Френското завещание
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Френското завещание

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,259 ratings  ·  138 reviews
„Френското завещание“ е автобиографичен роман, възхвала на френската цивилизация и призоваване на едно изпълнено с емоции минало. В него Макин разказва за живота на своята бабушка Шарлот Льомоние, родена в Париж в началото на века, която се оказва изгубена в руската степ, омъжена за народен съдия в сталинската империя. Нейните спомени от Франция са истинска мина от невероя...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published May 30th 2007 by Колибри (first published 1995)
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The Goncourt prize in France seems to be drawn to Russian writers who can write French better than many French natives.

In 1938 it was awarded to Henri Troyat (né Lev Aslanovitch Tarasov) for his L’Araigne. He later became a Member of L’Académie Française. In 1956 and again in 1975 it was awarded to Romain Gary (né Roman Kacew). And more recently, in 1995, André Makine (a.k.a. Gabriel Osmonde) received this prestigious prize.

Had Nabokov been the son not of an Anglophile but of a Francophile, we w...more
Several of the books I have been reading recently have been about place.
Together they show how the history of a community and the geography of a region can be combined and recorded so that they remain alive and vibrant rather than gathering dust in the archives.
In Cosmopolitan Europe: A Strasbourg Self-Portrait, the geographer John Western records the history and geography of the city of Strasbourg on the French/German border through wonderfully immediate interviews with its citizens; the read...more
C'est ma deuxième lecture du merveilleux roman d'Andreï Makine. Ce roman se mérite les prix Gongourt, Médicis et Gongourt des lycéens. Quel plaisir de relire ce roman qui décrit la relation d'un jeune garçon russe dont l'identité est forgé en partie par sa grand-mère française qui vit dans un village isolée de la Sibérie. Les relations, les vies et les choix se révèlent plus complexes et tragiques que ce que le garçon avait pressenti.
Une écriture riche et juste. Des paysages et des vies à la gr...more
It's a French novel. It's a Russian novel. It's a French novel about Russia. It's a Russian novel about France. It's all of those things. As a Hungarian-American, I am almost never unaware of my own dual nature. So too is Alyosha, the narrator of this tale of his encounters in Saranza, Western Siberia, with his French grandmother, Charlotte Lemonnier.

Andrei Makine's Dreams of My Russian Summers is a wonderful autobiographical novel about never quite being a unified whole, but part of a centrifug...more
Pat Pujolas
Makine is the most profound author of our generation. There might be writers who can paint a prettier picture (see also, Best American Short Stories), but there is nobody on this earth who can challenge our perceptions on what it means to be human (to live, love, laugh, and die) like this fellow. Please disagree with me. Please recommend someone better. I look forward to reading. Thanks
First, let me say that this is another one of those book I read a long time ago. One of those that passes through my mind from time to time with a bit of wistfulness. There are scenes that are vivid. But mostly it leaves me unsettled. Reading something in English, that was written in French, telling memories of a Russian childhood made me wonder what I could possibly be missing.

On the other hand, it was an intriguing cultural read and sadly, it's rare to run across a book in which a grown man f...more
Still reading but more comments -- This book received the Prix Goncourt. Did not know about the flood in Paris in 1910(?). I love the children's curiosity about the Grandmother's life, the places she lived. Can relate to the wonderment as a child stars at the photos of those long gone. More later.

Occasionally, the author's language seems a bit convoluted and the settings jump around without due warning. I know this is current construction of tales but this latter was a bit obtuse.

Was, however, a...more
The first thing to say about Le Testament Francais is that it is pretentious. Published elsewhere in English as Dreams of My Russian Summers, Andrei Makine's novel seems to be somewhat auto/biographical, although a quick poke around google shows this as something of a questionable claim.

Regardless of the truth of the story and its pretensions, Le Testament Francais is one of the most beautifully written and translated books I have ever read. Each word seems carefully picked to bestow maximum wei...more
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
“Dreams of My Russ­ian Sum­mers” by Andreï Makine is a fic­tional, semi-autobiographical book. The book was orig­i­nally writ­ten in French and has won sev­eral awards.

The book is told from a first per­son nar­ra­tive. The book opens when the nar­ra­tor, who is also the author, flips through old pho­tographs which belonged to his grand­mother. Soon the grand­mother walks in and starts to rem­i­nisce about the photos.

The story con­tin­ues to explore the grandmother’s life as well as the narrator’...more
I decided I'm going to make room on my book shelve just for those books that are so well written that I some day will reread. This one will be on it. My gosh, this man can write! I can't wait to read more of his books. It may be that I've always been drawn to books about Russia, nonfiction, mostly, but fiction too. This book is listed as fiction, but the author's life so closely parallels the book that I can see how it is sometimes referred to as autobiographical. In a way it is a coming of age...more
Autobiographical novel. I wish I could do halves, because this one is really 4 1/2. Not perfect, but as gossimer as the threads the protagonist sees in his earliest memories. I'll say out front that this is not a book for everyone. It follows the protagonist as he moves from childhood to adulthood, learning first the beauty and then the rest of the truth about his family as seen through the eyes of his grandmother. Following his life through adolescence, the author is honest enough to talk sexua...more
Jeannie Colling
This book probably deserves five stars. It was beautifully written, like a fine work of art. The problem is that I don't appreciate fine art like I should. Mostly, I don't get it. This is a novel memoir and coming of age story of a Soviet boy and the influence of his French grandmother. (The book was actually written in French, though the author is Russian.) The grandmother, born in the early 1900's in France, lives through the some of the most vile, desperate times in the USSR, and yet chooses...more
Liesl Louw-Vaudran
There is an English version that is also called: Le Testament Francais. Having read it - and giving it five stars, my only full marks for a book so far - I'm now trying the French version.
It is an extraordinarily beautiful book and I understand why it won both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis. It spans a decade of Russian history with such amazing subtlety, while at the same time weaving in the personal story of the narrator discovering France and the French language through the eyes of hi...more
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. The prose is flowery (reminded me a little of Orhan Pamuk's scented pages) but ultimately seemed right for this slipping in and out of memory, going between a French past and a Russian present, between languages. I liked the urgency of the adolescent narrator's frustration in trying to reconcile the world of stories and feelings and ideas with the world in front of his face. He's alert to poignancy--he finds it everywhere and makes his reeling...more
Кремена Михайлова
Мислех, че акцентът ще е върху френската баба, живяла в Сибир, но мен повече ме развълнува вътрешната драма на внука (самия автор), разкъсан между две тотално различни нации - руската и френската, като естественият контраст между двете е засилен допълнително през годините на комунизма, създал пропасти между народи, между хора от едно семейство, видоизменил цели поколения...

Струва ми се, че да си французин (по произход или възпитание) е нещо незаличимо, но да си руснак (дори не стопроцентов) е п...more
رواية مكتوبة بحساسية عالية، ربما يبدو مع صفحاتها الأولى أنها أشبه بتوثيق تاريخي ضمن قالب روائي على امتداد كل من روسيا وفرنسا. ولكن انتقالات الزمن والمكان على نحو متتابع ومشتت أحياناً تميّز شخصية بطل الرواية الذي تنتقل الحيرة منه إلى القارئ. وعلى مدى الصفحات المئة الأخيرة تبدأ الأمور بالتوضّح وندرك أن "شارلوت" المرأة الفرنسية هي محور تفكير البطل/ الطفل ـ الشاب، وسنعرف مع السطور الأخيرة لماذا اختار سارد الرواية أن يثبت اسم شخصية "شارلوت" بدلاً من أن يقول "جدّتي الفرنسية"...
Stan Georgiana
Asupra personajului principal acţionează două forţe: Franţa şi Rusia, fiecare ţară are influenţele, poveştile ei ce îl îndrumă pe calea identităţii. Iar el îşi doreşte cu disperare să afle cui aparţine.

Partea emoţionantă din acest roman este cea legată de bunica lui, o franţuizoaică demnă, respectată care îi spune poveşti despre istoria Franţei, dar care nu vrea să se despartă de Rusia. Imaginile create de bunică îi vor rămâne mereu în minte, îl vor tulbura şi îl vor lega iremediabil de Franţa....more
محمد النجيمي
رواية الوصية الفرنسية عميقة في قبضها على تفاصيل صغيرة جدا وإعادة بعث الحياة فيها وعيشها. المعنى له ألف وجه والصورة ننتهكها ونعبث فيها كيفما نشاء عندما نتلاعب في زوايا النظر.
عالمين متوازيين يعيشهما صبي عبر عيني جدة تشبه الحياة. يوهمنا أن جدته تتحدث وهو سيد الكلام، تتحول الجدة في سرده لنافذة يتحكم فيها ويمرر من خلالها كل احتمالات الضوء.
لغة مراوغة وهذا سر جاذبيتها. العالم يعاش في مدينة صغيرة في روسيا ويتم فهمه عبر روايات ولوحات وقصائد فرنسا. الجدة جسر للعبور والخيال وإعادة رسم المشاهد لدى الصبي هي...more
Fascinating Russia. Even Makine, who writes in French, has a very strong sense of the slavic soul that cannot be compared to anything else.
This is a beautiful autobiographic novel, which questions identities, memories, and ideals. From France to Siberia, and back to Paris, this is a long and slow journey.
I warmly recommend this book, which is short and powerful.
To me, it is the most poetic, original and beautifully written book about a search for an identity and a life between two cultures. It is a special book for me given my own attempt to embrace an American life yet retain all that is Finnish in me. Still, I trust that Makine’s delicate yet powerful story will captivate everyone. - Anu Bradford
Interesting and well written. About one outsider French woman living in a small Russian village, and her grandson, who has yet to discover the memories of his family and of that extraodrinary woman, as well as the much more global world history and the incredible events that took place in Russia during the WW II. His child memories are interwoven together with present events. I particularly like the fact that in the novel the main character matures - his childhood stories are full of outsider th...more
De mooiste roman die ik in jaren gelezen heb.Pijnlijk mooi zo af en toe,ontroerend mooi het hele boek door.
(De geschiedenis van de 20e eeuw in)Frankrijk en Rusland, herinneringen.'la condition humaine', je vindt het allemaal in dit boek.
Our story teller begins as a boy - the grandson of a Parisian woman who married a Russian in the early 20th century and who now lives in a small town in the steppes of Russia. The boy and his sister travel each summer to stay with her, and every evening she tells them stories and shows them old newspaper clippings about her early life in Paris. The scenes and events she describes are memorably sketched, and the misunderstandings of a boy as he listens adds authenticity to his tale. A moving stor...more
breathtaking! floating over the steppes together with Aliosha and Charlotte...
Oh, what a way with words Makine has! No wonder he has received so much acclaim for this book. The book centers on a young person (actually, a boy - I pictured a girl) who lives in Russia in the 1960s or so, in the absolute drabness of a big industrial city. He and his sister spend their summers with their French grandmother who lives on the steppes, and she is quite the storyteller; she exposes them to the French language and France and that country's interaction with the czar Nicholas and his...more
This is one good book!
When I started reading it, the first thing I thought was ''Proust!''. The writing style reminded me of Proust's, because it was descriptive, but in not so many words as Proust might have used. It really is beautifully written.

The story is about a Russian boy who visits his grandmother (who is French), at first with his sister, later on alone. He seems to have connected with Charlotte (the grandmother) much more that his sister, which happened gradually. At first, when they...more
A book of the unconscious mind. When I picked this up, I was bored with my reading, and excited to be going somewhere new and far away. Nothing could be farther away than Siberia. But I was bored here too. Bored with czars and revolutions and bombs and root soup and toothless babushkas, with smoky black peasant huts and roads that petered out into the endless steppe. Bored with starvation, assassinations, the disappeared, the widowed, etc, etc. And yet…I don’t think I will ever forget this book....more
"Dreams of My Russian Summers is a French novel. It won two top French awards, the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Médicis. The novel is told in first-person view and tells the fictional story of a boy’s memories and experiences with his French grandmother in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and ‘70s."

Titles can be so deceiving! I rather thought this was going to be about a young boy's summer days in Russia, with a grandmother he either loved or hated. It's anything but that!

The author is one...more
Cassandra Lewis
I initially found this rather verbose book hard to get into, but after persevering until about a fifth of the way through I soon became absorbed by the evocative imagery of Russia - an area I'm interested in.

However, shortly afterwards I again found myself struggling, and I realised it was the narration causing the problem. The part I'd found easier to read seemed to have been narrated without (noticeable) 1st person references, whereas the first part used the terms 'we' and 'us' - which I assum...more
I read the French original and used this English translation as backup. It's a good translation but, I think, sometimes a little inexact with the adjectives. Further qualms mentioned below.

I'm glad I started reading In Search of Lost Time before reading this book, which is a loving tribute to the Proustmeister, and particularly to the concerns that I had in reading Swann's Way: how do other people's memories inform your own identity? How do they do so when you begin to doubt the validity or rele...more
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  • The Dream Life of Sukhanov
  • The Queue
  • Unforgiving Years
  • The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
  • Watermark
  • Cursed Days: Diary of a Revolution
  • The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture
  • Summer in Baden-Baden
  • Dora Bruder
  • Diary of a Superfluous Man
  • Плаха
  • The Wine of Solitude
  • The Ogre
  • The Betrayal
  • In Siberia
  • The House by the Dvina: A Russian Childhood
  • Forever Flowing
  • Children of the Arbat (Arbat Trilogy #1)
Andreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union on 10 September 1957 and grew up in city of Penza, a provincial town about 440 miles south-east of Moscow. As a boy, having acquired familiarity with France and its language from his French-born grandmother (it is not certain whether Makine had a French grandmother; in later interviews he claimed to have learnt French from a friend), he wrote poe...more
More about Andreï Makine...
Music of a Life The Woman Who Waited The Life of an Unknown Man Once upon the River Love Requiem for a Lost Empire

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