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January 13 , 2010

The Red and the Black


A Major New Translation
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Le Rouge et le Noir (in the original French)

Stendhal's best-known novel, in the original French. According to Wikipedia: "Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), 1830, by Stendhal, is an historical psychological novel in two volumes, chronicling a provincial young man’s attempts to socially rise beyond his plebeian birth with a combination of talent and hard work, deception and…

The Red and the Black, Stendhal’s masterpiece, is the story of Julien Sorel, a young dreamer from the provinces, fueled by Napoleonic ideals, whose desire to make his fortune sets in motion events both mesmerizing and tragic. Sorel’s quest to find himself, and the doomed love he encounters along the way, are delineated with an unprecedented psychological depth and realism. At the same time, Stendhal weaves together the social life and fraught political intrigues of post–Napoleonic France, bringing that world to unforgettable, full-color life. His portrait of Julien and early-nineteenth-century France remains an unsurpassed creation, one that brilliantly anticipates modern literature.

Neglected during its time, The Red and the Black has assumed its rightful place as one of the world’s great books, and Burton Raffel’s extraordinary new translation, coupled with an enlightening Introduction by Diane Johnson, helps it shine more brightly than ever before.

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