The Red and the Black by Stendhal

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by Stendhal

The Red and the Black is a novel by the French writer Stendhal and published in mid-November 1831.

The plot revolves around the ambition of young Julien Sorel, in France in the late 1820s, to raise his social class and flee the poverty into which he was born. Julian Sorel is the son of a carpenter in a small town and tries to persuade the people by telling them what they want to hear and fulfilling their wishes. The story is divided into two parts.

The name of the book refers to two parts of society: red refers to the color of the army uniform and black to the priest's toga.

The book is one of the masterpieces of French literature and is one of the examples of a psychological novel. Among others, it influenced Leo Tolstoy or William Somerset Maugham.

In 1864 the work was prohibited by the Catholic Church, a condemnation that was withdrawn in 1900.

Horace B. Samuel's translation has been used for this digital edition of the book The Red and the Black.

Fiction   Historical

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Date added: 17-02-2021

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About Stendhal

Marie-Henri Beyle, better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. He is highly regarded for the acute analysis of his chara...

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The best The Red and the Black quotes

Love born in the brain is more spirited, doubtless, than true love, but it has only flashes of enthusiasm; it knows itself too well, it criticizes itself incessantly; so far from banishing thought, it is itself reared only upon a structure of thought.

38

Indeed, man has two different beings inside him. What devil thought of that malicious touch?

37

What is the use of a love that makes one yawn? One might as well take to religion

37

Things that to him seemed admirable were precisely those censured by the people around him. His silent response was always: “What monsters, what fools!” He was glad, and proud, that often he understood nothing they were talking about.

- Narrator

36

Exalted by a sentiment of which she was proud, and that overcame all her arrogance, she was reluctant to let a moment of her life go by without occupying it with some remarkable deed.

36
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