though they had heard human sounds for the first time in a long while. What they failed to realize was that even that fine speech was full of holes. Why was ‘dishonesty’ the first important word to occur to him? Perhaps the charges against him should have begun with that, rather than with national bias? A Kitchen maid had seen the stoker on his way to the office, and straightaway drawn the right conclusion?

In June, the first chapter, The Stoker, was published as ‘a fragment’ by Kurt Wolff, and there was some talk of putting it out in another volume, along with The Judgement and Metamorphosis, to be called perhaps Die Söhne (The Sons) – a suggestion of how Kafka expected to be read. When his copy of The Stoker arrived, Kafka read it aloud to his parents and noted: Exuberance, because I liked The Stoker so much. In the evening I read it to my parents, there is no better critic than myself, reading aloud to my most reluctantly listening father.

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Adolphe (Penguin Classics) by Benjamin Constant


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