The Charterhouse of Parma

The Charterhouse of Parma

by Stendhal

Richard Howard's exuberant and definitive rendition of Stendhal's stirring tale has brought about the rediscovery of this classic by modern readers. Stendhal narrates a young aristocrat's adventures in Napoleon's army and in the court of Parma, illuminating in the process the whole cloth of European history. As Balzac wrote, "Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this...one sees perfection in every detail."With beautiful illustrations by Robert Andrew Parker.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 3.82
  • Pages: 532
  • Publish Date: September 12th 2000 by Modern Library
  • Isbn10: 0679783180
  • Isbn13: 9780679783183

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Earlier, he had been visiting a debtor in a rather dreadful tavern full of vagabonds when he heard a drunkard say I say, heres the Conte Crescenzi come to mingle with us dogs. The Contes face blushed with horror. Thus his heart was filled with great sorrow and he drunk such wine that the Savior would have died had it been all his blood the Conte was drinking. Then a monstrously plump vagabond who liked to call himself Bonaparte made a declaration a friend of mine writes appraisals better than that Jacobinical sonnet. The drunken Conte had fancied that the vagabond had implied that this person who made appraisals better than his sonnets was also the lover of his wife. Full of zeal, the Conte made haste and left the tavern but not before he insulted the crowd with his profanities that are to be legendary for being astoundingly juvenile at the same time. It shall be as wet as the Contessas buds whenever I take her to be mine, responded JR quite amused by the Contes audacity to ask for wine from someone he just insulted. The Contes face blushed due to his very Catholic nature, however due to his intoxication he managed to summon some small ounce of courage and take a small knife from his boot to stab JR who was turned back quite busy decanting a Verdicchio.

It is an almost absolute middle point between Tom Jones (the handsome lead, the vignette-y style, the wonderful humor, the slapsticky regard for human life, the excess coincidences that characterize the early novel) and War and Peace, which it clearly influenced in its court/war split and its fascination with Napoleon. In fact, the entire before-Parma section of the book is absolutely thrilling. Best of all though, is the stretch of the novel when Fabrizio is imprisoned in the beautifully designed tower. It's the "why I love to read" section of this book, resonant of the flood sequence in the Makioka Sisters.

This book defies almost every convention of the novel, and it was written before any of those conventions were even recognized!

ho scoperto di essere stendhaliano per sentito dire, molto prima di leggere Stendhal, e precisamente leggendo un pomeriggio Alberto Savinio (quest'anno ho il proposito di stanarlo tutto, leggendolo). E il compagno leggero, l'Ariele di questo mondo asciutto d'acqua e d'aria Tu come Clerici e io come Chirico siamo oltre a tutto anche parenti mi unisco alla tua stessa radice clericus, e assieme risaliamo al comune klericòs cioè a dire tutto quello che tocca in sorte.

Stendhal, like the protagonist Fabrice del Dongo, served with Napoleon's army in the 1812 campaign into Russia. Upon return from serving with Napoleon's army, del Dongo returns to the intrigue and politics of the court of Parma and fends off repeated advances from his relatively young aunt by marriage, 15 years his senior.

Aunque se podría objetar que en "El rojo y el negro" este elemento también aparece, en "La cartuja de Parma" los personajes femeninos están mucho más desarrollados, ostentan más protagonismo y son más potentes. Centrándonos propiamente en "La cartuja de Parma" se trata de una novela que lo tiene todo: en parte bélica, pues emula la batalla de Waterloo; en parte amorosa, describiendo sus relaciones con la duquesa Sanseverina y con Clelia Conti; en parte sociológica, pues se inmiscuye en los ambientes cortesanos de la Italia del XIX, se refiere al poder de la Iglesia, y no olvida las clases sociales bajas, cuando se ocupa de los devaneos de Fabrizio con Marietta, una actriz de una compañía ambulante.