Robyn Blaber's Reviews > The Red and the Black

The Red and the Black by Stendhal
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Jul 05, 11

bookshelves: french-literature
Read in July, 2011

If I didn't know better, I'd say that the French realists were out to depress everyone. The stories are similar, where the main characters start in the country, not possessing much more than a little in the way of virtue, only to come to Paris to have virtue stripped from them and their lives filled with all manner of debauchery. By page 200 I was remarking that Paris is the Whore of Babylon in all of these books, when by about page 400, Stendhal says it himself.

I like the characters in this book, however. Unlike the other realists, the underlying emotion of love is treated with all the pomp and ceremony that we do in real life. It seems warped and fictional in the eyes of the other realists, but believable here. My heart felt truly broken for the love lost. A great work.
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