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The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  211 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter Henri Murger. Translated by Ellen Marriage and John Selwyn. Introduction by Maurice Samuels "Today, as of old, every man who enters on an artistic career, without any other means of livelihood than his art itself, will be forced to walk in the paths of Bohemia."--from the Preface Based largely upon Henri Murger's own experiences and those ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published 1851)
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Jim
It reminds me of the Beat Generation a hundred years earlier. The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter: Scenes de la Vie de Boheme (better known as the source of Giacomo Puccini's opera La Boheme) is about four penniless bohemians: Marcel, Rodolphe, Colline, and Schaunard. They live from meal to meal -- if they are so lucky as not to have to fast -- and they are always in arrears on the rent.

Author Henri Murger has one up on the beatniks, however: All his characters are likeable and generous to a fau
...more
Larry Piper
This is yet another book read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage, Philip. Fortunately, it's much better than that previous piece of crap I read as a result of reading about Philip's life. But, it's not great. If I could give +s and -s, I'd give it a 3*-. With luck, I'll manage to avoid Peregrine Pickle, another book Philip read, but then since that book also figured prominently in David Copperfield's early life as well, perhaps not. We'll see.

This book is essentially a set of short stories,
...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Sarah Greenman
Paris - the Latin Quarter - the basis for the opera "La Boheme" and the musical "Rent". This crazy romp through Paris in latter half of the 1800's is a riot. A real taste of the poor starving artist and the beginning of a HUGE artistic movement in Paris. A little tough at times because of the dated language - but hilarious, outrageous and romantic. Makes me want to light up a cigarette and talk with a lover until 4 in the morning.
Marilyn
"Un matin, c’était le 8 avril, Alexandre Schaunard, qui cultivait les deux arts libéraux de la peinture et de la musique, fut brusquement réveillé par le carillon que lui sonnait un coq du voisinage qui lui servait d’horloge.

— Sacrebleu ! s’écria Schaunard, ma pendule à plumes avance, il n’est pas possible qu’il soit déjà aujourd’hui."

Petites nouvelles à lire et à relire !
Brittannia Talori

The story is very much about Mimi, which Puccini transferred to his opera. However, Murger's book is just a bunch of little scenes/vignettes; quite different than where this story went Puccini's opera. Other than discovering some of the character origins, it honestly wasn't worth the read. Very stale. Just a bunch of bums hanging out. Doing nothing. Talking rubbish.
Megan Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabriela
Jan 16, 2014 Gabriela rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes the study of character
Shelves: nook
I really really enjoyed this book, the way it is written and the characters it presents. I first watched the opera in Budapest and then started reading it, with the bright colorful costumes of the era in mind. The life of a Bohemian may seem so fantastic, so unreal, yet so well portrayed in this book. I haven't decided which is my favorite character, the philosopher, the poet or the composer. Each in his own way is miraculously naive at times and mature out of the blue. It seems they each evolve ...more
Lis
i read this on my kindle (yeah, i got one). i get most of my ebooks free from project gutenberg. this one i "bought" for 0.00 from amazon.com. i had never seen so many mistakes in a book, but i guess i still paid nothing, so i won't complain much.

this book was written in the 1800s. the bohemians are a small group of young parisians trying to live as artists (writer, painter, poet, etc.). it follows them as they try to not get kicked out due to missed rent, buy clothes secondhand, continually sea
...more
Sharon
Henri Murger's series of vignettes concerning four Paris bohemians (Marcel, Rodolphe, Colline and Schaunard) is the basis for Puccini's "La Boheme" and, subsequently, Jonathan Larson's "Rent."

The book combines pathos and unexpected good humor to show the difficulties of artistic life in 19th C. Paris. The mens' unfailing enthusiasm and absolute belief that they are about to be the next big thing carries them in and out of various scrapes and, of course, into the arms of various women.

I found the
...more
Cera
This was so very delightful! I'm familiar with _La bohème_ and with _Rent_ (the mid-90s rock musical update of it), so I had no idea that Murger's original novel was so *funny*. Rodolphe & Mimi's affair, rather than being the centre of the book, is a very small portion; it's mostly a romp through the attics and streets of Bohemian Paris, as the four male artists have brief affairs with uneducated young women with charming voices, eat herring when they'd rather have haute cuisine, and attempt ...more
Nick Seymour
Not a bad book. A terrible, terrible opera.
Kim
The beginning of the most popular story to hit ever part of the theatre world (arguably.) This begot La Boheme, which begot RENT the Musical, which begot RENT the movie. Asit is, I have seen and read and own everything I possibly could minus, of course, this book. It's not the popularity and I don't consider myself a fan. It's everything this story line represents. It's the lives it shares within it's pages. I have an affinity with a few of the characters and would honestly much prefer one of th ...more
Melissa
I didn't read this edition, but a much earlier hardcover one in English and then later, again in French. In French was better, if you can do it, but the English is enough to find a beautiful, romantic story of the types of people you see in the opera "La Boheme" and musical "Rent" (which are of course based on this book) and "Moulin Rouge." I am a huge fan of the Fin de Siecle, and I loved this book. Steer clear if you are a pragmatist, but if you're an artist and a romantic, this is actually a ...more
Korell Yang
波西米亞 Bohemia Boheme,一直都在我心中是個神秘又吸引人的民族,或說是種「生活方式」與「人生態度」。直到接觸了更多的關於歐洲的訊息之後,搭配這本書當中更鮮明清楚的波西米亞人生活情境,漸漸對於自己想過的生活方式,竟然顯得模糊了...不過,大抵是本很有趣、也很所謂藝術與現實的兼顧時,所展現的波西米亞式。
S. L.
Reading as an ebook from Gutenberg.org
Suvi
Basically a heap of indifferent conversations and indifferent characters. I can imagine this as a play a lot better because frankly Murger does not have the literary skills to write a novel. Sentences after another didn't make an interesting insight to a bohemian life in 19th century Paris but rather snooze of a collection of boring chapters.
Tom
Very funny (how many times I laughed in the course of the stories). Very colorfully written. This revised novel was based on the same set of short stories upon which Puccini based the opera La Boheme; well the opera conflated a number of the people into a smaller set and took only a small portion of the overall set of stories.
Nima
I liked it quite a bit. It didn't really matter when it was written, the story still holds true of today's bohemian set, and I saw quite a few of my colorful friends in the eyes of the characters in the book.
Sarah
These stories have been the source material for so many things that it was nice to finally read them. Good stories of irresponsible youth and creativity.
Natalia
Интересно почитать о жизни французской богемы. Легкие рассказы, забавное персонажи.
Gail
I found it utterly pointless and couldn't bring myself to read more than half of it.
Katelyn
Really enjoyed his writing. Wonderful combination of humor and sweet poetry!
Paula
Rather operatic.... well duh...
Erendira
Dec 21, 2011 Erendira marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Main PQ2367.M94 S313
Ryan Fasshauer
Ryan Fasshauer marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
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Tomás Ferreira marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
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Naomi Faye marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2014
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Dec 07, 2014
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34477
He is chiefly distinguished as the author of Scènes de la vie de bohème, from his own experiences as a desperately poor writer living in a Parisian attic, and member of a loose club of friends who called themselves "the water drinkers" (because they were too poor to afford wine). In his writing he combines instinct with pathos and humour, sadness his predominant tone. The book is the basis for the ...more
More about Henri Murger...
La Vie de Boheme Les Roueries de L Ingenue; La Scene Du Gouverneur; La Nostalgie; Les Sirenes Les Vacances de Camille Scenes de Campagne. Adeline Protat Dona Sirene

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