Nathan Jerpe's Reviews > The Castle of Argol

The Castle of Argol by Julien Gracq
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's review
Feb 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 1930s, france, surreal
Read from December 15 to 18, 2011

A small, curious book about a man who goes to live in a castle in the forest. Ten chapters, only three characters; as far as novels go there's not much happening here.

I discovered, however, that if I approached this work as I would a set of paintings, I began to appreciate it more. Nature abounds - scenes of forests and thunder and the sea, and the internal, dreamlike deliberations of Albert and his guests are breathtaking. The design of the physical book is also remarkable, even minimalist, with a centerfold of a corpse in the back that I almost missed.

File this under prose poetry, fantasy in form if not in content. A bit of Hegelian philosophy, too, although that pretty much blew past me as I went.
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