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When Alain-Fournier was killed in battle on the Meuse in 1914, he left behind Le Grand Meaulnes, a novel of wistful enchantment. The tale is recounted by François Seurel, whose father heads the village school where Augustin Meaulnes comes to board. A tall, somber youth of 17, he instantly becomes the class ringleader, and is soon known as le grand Meaulnes. When the youth sets off on an impetuous errand of a few hours and doesn't return for several days, events take a darker turn.
After Meaulnes's reappearance, Seurel notices his companion's unrest, and tries to uncover its source. He wakes in the midwinter nights to find Meaulnes pacing the room "like someone rummaging about in his memory, sorting out scraps." Meaulnes remains disconsolate, but finally reveals the nature of his travels, and the strange days of revelry at his unintended destination--the "lost domain" to which he is desperate to return and doesn't know how to find. Seurel rightly guesses that Meaulnes met a young woman there, and that he is in love. "Often afterwards, when he had gone to sleep after trying desperately to recapture that beautiful image, he saw in his dreams a procession of young women who resembled her ... but not one of them was this tall slender girl." The two friends set about retracing Meaulnes's path, and their journeys take them into manhood, when Meaulnes finds at last a way to bring his quest full circle.
Alain-Fournier pairs his tightly twisting plot with a poignant nostalgia. His descriptive powers bring to the reader the sights and sounds--the icy winter winds and rattling carriage wheels--from an earlier time, all the while weaving a brilliant affirmation of loyalty and lasting friendship. --Joannie Kervran Stangeland --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Lire Le Grand Meaulnes c'est aller à la découverte d'aventures qui exigent d'incessants retours en arrière, comme si l'aiguillon du bonheur devait toujours se refléter dans le miroir troublant et tremblant de l'enfance scruté par le regard fiévreux de l'adolescence. Le merveilleux de ce roman réside dans un secret mouvement de balancier où le temps courtise son abolition, tandis que s'élève la rumeur d'une fête étrange dont la hantise se fait d'autant plus forte que l'existence s'en éloigne irrévocablement.See all Product Description
This classic story is famous for its addictive eerie atmosphere -it deals with the protaganist stumbling upon, by chance, of a magical castle in the midst of a wild forest, and... Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003
I read this book because Simone de Beauvoir cited it in "Memoirs of a dutiful daughter." Since it's influence on her hasn't been mentioned, I wanted to do so here.Published on Oct. 26 2003 by M. Rodriguez
Le Grand Meaulnes (sometimes translated as The Wanderer or The Lost Domain) is one of those little books that often gets overlooked. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2003 by D. C. Cannon
I taught this novel in my French Lit class this week. I was terribly disappointed by this translation, which is British, and very old. Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2002 by Omnivoreader
Au début du siècle, dans la campagne française, un jeune homme vient bouleverser la vie de François Seurel. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2002 by LudvicLeducPoirier-CPC
One winter during the 1890s, the teenage adventurer Augustin Meaulnes hijacks a carriage and disappears for several days. What mysterious realm did he discover while gone? Read morePublished on March 28 2002 by Connie Randall
I was interested in reading "Le Grand Meaulnes" after seeing that the English novelist John Fowles cited it as a major influence on his masterpiece "The Magus. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2001 by A.J.
I don't have much to add to the other favorable reviews here. Despite his premature death and limited output, Alain-Fournier's legacy lives on, most notably in the novels of John... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2001