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Le Calvaire

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Le Calvaire is a thinly veiled autobiographical novel, which recounts the tortured and traumatic coming of age of the narrator Jean Mintie.

It paints a nightmarish picture of late nineteenth century French society: from the stultifying boredom of bourgeois provincialism, to the horrors of the Franco-Prussian war, the grotesque avarice of shameless women and the moral bankr
Paperback, Empire of the Senses series, 223 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Dedalus (first published 1886)
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TRANSLATED BY LOUIS RICH (From the original French "Le Calvaire")

Produced by Dagny, Laura Natal and Marc D'Hooghe at (Images generously made available by the Internet Archive.)

Illustration de Georges Jeanniot, 1902

Description: Le Calvaire is a thinly veiled autobiographical novel, which recounts the tortured and traumatic coming of age of the narrator Jean Mintie. It paints a nightmarish picture of late nineteenth century Frenc
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century, french
An interesting study of obsession. I liked it much better than The Torture Garden, the only other book of his I've read. ...more
The English version can be found at Project Gutenberg

Free download in French available at Project Gutenberg.

Dagny made the R1 proofreading of this book for Free Literature, and I did the R2 round.

The original file was provided by Internet Archive.

The author show how his main characters are so decadent and self-destructive.

But I really hated all parts where animals were savagely and brutal murdered. For this reason, I only gave 2 stars for this book.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Literature
This story recounts a young man’s descent into ruin in late nineteenth century Paris, just the kind of tale to warm the cockles of my heart. How could I resist? Yet it wasn’t the straightforward narrative that got me, but rather the exacting prose. Two or three examples highlight the Victorian register of this chronicle of doom:

Now, day by day, and as it were hour by hour, the bright horizons I had been reaching out to were closing in, and darkness was falling, a dense darkness that was not o
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mon livre préféré de Mirbeau. Un écrit de passion, de folie, d’obsession. Très douloureux à lire pour ma part. Sa détresse résonnait en moi, notamment lors du passage où il contemple l’horizon sur la mer. Sur terre il n’y a pas d’échappatoire. C’est seulement dans la mort que nous trouvons la paix. Lorsque nous nous rendons compte de cela, il n’y a plus de retour en arrière.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Mirbeau is the cruellest of Decadent authors. I tremble to read The Torture Garden.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jude Fawley meets Daniel Prince meets Jean des Esseintes.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
review of
Octave Mirbeau's Le Calvaire
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 3, 2015

I 1st remember encountering the work of Mirbeau in translation in a collection entitled Bizarre edited by Barry Humphries wch I read in October, 1975. In the brief introduction to the excerpt from Mirbeau's "The Torture Garden" in that bk it's stated that "During the earlier part of Oscar Wilde's imprisonment, Mirbeau defended him in the French Press." (Bizarre, p 71) Anyone who supported Wilde at the time of
PJ Dlamini
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
A five star first chapter.

beyond that; a graveyard of words and clichés.
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Octave Mirbeau was a French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright, who achieved celebrity in Europe and great success among the public, while still appealing to the literary and artistic avant-garde. His work has been translated into thirty languages.

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“Everything she heard, everything she saw seemed to be in disagreement with her own manner of understanding and feeling. To her, the sun did not appear red enough, the nights pale enough, the skies deep enough. Her fleeting conception of things and beings condemned her fatally to a perversion of her senses, to vagaries of the spirit and left her nothing but the torment of an unachieved longing, the torture of unfulfilled desires.” 19 likes
“I did not know what she suffered from, but I knew that her malady must have been horrible; I knew that from the way she used to embrace me.” 10 likes
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