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The Confession of a Child of the Century

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Inspired by his scandalous real-life affair with the flamboyant woman who called herself George Sand, Alfred de Musset's Confession is a searingly honest, passionate account of a young man's rite of passage. It tells the story of Octave, desperate to be more than an 'average man', who searches for happiness first as a debauched libertine, until his mistress Elise is ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 275 pages
Published May 30th 2013 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1836)
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Yann
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ô insensés qui vous croyez des hommes et osez raisonner de l'amour, l'avez-vous vu pour en parler? Non, vous l'avez senti. Vous avez échangé un regard avec un être inconnu qui passait, et tout à coup il s'est envolé de vous je ne sais quoi qui n'a pas de nom. Vous avez pris racine en terre, comme le grain caché dans l'herbe qui sent que la vie le soulève, et qu'il va devenir une moisson.

Alfred de Musset(1810-1857), est un poète français du début du dix-neuvième siècle. Dans la Confession d'un
...more
Maan Kawas
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very beautiful book that you cannot leave until you reach the last page. Although it is a sad one, but the deep psychological depiction of human conflicting inner forces (i.e. thought and emotions)was done in uniquely beautiful way by a creative person. With my background in psychology, I felt that in this book Musset was highly skillful in describing a person's faulty ways of thinking (e.g. predicting future, catastrophizing, emotional reasining, and white and black way of looking at ...more
Adriana Scarpin
A primeira metade do livro é maçante, mas a segunda metade é empolgante, tanto que você sente vontade de degolar o narrador. Rá! Agora só me resta ler o ponto de vista da George Sand para essa história.
Khadija Maqableh
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
يبدو أن البشرية كتبت تاريخها ذات مرة، وما انفكت إلى الآن تجتره بتنويعات عديدة.
كتبت هذه الرواية في مرحلة وقفت فيها أوربا منهكة على جثة هامدة خلفتها الحروب والنزاعات، وقد تم نشرها عام 1836 وقد بلغ دي موسيه السادسة والعشرين من العمر، منطقًا بطله (أوكتاف) باعترافات لا تحيل إلى الذنوب بقدر ما تحيل إلى الأدواء والعلل والصراعات التي انطوت عليها سريرته وعلى شدة التشابه بين أحداثها وأحداث حياة مؤلفها نفسه فإنه لزام علينا أن نتاولها بوصفها رواية لا سيرة ذاتية؛ فلا المسمى يسمح لنا ولا المعالجة ولا حتى
...more
Alex Sarll
The opening chapters are a sweeping vision of the early nineteenth century, a grand statement of the zeitgeist to rival Gautier - ending in the heartbreaking and terribly contemporary notion of a generation who've lost the consolations of the past without yet being offered the rewards of the future. The brief closing chapter is a beautifully understated farewell. But between the two lie such a farrago of Red Pill whining, melodramatic mope and general shitty boyfriend behaviour as to make for ...more
Octavio
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
«La verdad, esqueleto vestido por las apariencias, quiere que todos los hombres, en determinados día y hora, toquen sus huesos en el fondo de cualquier llaga pasajera. A esto se llama conocer el mundo, y la experiencia se adquiere a este precio. Ahora bien: sucede que algunos, ante la prueba, retroceden espantados; otros, débiles y asustadizos, permanecen vacilantes; otras criaturas, quizá las más perfectas, mueren al tocar la realidad; pero el mayor número olvida; y todos, unos y otros, se ...more
Alejandro Teruel
Novela escrita por Musset a los 26 años en 1836 que traza la vida pasional del narrador y protagonista, Octavio de T... de los 19 a los 23 años. Vilmente engañado por su amante a los 19, por despecho el protagonista desciende al libertinaje. La muerte de su padre lo lleva al campo donde parece desintoxicarse y conoce a Brigitte, una joven viuda mayor que él, de quien se enamora perdidamente y de la que eventualmente se hace amante. Sin embargo la nueva relación resulta sumamente tormentosa a ...more
Simona Bartolotta
"Un gradino in più o in meno è ben poca cosa su quella grande scala marcita che è l'imperfezione umana."

Sono partita con grandi speranze, e credo che questo non sia stato totalmente un male. Primo e secondo capitolo mi hanno convinta di essere davanti ad un capolavoro, ma purtroppo non e sempre vero che il buongiorno si vede dal mattino, e proseguendo il mio entusiasmo, pur non spegnendosi del tutto, è molto calato, mentre negli ultimi capitoli è stato maltratto, oltraggiato e poi estinto a
...more
Keith Duquette
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Musset like many in the romantic movement was a figure who battled his demons. Though this is a testament and account of Musset's own hedonism, libertinism, and failed love affairs it also serves as a social critique of it's time. Le Mal Du Siecle(The Malady of The Century) or a romantic sense of Ennui gave rise to a young writer's anxiety and apathy. What may still seem pertinent in this work is that youth culture and creative individuals of the nineteenth century struggled with their sense of ...more
Dominique
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first novel written in the full swing of Romanticism that I actually liked. Before I had always thought of Romanticism as this kind of annoying, vacuous, teenagish, flowery crap of hyperbole and self-indulgence. This book, instead, unveiled the tension of minds trying desperately to grasp how you can intellectually assign meaning to every emotion and what a frantic enterprise that becomes. Strangely enough, far from emotional I found this book (and all the correspondence I've been reading ...more
Blanche
3,5/5

Je pense que ce livre mérite une seconde lecture, et surtout une lecture croisée avec Elle et lui de Sand. J'ai beaucoup aimé l'écriture de Musset, c'est très XIXe, très "typique" finalement (ce qui veut tout et rien dire). Le roman rend compte avec clarté et efficacité du malaise d'une génération, en perte de repères, perte de valeurs, recherche de nouveaux modèles. C'est romantique, il faut aimer.

Par contre, j'ai détesté le narrateur. Vraiment, Octave, quelle tête à claques. On rencontre
...more
Helynne
Alfred de Musset's 1836, semi-fictionalized self-portrait Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle and Ron Kovic's 1976 Born on the Fourth of July can be compared as two cruelly lucid accounts of individuals who have fallen victim to this disillusionment as they face the stress placed on their generations due to the sudden shifts in values that their different societies thrust upon them.
In each man's respective account of a certain portion of his life at about age 20, his story is highly personal. In
...more
Rhiannon
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Happy to have read a French book, as it's been a while, but I didn't enjoy it much. It's an account of a love affair, ostensibly based on de Musset's affair with George Sand. His character, Octave, is a petty, jealous, paranoid, abusive, needy child with a serious case of the Madonna/whore complex. It was quite painful to read each cycle of adoration and destruction. If reality was anything like this emotionally abusive relationship, it's truly amazing that she stayed for almost two years. ...more
Brian
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Memoir of a rich libertine in 19th century France. The passion and mood swings of the author, from louche playboy to devoted lover to magnificent bastard (and more!) stretch the bounds of credibility, at least for this Canadian.
Neverweres
3.5

Un chef d'oeuvre, sans aucun doute, mais qui demande du travail de la part des lecteurs. La lecture n'est pas facile, le personnage insupportable. Malgré tout, le livre reste magnifique.
Victoria Toncheva
"- Случва се понякога да бъдеш по-стар от лицето си.
- Да - отговори тя засмяно, - случва се също да бъдеш по-млад от думите си"
Emily
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting point of view of the narrator upon his society and "hte disease of the century". However, way too Romantic, plaintive, introspective. Too many metaphores and images as well.
Manon
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La passion de l'amour qui devient une obsession d'un enfant terrible. Quoi dire en plus? De nos jours ça se manque.
Matrou
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'écriture est très bien, certains récits sont magnifiques (notamment la tentative de sauvetage d'un noyé) mais pourquoi prendre un personnage principal aussi abject. Il arrive à changer ses certitudes 3 fois en une seule page, ce n'est pas virevoltant c'est juste chiant. De plus, voir un homme faire autant de mal à une femme à chaque page, ça n'est pas du romantisme mais du harcèlement moral. Bel-ami ou Sorel n'étaient pas geignard mais charmant. L'hypothèse de son suicide m'a réconforté et on ...more
Svetlana
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Гон, гон, и еще раз гон. Напыщенный, самодовольный, с претензией на литературность и т.д. и т.п. В общем, совершенно не советую никому, даже любительницам женских романов. Отвратительные, штампованные метафоры, претензия на какую-то высокоинтеллектуальность – ничего за этим нет, все пустое, совершенно пустое. Про молодого человека, так сказать распутника, которого обманула первая любовница и он издевался над второй… В общем, не читайте )

...more
Milena Iolian
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overrated, not only the book but the writer. I don't even fucking know why we are still making a big deal of Musset's writtings and why we are learning about him in France as a major french writer : a pale copy of english romantics, boring as fuck, this dude had no talent.

Only his plays are OK.
tess75
Globalement, j'ai bien aimé. Certains passages sont très intéressants, d'autre un peu moins.
Envela
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favourite book by far
Claudia Falzarano
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La quarta stellina meritata soprattutto per il capitolo che apre il romanzo; il ritratto del mal du siècle risulta più chiaro che mai nel dolorismo tipico della generazione di musset!
Karlos Anis
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

يبدو أن البشرية كتبت تاريخها ذات مرة، وما انفكت إلى الآن تجتره بتنويعات عديدة.
كتبت هذه الرواية في مرحلة وقفت فيها أوربا منهكة على جثة هامدة خلفتها الحروب والنزاعات، وقد تم نشرها عام 1836 وقد بلغ دي موسيه السادسة والعشرين من العمر، منطقًا بطله (أوكتاف) باعترافات لا تحيل إلى الذنوب بقدر ما تحيل إلى الأدواء والعلل والصراعات التي انطوت عليها سريرته وعلى شدة التشابه بين أحداثها وأحداث حياة مؤلفها نفسه فإنه لزام علينا أن نتاولها بوصفها رواية لا سيرة ذاتية؛ فلا المسمى يسمح لنا ولا المعالجة ولا حتى
...more
Caroline
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trompé par sa maitresse, le jeune Octave se désole et plonge dans la débauche jusqu'au décès de son père. Il se retire à la campagne et rencontre une femme, Brigitte, plus âgée que lui avec qui il entretient une liaison de 6 mois, jusqu'à l'inévitable rupture.

Suivant sa rupture avec Georges Sand, Musset expie sa douleur par la rédaction de La Confession d'un enfant du siècle. L'écriture est la voie de l'apaisement pour l'auteur de toucher au plus profond de sa blessure et trouver une vérité
...more
Sophie
The way this novel started was astounding. I had to stop every other minute to write down a quotation or two. This is so well-written, I can't even tell you how much. But - since there's always a but, when Octave met Brigitte, things started to get sort of meh. Don't get me wrong, love is cool and toxic relationships are always nice to read about because they make you reflect on things and they give all the feels. But here, it wasn't the case at all. It may be due to the fact that the story is ...more
Yoanna
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Such an uneven novel, with deep, almost philosophical moments contrasting with banal, almost embarrassingly 'romantic' phrases. I was confused few times when tried to understand what was the idea behind it (not the plot, that was quite predictable)- life story? era portrayal? How it's started did not prepare me for how it developed and finished. Didn't' know whether to expect philosophical treaty, 'The Sorrows of Werter' or 'Dangerous Liaisons' (so much more intriguing btw) Not all was bad, ...more
Aurélie Knit & Read
3,5*

C'est très bien écrit, parfois touchant lorsqu'on connaît un peu le contexte de la relation entre l'auteur et George Sand... Mais le personnage principal m'a agacée à un point ! Cet enfant du siècle, égoïste, destructeur, on n'a vraiment pas envie de le croiser et encore moins qu'il jette son dévolu sur nous !
spisok_korablei
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Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay (11 December 1810 – 2 May 1857) was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing La Confession d'un enfant du siècle (The Confession of a Child of the Century, autobiographical) from 1836.
Musset was born on 11 December 1810 in Paris. His family was upper-class but poor and his father worked in various key government
...more
“What a frightful weapon is human thought! It is our defense and our safeguard, the most precious gift that God has made us. It is ours and it obeys us; we may launch it forth into space, but, once outside of our feeble brains, it is gone; we can no longer control it. ” 21 likes
“Poets represent love as sculptors design beauty, as musicians create melody; that is to say, endowed with an exquisite nervous organization, they gather up with discerning ardor the purest elements of life, the most beautiful lines of matter, and the most harmonious voices of nature. There lived, it is said, at Athens a great number of beautiful girls; Praxiteles drew them all one after another; then from these diverse types of beauty, each one of which had its defects, he formed a single faultless beauty and created Venus. The man who first created a musical instrument, and who gave to harmony its rules and its laws, had for a long time listened to the murmuring of reeds and the singing of birds. Thus the poets, who understand life, after knowing much of love, more or less transitory, after feeling that sublime exaltation which real passion can for the moment inspire, eliminating from human nature all that degrades it, created the mysterious names which through the ages fly from lip to lip: Daphnis and Chloe, Hero and Leander, Pyramus and Thisbe.

To try to find in real life such love as this, eternal and absolute, is but to seek on public squares a woman such as Venus, or to expect nightingales to sing the symphonies of Beethoven.”
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