Rojo y negro
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Rojo y negro

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  24,131 ratings  ·  742 reviews
Rojo y negro es la historia de la ascensión y posterior caída del protagonista, Julian Sorel, en la asfixiante atmósfera de la sociedad francesa anterior a 1830. Es una pieza clave en la novela europea del siglo pasado.
Paperback, 624 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Ediciones Cátedra (first published 1830)
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I was taking the train from Geneva to Grenoble, one of the most beautiful routes in the world, and I was reading Le Rouge et le Noir for the second time. I hadn't picked the book because I was visiting Grenoble, it just worked out that way. I was alone in the compartment; it was one of those old-fashioned carriages which still had compartments.

At the fifth or sixth stop, the door opened, and a young woman entered carrying a lot of heavy luggage. She asked me, in French, if I'd mind helping her p...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”Nothing can distinguish a man as a death sentence,” thought Mathilde. “It’s the only thing one can’t buy.”

 photo le-rouge-et-le-noir_zps083c1744.jpg

Julien Sorel was a young man with an audacious intellect. Such a gift can be a great resource that can be exploited for financial gain or it can be a burden that keeps a person in perpetual misery. Sorel, the hero of our story, experiences both the wonders and the loneliness that sometimes goes hand in hand with being too aware to accept fate without attempting to manipulate a better futur...more
Quinn Slobodian
It's a book about the dangers of reading. The novel's characters are seduced by ideas, poetic gestures, tragic endings, narratives they might inhabit and soon find themselves enslaved to them, marching lockstep in the footprints of characters whose stories they've read. Stendhal obviously takes pleasure in his position as most recent seducer of the book's reader and he sugar-coats his narrative pills just enough that it's only later, with the feeling of slight corrosion in your stomach, that you...more
Mar 09, 2011 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fat cats
Recommended to Mariel by: house cats
Ultimately, Stendhal's The Red and the Black almost pissed me off. If I see this book again I'm tempted to say to it, "I'm not rationally sure why you kinda pissed me off. I just know you did!" It really would have if I had cared enough about any of the people in it to be pissed off. I hate that feeling of self persuasion as inevitable, as people being trapped in mind games. It sucks but I cannot swallow the idea that there is no other outcome. I know it's satire. I kinda hate satire. I don't wa...more
Chuck LoPresti
It's fairly easy to see why this book isn't more well-known as it was ahead of its time in 1830 and overshadowed by Flaubert, Balzac, and Hugo. And despite the fact that some consider it among the first "modern" novels it is probably a bit too dated to appeal to a more modern-focused crowd. I think I've come to a perfect period in my reading where this makes perfect sense. After Proust, Banffy and Zilahy - another read about courtly high society was a tough sell but I persevered a bit exhausted...more
David Agraz
If nothing else, read Moncrieff's translation to seep yourself in the highly latinate, generally overeducated and comfortably contorted prose ('But the adroitness with the want of which we are reproaching him would have debarred the sublime impulse of seizing the sword which, at that moment, made him appear so handsome in the eyes of Mademoiselle de La Mole') -- it will do wonders for the style of your work emails. Trust me on this one.

What to say about Stendhal? I think he exists halfway betwee...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 21, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
I just finished watching the latest movie adaptation of Les Miserables and there is a song there about Red and Black. I got excited because both Les Miserables and this book Scarlet and Black also known as Red and Black were both written by French novelists and set in the 19th century France. So, when I heard the song being sung by those young actors in Les Miz I said so that's the other meaning of those colors!
lesmiserables♪♫♪Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to
Buddy-read with Kris

Dear Desert Island Book List,

I'm writing to inform you that, in a week or two, you will have a new member. The name is Stendhal. His novel is
The Red and the Black. He's a bit of a ruffian, rather pessimistic fellow, too. But be congenial. He's much like the rest of you. His heart is too big. That, and social injustice, make him cantankerous. But he only has the best for humanity in mind.

He's a portly fellow, so please prepare a double strength hammock for his many pages. A

First published in 1830, The Red and the Black is the bildungsroman of Julien Sorel, an intelligent and ambitious young man from a working class family in a rural area of France. Highly romantic, Julien admires Napoleon Bonaparte and has dreamed of a military career: the "Black" in the title represents the colour of the military uniform. However, a distinguished military career is not something a young man of his class can aspire to and Julien turns his attention to the Church: the uniform of w...more
Lessons learned: don't sleep with other people's wives, and don't fuck with the class system. Stendhal manages to conflate the two rather elegantly in the social maneuverings of the novel's hero, Julien Sorel. His romantic intrigues are immediately political as well as sensual, encapsulating a good deal of the contemporaneous upheavals in French government, as well as addressing more universal aspects of social tension and class psychology and, of course, the eternal divergence of love and lust....more
Elizabeth K.
I read this for two reasons: First, now, when I die, I can say "Why yes, I've read Stendhal." Right, I don't know who at my deathbed is going to be asking me about Stendhal, but it's one more thing to cross off my worry list. Maybe there's some sort of deathbed reckoning for book snobs that involves a Ghost of Literature Past. Then our conversation could go like this:

Ghost of Literature Past: And you've read Stendhal ... ?
Me: Yes, indeedy!
GLP: Hmmm. Yes. Hmmm ... and it was in translation, I bel...more
MJ Nicholls
I promised myself I wouldn’t spend too long clacking out a review of this one: usually, after a frenzied Sunday of reading I like to mellow out for the last few hours, and not dissertate (apparently that’s a word!) on a lofty French classic. Plus there are a few tip-top reviews already, like this one and this one and this one, so who cares what the anaemic Scot has to say? Really? In short: loved the epigrams, didn’t mind the frequent blurring of narrator with interior narration and dialogue, an...more
This is not at all what I expected. I kind of feared this would a stodgy morality story and in a way it was a morality play but it was far from stodgy. I can't count the number of times it made me genuinely laugh because of the brilliant satire.

Our main protagonist Julien seems to be a massive collection of contradictions. He adores Napoleon but hides that to become a member of the clergy. He disparages the rich bourgeois yet aspires to become one. He calls himself a fool and immature for gettin...more
الأحمر والأسود

تأخرت كثيراً في الكتابة عن ستاندال وكتابيه، ولا أدري لماذا؟ ربما كان انشغالي بالمعرض هو السبب، وربما حقيقة أن الكتابين كانا ضخمين، وأردت فترة أهضمهما فيها وأخرج برأي، ستاندال من الأدباء المثيرين للجدل، فهناك من قدروه واعتبروه أباً للرواية النفسية وروائياً سابقاً لزمانه، وهناك من لا يطيقونه ولا يطيقون أسلوبه الكلاسيكي، عاش ستاندال في فترة حاسمة من تاريخ فرنسا، فهو قد ولد قبل الثورة الفرنسية بسنوات قليلة، وعاصر الحروب النابليونية، وكتب عن هذا بحكم أنه كره نابليون زمناً، وأحبه زمناً...more
Alex Morfesis
"My loathing for being disdained, which I thought I could control till the moment of my death, now obliges me to speak. Gentlemen, I do not have the honor of belonging to your class. What you see in me is a peasant, in revolt against the barrenness of his fate."

"Only a fool," he (Julien) said to himself, "gets angry at others. A stone falls because it's heavy. Am I going to be forever a child? When will I acquire the good habit of giving these people my soul, only and exactly to the extent they...more
Strabordante e bello. Ipnotico. A tratti incantevole. Datato ma universale. Alla fine delle 550 pagine (nella mia versione ppback), si avverte come un senso di sollievo, per la libertà riacquisita da te, lettore, e dai personaggi, affaticati e vinti. La vicenda è complessa e finita, senza strascichi o futuro. Una osservazione meticolosa te l'ha raccontata tutta, in ogni sfumatura e recesso. L'indiscrezione di cui hai potuto godere in posizione privilegiata ti ha tenuto avvinto alle pagine. Ma an...more
Jim Coughenour
"We may ask ourselves how it came about that modern consciousness of reality began to find literary form for the first time precisely in Henri Beyle of Grenoble," writes Erich Auerbach in his classic chapter on Stendhal and Balzac. Auerbach notes Stendhal's defects – "his fluctuation between realistic candor in general and silly mystification in particulars, between cold self-control, rapturous abandonment to sensual pleasures, and insecure and sometimes sentimental vaingloriousness" – as well a...more
My grandmother Stella lived north of here. I was closer to her than anyone in my family. She loved classic cinema and read voraciously albeit trashy gothic romances. After my grandfather passed away I tried with varying success to ensure that I was with her every Thanksgiving. It should be noted here that she was a terrible cook. Lacking all facility in the kitchen., she approached the culinary arts with an appropriate cynicism I adored immensely. An agreement was reached and rather than suffer...more
If you're looking for an easy read, this isn't the place to start. It's dense, turgid, and sometimes kinda boring. But it's also moving, with currents of irony and self-awareness, and an all-around understanding of love both in a touching, Casablanca way and in a rather funny teenage-melodrama way. Like Flaubert, Stendhal bridges the romantics and realists, although I think he does it better. Problem is I really don't like romantic fiction very much. And this first foray into the tumultuous wate...more
Why didn't I read this sooner? The protagonist Julien is a complicated and contradictory character, but to me seemed so much more alive than, for instance, his pessimistic equivalent in War and Peace, Prince Andre. His ambition and passion are always at odds, and although he's intelligent his vanity and romanticism lead him to act as if he were completely naive. What I like is that we're allowed to see all of his really ugly character traits, some of which are scarily relatable.

It's a dark book,...more
Oddly enough, I think most of the fault I found with it was the translation (Margaret Shaw's "Scarlet and Black" by Penguin, 1953); I was two chapters from the end when I found another copy I had stowed away, and in those two chapters felt more for the characters than I had the whole of the other book. Otherwise my comments were this: Julien is an asshole. Now I'm reading it again, and he's still an asshole, but at least a more fleshed out, less ingratiating one. Stendhal knew what he was doing;...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 30, 2014 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading: 100 Significant Books
I didn't think I'd wind up liking this book much reading the first dozens of pages. The book is centered on Julian Sorel, the brilliant and ambitious son of a peasant in post-Napoleon France. The "red" and the "black" of the title refer to the two routes to power for someone of humble birth in the France of the era--the military and the clergy. I admit it--I tend to want to spend time with characters I can root for, feel sympathy for. And Julian is about the most unsympathetic character I've fol...more
I really like this Stendhal character. He may have written in the 1800's, but his prose is far easier to grasp and enjoy than other authors of the period. His writing is bold, emotional, and unafraid to speak its mind truthfully on many of the matters society chooses to ignore in order to benefit itself. It reads like an intellectual rant at times, angry and scathing and ultimately delightful in its keen critique of the hypocrisies that riddle the world of the novel. And what better way of explo...more
Aug 28, 2008 Melody rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: Brian Johnson
I don’t like to finish a book by counting the number of pages left to go. But that’s what I found myself doing with The Red and the Black. Wondering, “when the hell is this going to end” and wishing that Julian would just die already.

The first half of the copy of the book I checked out of the library included the penciled notes from someone who felt that even though the book wasn’t THEIR personal copy, they had the right (or probably, the need) to write things such as the definition of “Fie!” (...more
David Lentz
The Red and the Black is a profound and witty book about the rise of a poor, handsome and intellectually gifted, young provincial into the salons of High Society in Paris. This novel is also a portrait of an era in 19th century France after the exile of Napoleon to St. Helena. The powerful, witty epigrams that appear in page after page of gorgeous prose left me almost as intrigued by the talent of the author as by the unexpected twists in the exhausting love life and fascinating careers in churc...more
Challenging read. The book focuses on the power structure of 19th century France between the church and aristocracy. The story follows Julian Sorel’s psychological journey as he moves through various states: pride when his talent and hard work are admired; anger and jealousy when he moves in social circles above him; hypocrisy in his dealings with the church; and a dawning capacity for love and affection – always doomed because his lovers are beyond him socially and he never understands their co...more
In many ways, this book seems to have been a precursor to Flaubert's A Sentimental Education. Though its full title The Red and The Black: A Chronicle of the Nineteenth Century shows us the significance of the Restoration period to the background of the novel. The title also reflects the contrasts that are so well developed. Most literally, red and black refers to the difference in uniform between military and clergy in France. Basic analogies also float to the surface: wealth/poverty, nobility/...more
Simona Bartolotta
"Signor mio, un romanzo è uno specchio che si fa muovere lungo una grande strada. Talvolta riflette a' vostri occhi l'azzurro dei cieli, talvolta il fango dei pantani di quella strada. E voi accuserete d'immoralità l'uomo che porta lo specchio nella sua gerla! Il suo specchio mostra il fango, e voi accusate lo specchio! Accusate invece la strada ov'è il pantano, e più ancora l'ispettore stradale che lascia infracidare l'acqua e il pantano formarsi."

Sorvolando sull'orribile edizione della Newton,...more
This brilliant study in character development well deserves its place as a classic masterpiece.

Julien Sorel is a prototype anti-hero. Noble in spirit in spite of his "low" birth,he is able to detach himself sufficiently to play the role perfectly.Self-controlled to agonizing extremes,he is the perfect opportunist,and his relentless ambition divines opportunities everywhere he proceeds.It is not that he has not a sense of ethics;he may even be overscrupulous in complying with his own sense of ho...more
Ooof. Finished. Finally. What can I say? It's a POV tilt-a-whirl, totally melodramatic, wasn't really extraordinary for me in terms of translated language, themes, images, characters (Julien and Mme. de Renal are mostly characterized to the point of excellence, but otherwise?). It dramatizes to the point of ok-already exaggeration the freaked-out/constantly disingenuous game-playing feints and parries of capricious young lovers. Very little love was created in this reader for these "changeable"...more
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  • Far Away and Long Ago
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Henri-Marie Beyle , better known by his pen name Stendhal , was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839).
More about Stendhal...
The Charterhouse of Parma Love Armance Lucien Leuwen Chroniques Italiennes

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