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Mouchette

ISBN-10: 1590171519
ISBN-13: 9781590171516
Edition: 2005
List price: $14.00 Buy it from $5.53
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Description: One of the great mavericks of French literature, Georges Bernanos combined raw realism with a spiritual focus of visionary intensity. Mouchette stands with his celebrated Diary of a Country Priest as the perfection of his singular art. "Nothing but  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The
Publication date: 11/21/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 156
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.35" tall
Weight: 0.572
Language: English

One of the great mavericks of French literature, Georges Bernanos combined raw realism with a spiritual focus of visionary intensity. Mouchette stands with his celebrated Diary of a Country Priest as the perfection of his singular art. "Nothing but a little savage" is how the village school-teacher describes fourteen-year-old Mouchette, and that view is echoed by every right-thinking local citizen. Mouchette herself doesn't bother to contradict it; ragged, foulmouthed, dirt-poor, a born liar and loser, she knows herself to be, in the words of the story, "alone, completely alone, against everyone." Hers is a tale of "tragic solitude" in which despair and salvation appear to be inextricably intertwined. Bernanos uncompromising genius was a powerful inspiration to Flannery O'Connor, and Mouchette was the source of a celebrated movie by Robert Bresson.

A novelist and essayist, Georges Bernanos was interested in the struggle between good and evil within saintly individuals. He was born in Paris in 1888. He studied at the Sorbonne where he received a degree in law and in literature in 1909. He served in the military from 1909 to 1910 and again during World War I. After the war, Bernanos worked as an inspector for an insurance company. Bernanos's first major success as a writer came in 1926 with the publication of the novel Under the Sun of Satan. His well-known work The Diary of a Country Priest followed in 1936. Both novels traced the unknowing submission of characters, after some early disappointing experience, to the forces of Satan and the subsequent destruction of their moral selves. From 1930 to 1932, Bernanos wrote for Le Figaro. In his articles and essays, Bernanos pleaded for a renewed spirituality in France and a renewed moral integrity. Mouchette, a short novel set in a bleak village untouched by the twentieth century was published in 1937. As was The Diary of a Country Priest, Mouchette was made into a film by Robert Bresson. The writings of Georges Bernanos are concerned with the struggle between pride and innocence that lies within every individual. They treat spiritual concerns and the mystery of Christianity. Bernanos is considered among the most original of Roman Catholic novelists. Bernanos died of cancer in Paris on July 5, 1948.

Fanny Howe is the author of several works of fiction (most recently, Economics from Flood Editions) and collections of poems, including One Crossed Out and Gone. She is the winner of the 2000 Lenore Marshall Award for her Selected Poems. Her first collection of essays, The Wedding Dress, was published by UC Press in the Fall of 2003. She lives in Massachusetts but remains Professor Emeritus at UCSD in the Department of Literature.

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