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Gilles & Jeanne

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  203 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Comment Jeanne d'Arc, si lucide, au bon sens si fort, a-t-elle put accepter pour compagnon ce Gilles de Rais dont la monstruosité continue à révolter et à fasciner, un demi-millénaire après son supplice ? A cette question - toujours esquivée ou laissée pendante par les historiens -, Michel Tournier tente de répondre : et si Gilles de Rais n'était devenu un monstre que sous ...more
Paperback, 139 pages
Published April 27th 1983 by Gallimard (first published 1983)
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Josh
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
How many times have we heard about how far literature has fallen? But to my mind, the problem facing today’s reader is one of wealth, rather than dearth. There are simply too many masterpieces out there.

As Witold Gombrowizc said, it’s a matter of numbers, and an exponential one at that. Milton was the last man to know everything, and he could (or, to be more accurate, could give the impression that he could) because “everything” at that point fit on a single shelf. Compare this to a modern day
...more
Jonfaith
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beaten, broken man, he went on and buried himself in his fortress in Vendée. For three years he became a caterpillar. When the malign metamorphosis was complete, he emerged, an infernal angel unfurling his wings.

It was my GR friend Paquita who thrust my attentions upon Gilles de Rais. You should read her review now. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... It was also happenstance which led me to this specific book a few weeks back at Harold's bookstall. It was quick and haunting read today, o
...more
Michael Bacon
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novella won't be for everyone, as it reads as much like lyric essay as it does fiction. To the extent that it does feel like fiction, it evokes folktale. For some, the absence of the kind of immersive world building typical of contemporary historical fiction will be a stumbling block (I can see this from some of the other reviews I'm reading here). For me, it's a brilliant artistic choice, particularly when presenting two such mythologised figures from history.

And like ancient folktales (r
...more
Loredana M.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O carte care m-a cam bulversat... Îmi plac foarte mult momentele istorice transpuse în romane, iar poveştile despre Ioana d'Arc şi mai mult. Din păcate, în acest volum Ioana apare destul de puţin, la început, iar apoi ea nu apare decât invocată de către cei care i-au supravieţuit arderii pe rug.

M-a fascinat, dar şi îngrozit, în egală măsură, metamorfoza pe care o suferă Gilles de Rais, cel mai înfocat admirator şi adorator al Ioanei d'Arc, cel care a apucat s-o vadă cum arde pe rug. Pe tot parc
...more
Philippe Malzieu
I like "Vendredi", "Gaspard, Melchior et Balthazar". They are good books. But I have a problem with Tournier. I had found "the ogre" (le roi des Aulnes) ambiguous. With this little book so innocent, that becomes unbearable. However the starting idea was interesting. It's the opposition between a pure and innocent Jeanne and Gilles absolute evil.
And if in fact the question is : was it Jeann who had generated Gilles? Is the good at the origin of evil?

Intéresting.

The attraction without hope of Gill
...more
Larry
Jul 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to constantly ask myself - why was this written? and why am I wasting my time reading it? Thankfully it is short but that doesn't excuse the rationale as to why it was written. The true story is bleak and this adds nothing to that. Go for a walk, talk to the cat anything but don't waste your time.
Miriam Cihodariu
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. A bit morbid and highly speculative, of course, but lovely nonetheless, if you're into medieval studies & themes (as I am).
Susan Chow-Dukhan
A ficitional book about Gilles de Rais who was sentenced to death by hanging and burning in 1440 for the murder of countless children. Gilles had a distinguished military career amd had fought with Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orleans.
Michel Tournier's book postulates that Gilles's admiration for Jeanne and the emotional impact of the execution of Jeanne d'Arc is the impetus to Gilles' future actions. This short novel is well writeen. Michel Tournier chooses his words carefully to give the reader e
...more
Sanne
The contrast between Jeanne d'Arc and Gilles de Rais isn't a novel subject for authors. There's, for instance, Lampo's De duivel en de maagd, plenty of cultural references and even an opera.
Tournier's take on it is an interesting character sketch of de Rais, his demonic delusions and his obsession with Jeanne.

Tournier has done extensive research into the court case and the figure of de Rais and he tells his story with great clarity. However, I didn't feel like he could conjure up the historical
...more
Amizze
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the sainted maiden Jeanne of Arc is unfairly accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake, her lesser, weaker, darker half, Gilles of Rais, loses himself to sin and despair and decides to become the worst of sinners in her name. The book's main themes are duality and inversion: the fires of hell lead to heaven. The devil is nothing more than a distorted image of God. The pure maiden's comrade-in-arms is an insane murderer. In short, Gilles and Jeanne. It was, perhaps, one of the most distur ...more
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Michel Tournier was a French writer.

His works are highly considered and have won important awards such as the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1967 for Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique. and the Prix Goncourt for Le Roi des aulnes in 1970. His works dwell on the fantastic, his inspirations including traditional German culture, Catholicism, and the philosophies of Gaston Bachelard.
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More about Michel Tournier...
“Yes, we have abolished the distance that artistic contemplation necessarily requires. So what is left? Love plus anatomy are left.” 0 likes
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