Translated from the French by Enid McLeod.
Thirty-three years old and recently divorced, Renée Néré has begun a new life on her own, supporting herself as a music-hall artist. Maxime, a rich and idle bachelor, intrudes on her independent existence and offers his love and the comforts of marriage. A provincial tour puts distance between them and enables Renée, in a moving s...more
colette struggles with questions of - is the freedom worth the price of lone...more
The vagabond of this book is essentially a projection of Colette at a time in her own life, in which she was embittered by a bad divorce but enjoying her freedom as a musical...more
(I read the book in a Swedish translation - just...more
About: Published in 1910 this is a short book that is supposedly a semi-autobiography from the interesting bohemian author – Colette. The story is told in first person by Renee Nere, the main character who has divorced her wealthy, philandering, artist husband after eight years of emotional torture. Damaged, much wiser,...more
I don't understand why this book is not more widely celebrated. I read a stand-alone edition of The Vagabond and loved it. Renee's struggle with the difficult choice between the comforts of a conventional marriage and bourgeois life, at the price of her autonomy, and an often painful life of work and solitude is the same one many women go through today. Middle class social structures haven't changed much since...more
I was craving something with the smooth mouth feel of a The Thirteenth Stone or the tang of Grotesque and nothing seemed to fit. And then Edd handed me this book in paperback and I sat back and devoured it.
Renee is a divorcee. She's a writer turned music hall dancer. She has a small flat, an even smaller dog, and the world to herself. Lonely? Certainly. But Renee is the s...more
Colette's talent lies in enumerating the sensory details we barely notice and explicating the relationship between the tactile and the emotional. In an existential sense, this is a novel about nature and desire, surrender and choice. But forget the philosoph...more
Recently divorced Renee Nere has made a career for herself as a vaudeville performer. When a new romance develops in her life she is torn between her desire for security and continued independence.
At times it's hard to imagine Colette wrote this in 1910. Some of what she describes here continues to be scathing in its brutal honesty.
So how come I was not really thrilled by 'La Vagabonde'? I can hardly blame her for failing to create tension, because indeed, she knows how to weave a plot. But then again, her protagonist's rambling speeches (conversations with herself, so to speak) and her melodramatic outbursts rather got on my nerves after a while. Maybe you hav...more
Her delicate, melancholic imagery and descriptions of life as a mime in early 20th Paris make it all the more beautiful to read.
Gabrielle Sidonie Colette did not believe in happy endings, only in truth. Her writings convey the most basic truths of human life so honestly that her stories should be cruel. But she expresses these truths––the good and the bad ––so beautifully, her writing never seems cruel or trite. It is what it is...perfection.
Take the Colette challenge.
Open this book, The Vagabond, to any page. Don't worry about character or plot, just read whatever page you find. It will captivate you. Every word belong...more