ISBN is

978-0-553-21357-7 / 0553213571

The Red and the Black

by De Stendhal, Marie

Publisher:Bantam Classics

Language:English

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About the book:

Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) is a classic novel that was very important to me in early formation of directions in life. I found I could identify quite strongly with Julien Sorel, who wanted a better life, a life of meaning and importance, and was torn about which direction in which to go. The Red (symbolising the church, the scarlet of cardinal's robes) and the Black (symbolising the military, the uniform, etc.) were both options held out to me early; in fact, I rejected both for a while, but have found myself drawn back in the red direction. The story is one of coming of age as a bookish fellow in a working-class family, then ambition (but not overpowering ambition; in fact, Julien's father wishes he had more), then shifting careers (rare in an era and country where one's path is usually set for life early; however, this was the post-revolution era in France, in which some things were giving way, some more than others, it seems). Julien is pulled by events rather than being the director and creator of realities; Julien finds he loves the affect of various roles in life (more than the substance and responsibilities that come with such roles) -- for instance, he loves the swagger and the horsey-ness of being a soldier, but doesn't particularly like to get dirty or have to fight. He likes the trappings of religious office, but isn't inclined so much to spirituality, and Julien ran up against this in seminary:

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