‘The Red and the Black’ by Stendhal

First of all, I’d like to mention it’s not my usual type of reading. My colleagues read this and some of them are really excited by the book. They talked about it so much that I couldn’t not to read that 🙂

It’s a historical psychological novel, but during the reading it seemed to me it’s a romantic novel. However I soon realised I was mistaken and it’s not that simple. There’s information to take about 19th century France and (which is more actual for me now) is a story about love, passion and ambitions.

It was published in 1830 with the full title of ‘The Red and the Black: A Chronicle of the 19th Century’. So there are enough things about 19th century, many of which are still quite actual in the 21st century.

It’s a story of the best years of Julien Sorel, intelligent and ambitious young man, who was born in a poor family. He gets to the highest levels of society, but does not have enough skills to fully understand it. He wanted to achieve the best and he could but his strong desire played havoc for him.

He loved and he was loved, but never figured out why he was doing this or that. And it all came to his mind when he was alone in a prison waiting for a death.

I could say I saw myself in Julien, in crazy love of Mathilde – it’s pretty scares me! I my parallel world I want to achieve a Big Something and its lead me from problem to problem and, like Mathilde, I’m waiting for someone very special to love…

Seeing this from another angle is an eye-opening – I definitely don’t want to kill anybody, end up in prison or kiss a dead head of a lover, whose love was mostly made-up in ‘my’ head.

But what to do? How to calm down hot passionate head, slow down a little and not to make mistakes? Unfortunately, there’s no any recipe in the book, only moral – it’s necessary to think.

As I definitely don’t want to be executed 🙂 , I would try to enjoy my life, its every moment, trying to forget, at least for some time, about achieving Something Big…

4 of 5

‘The Red and the Black’ on goodreads

‘The Red and the Black’ on Amazon



5 thoughts on “‘The Red and the Black’ by Stendhal

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