Творение в черно
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Творение в черно

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,527 ratings  ·  70 reviews
През 1968 Юрсенар публикува "Творение в черно", роман, чието действие вече е пренесено в края на Средновековието и още смътното зараждане на Ренесанса. Негов герой е ученият, лекар и алхимик Зенон, въплътил в сложния си образ много от будните свободни духове на тази епоха - Леонардо, Джордано Бруно, Томазо Кампанела, Парацелз. Романът проследява неспирното търсене на принц...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published 1984 by Профиздат (first published 1968)
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Mysteriously satisfying. As far as historical recreations go, something like the polar opposite of Deadwood or Amalgamation Polka: the past is interesting not because of its excessive color and profuse cocksucking but because of the relentless nature of its blandness. I find myself puzzling over how exactly Y manages this. She gets a certain amount of momentum from establishing and then abjuring scenes; everything is setup for more setup, narrative for more narrative, until you realize that, lik...more
Feb 20, 2014 AC marked it as i-get-the-picture  ·  review of another edition
(I can see that this is going to be tough going as fiction, as Chris says -- and probably not worth the effort - for me, at least. But I'll let the "initial comment" below stand, and put this book back on the shelf. The Author's Note at the back of the book is worth reading.)

Initial comment:

In the notes appended to the english edition of Memoirs of Hadrian, Youcenar writes to Frick that the book was in large part inspired by a quote she found in 1927, from Flaubert's correspondence, that runs: "...more
My Inner Shelf
Roman intéressant mais à l’intérêt inégal, j’ai pourtant relu avec plaisir le style élaboré et soigné de Marguerite Yourcenar que j’avais déjà croisée il y a longtemps avec Alexis et Le coup de grâce qui m’avait beaucoup plu. L’écriture et fluide et intelligente, l’histoire intéressante, mais les personnages manquent de je ne sais quoi qui aurait pu les rendre plus…passionnants. Le destin hors du commun de Zénon nous rappelle que l’homme n’a pas souvent été en phase avec le progrès que l’esprit...more
Opera negra (l oeuvre au noir or work in black) is the first stage of the transformation alchemist to gold. We use the most vulgar matter not differencied. It will be followed by works with the white and the red. Zénon, physician, alchemist are shared between two times the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, between Aristote and Plato. But on the metaphysical level, this alchemist transformation is also that of man who progresses on the way of knowledge.
The end is tragic but did the death gain? For...more
This is a must read if you want to know something about the way scholars were treated by the church in the Middle Ages.
It's not an easy read, but Yourcenar's language, even in translation, is so poetic.
The book was composed of several stories the author wrote was she was a young girl. For years those stories were left unpublished. Finally Marguerite Yourcenar picked up the story, edited it and published it as L'Œuvre au noir. The title refers to the alchemist process of finding the ultimate wi...more
Nella nota finale l’autrice svela che il titolo del libro e il personaggio immaginario di Zenone, del quale è raccontata la vita nel romanzo, le sono stati inizialmente ispirati dall’opera di Albrecht Dürer , “Melencolia”, che raffigura una figura giovanile circondata da diversi oggetti della vita pratica quali strumenti di lavoro o congegni matematici, che medita amaramente mentre misura con un compasso. Quello fu lo spunto iniziale da cui prese origine l’ispirazione della scrittrice, che ha co...more
L'oeuvre au Noir est un excellent livre à lire pour comprendre ce qu'était vraiment le Moyen-Âge. On est loin de la petite mode médiévale d'il y a quelques années. Dans ce roman tout est noir. C'est surtout au niveau de l'obscurantisme dans les idées. Tout doit passer par Dieu et Jésus sinon c'est diabolique et condamnable. Malheureusement pour le pauvre Zénon, ses idées concordent plus avec celles de la Renaissance qui est en train de commencé. De toutes les époques de l'histoire, c'est sûremen...more
A differenza di ciò che potreste leggere online circa l’origine del titolo, l’autrice riferisce nell’appendice che L’opera al nero prende il nome da una formula che gli alchimisti francesi traducevano così dal latino o dal greco. Ed è proprio di alchimia che si parla, così come di religione, morale, medicina, filosofia ed eresia: materie che spesso nel corso della storia si sono fuse e confuse tra di loro.
La storia si svolge nel ‘500 e ha come narratore Zenone Ligre, figlio illegittimo di una fa...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Nella tradizione alchemica l'opera al nero, nigredo in latino, è il primo stadio delle trasformazioni che portano la materia, qualunque essa sia, verso la perfezione e la innalzano nel suo percorso attraverso le impurità.
La vita di un alchimista come Zenone da Bruges, il protagonista del romanzo di Marguerite Yourcenar, è in realtà solo una parte di questo complesso processo di sublimazione che diventa una metafora della ricerca della conoscenza attraverso la trasformazione di sé, condotta fino...more
Chiara Silvia
Dopo tanti anni dalla letture di altre sue opere, quello che continua a colpirmi della Yourcenar � il suo sguardo limpido e spietato, cos� poco femminile, da narratore onnisciente che si intrufola nei pensieri dei suoi personaggi, rischiarando come una luce di scena il palco di quei teatri mentali senza propendere ad alcun intenerimento pietoso. Il romanzo, peraltro, pare risentire della lunga stratificazione sedimentata dal racconto giovanile che ne � premessa e risultare discontinuo. La figura...more
Il romanzo racconta la vita di Zenone, medico, filosofo e alchimista del XVI secolo. Sebbene la figura di questo uomo sia frutto della fantasia dell'autrice, Zenone si inserisce perfettamente nel panorama culturale e storico dell'epoca, e il libro risulta essere un'accuratissima rappresentazione del secolo in questione. All'inizio la storia fa un po' fatica a decollare, ma una volta entrati nello spirito del romanzo è difficile non lasciarsi affascinare da Zenone, personaggio enigmatico e inquie...more
Zeno leeft in de zestiende eeuw, de eeuw waarin de mens stilletjesaan durft verder nadenken maar waar dit ‘nieuwe denken’ met harde hand door de Kerk wordt onderdrukt. Hijzelf houdt er ook revolutionaire ideeën op na en deinst er niet voor terug om die te publiceren en te verspreiden, waardoor er een prijs op zijn hoofd komt te staan.

Dit boek draait niet om het verhaal maar veeleer om de bedenkingen erachter. Yourcenar vertelt wel gedetailleerd over Zeno’s jeugd en de lotgevallen van enkele van...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Ero convinto di aver già letto questo romanzo, diciamo circa 30 anni fa. Se ciò e vero, mi chiedo se allora avessi capito di più o di meno di oggi. Perchè questo è un libro molto complesso, in cui il piano umano, psicologico, si interseca pesantemente al piano storico e filosofico. Il mio consiglio, a posteriori, è di ripassare la storia della seconda metà del 1500 prima di affrontare questo romanzo. E' infatti vero che possiamo estrapolare la vicenda dell'uomo libero, convinto del primato del p...more
Rita Sophie
I read it in Romanian, and, lucky me, the translation was amazing (thank you, Mrs Sanda Oprescu!). What can I say (I hope I've made myself pretty clear so far, my reviews are pretty poor and rather subjective)? You know when you have to run? I'm a runner. Well... I'm trying to be. Lately, I haven't been running too much, and every now and then I made it up to the gym, I ran for 5-6 minutes, then I have to stop, and walk for a couple of minutes. Reading this book was pretty much the same. I would...more
Julia Boechat Machado
Os personagens são extraordinariamente bem construídos. Tem o charme dos detalhes verídicos, como do homem que dissecou o cadáver do próprio filho, e frases hilárias, como a internação em um hospício da criada Catarina, para que ela possa se descabelar a vontade.
Zenon é médico, alquimista e filósofo, e chegou a receber os graus religiosos mais baixos, o que o torna um sábio renascentista segundo a visão moderna, e apto a discutir muito do que surgia na época, teorias da circulação do sangue (até...more
Духът на Ренесанса и един събирателен образ на ренесансовия човек - устремен към наука и познание, осмеляващ се да изпитва силите се в алхимията, философията, медицината, изучаващ религията, но и критикуващ, търсещ човека в центъра на света... Юрсенар ме спечели като почитател с "Източни новели", "Творение в черно" е впечатляваща заради умелото обхващане на идеите на една епоха. Ще продължа с "Мемоарите на Адриан" (оказа се, че двата романа имат общ произход).
Tra saggio e romanzo, risultato dimenticabile.

In tutta onestà ho raccontato ad Anobii una piccola bugia riguardo questa "opera al nero": avevo già letto questo libro. Precisamente alle superiori, fu la lettura che la giovanissima insegnante di lettere che sarebbe diventata la madre del mio amore per la lettura (e che sostituiva l'ignobile vecchiarda di ruolo) ci assegnò. Ho deciso di riprenderlo in mano sia per la voglia di ritornare a quei tempi lontani almeno rileggendo una storia, sia attrat...more
A monumental piece of literature. Zeno of Brugge - a doctor, alchemist, philosopher, atheist and, above all, an upright man - is an unconventional person whose thoughts, words and deeds reflect the time of religious upheaval, scientific revolution, and political turmoil (the late 16th century). I was particularly impressed by the narration of Zeno's relationship with the ailing guardian of the Franciscan monastery and the description of Zeno's suicide at the end of the book, strongly reminiscent...more
William March
Writing a review for The Abyss leaves me torn since it is almost like writing a review for two different books awkwardly stuck together. The first book is structured with a clear direction with repeated examples of the absurdity of the human condition such as fear of new technology, petty interests, manipulative greed, religious zeal, resignation, etc and excellently paints a picture of the most ridiculous aspects of human nature that hold us back as a species and as a society. In the middle of...more
Marc L
Ik las dit boek al eens, 30 jaar geleden, maar herinnerde me er niet zoveel van. De tweede lectuur begon ik in het Frans, maar - wat me zelden overkomt - na 160 blz. zag ik me verplicht over te schakelen op de Nederlandse vertaling: Yourcenar gebruikt een woordenschat die niet tot de standaardtaal behoort, en bovendien is het boek herhaaldelijk heel "hermetisch" (bewust?). Dat laatste is ook mijn belangrijkste kritiek: sommige dialogen, overdenkingen, beschouwingen van hoofdpersoon Zeno zijn amp...more
Reading a book by M. Yourcenar, a prose writer of great skill, is invariably a delight. The scope of her novels is epic, the composition is as intricate and carefully crafted as a Beethoven symphony. Here in The Abyss, the main theme of the book - the clash between the impetus of momentous historical forces and the destiny of a single human being - is introduced in the very first sentence of the book. It accompanies the reader throughout the book as an insistent motto theme. Yourcenar's prose is...more
The first thing I ever read written about Marguerite Yourcenar was simply "Yourcenar conjures worlds." It was with this revealing piece of information that I went into one of the better known works of an immensely powerful writer, bearer of an equally powerful name. And, try as I may, I cannot find the words to put it any better: Yourcenar does conjure worlds, as she taps into the depths of a complex, high symbolical story that finds its ideal way of storytelling in the heavy, description-based...more

-spoilers hereunder-

This is the story of Zen, a "belgian" surgeon/philosopher/alchemist in the Middle Ages - from his childhood through his european journeys and finally to his suicide - at the times of the black death and the inquisition. The book - written by Yourcenar, an author who has since then been called the last of the classic french writers - is heavy with mesmorising dialogues about the place of religion, and science in the world of men, in an era when raising such questions could lea...more
Ubik 2.0
Io e Margherita

"L'opera al nero" mi ha suscitato riflessioni più su me stesso come lettore che sul libro. Il punto in sintesi è questo: perchè mai ho amato così svisceratamente le "Memorie di Adriano" e, dopo un bel po' di anni, mi sono piantato di brutto faticando l'anima per arrivare in fondo a quest'opera che pure i fans della Yourcenar accomunano ad "Adriano" fra i capolavori della scrittrice?

Ipotesi 1: come mi pare di cogliere anche in molti commenti anobiiani "L'opera al nero" è oggettiva...more
Was interesting to get a feel of the renaissance world of Holland as could be around Erasmus, though a bit later, and very informative for people going through modern day inquisitions in Europe, with modern -day Torquemadas. Was so very sad for the suicide, but glad he didn't burn.We have come a long a way since, though here in Rome, they have the art of inquisition down pat, it's very tough living with their harassment day in , day out, but hopefully they won't carry out their frequent death th...more
I'm sure this is more wonderful book for some folks that it was for me. I liked it well enough but beyond that ... well... I know I have the history background for it but it's the philosophical background I'm lacking. I wasn't too fond of the way Yourcenar invented her main characters by amalgamating them from historical characters and using "typical" situations for their adventures (some real ones). She was obviously more focused on the philosophy and the ideas of a renegade philosopher/alchemi...more
I read this over 20 years ago and it still remains strongly in my head.

Yourcenar's prose is not the delicious sort, delighting the reader with inventive wordplay or imagery that creates new visions of the world by a new interoperation of the senses. Her prose is controlled, at times almost surgical, but it flows effortlessly, and it flows from the mind outward. It is intellectual and incisive.

Zeno's journey is one of the most fascinating I have been taken on by a writer. He is a rebel, a thinker...more
Rudi Verago
Complesso, intellettuale e astruso. Sempre in bilico tra il capolavoro e il sonno. Eccessivo è l'aggettivo che meglio lo descrive.

Non vi affezionerete al protagonista ma apprezzerete la capacità di descrivere il periodo a cavallo tra il medioevo e l'era moderna.

Le "Memorie di Adriano" è su un altro livello qualitativo (altamento superiore).
Anna Graham
The Abyss is a remarkable study of two men in early sixteenth century Europe. One is looking for worldly pleasures, the other for something more serious. It's the latter man, Zeno, who becomes one of the most unusual heroes in modern novels. Yourcenar traces the man's intellectual growth against the background of a Europe whose collective mind was also growing, and shows how a powerful intellect can triumph over bias, superstition, and intolerance. The writing is wonderful, with long sentences t...more
One of my favorite books of all times. It's not an exageration to say Zénon has been living inside me since then.

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Yourcenar was born Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie Ghislaine Cleenewerck de Crayencour in Brussels, Belgium to Michel Cleenewerck de Crayencour, of French aristocratic descent, and a Belgian mother who died ten days after her birth. She grew up in the home of her paternal grandmother.

Yourcenar's first novel, Alexis, was published in 1929. Her intimate companion at the time, a translator named G...more
More about Marguerite Yourcenar...
Memoirs of Hadrian Oriental Tales Coup de Grace Alexis ou le Traité du vain combat / Le Coup de grâce Fires

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“Je sais que je ne sais pas ce que je ne sais pas.” 9 likes
“On n'est pas libre tant qu'on désire, qu'on veut, qu'on craint, peut-être tant qu'on vit.” 9 likes
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