STENDHAL & STEAM ENGINES

March 6, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Posted in Art, Books, Film, France, History, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

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Now that the steam engine rules

the world, a title is an absurdity,

still I am all dressed up in this

title.

It will crush me if I do not support

it. The title attracts attention to

myself.

Stendhal (1783-1842)

Armance (1827 novel)

(Stendhal [Marie Henri Beyle] (1783-1842), French novelist.

Octave de Bonnivet, in Armance, ch. XIV, Urbain Canel (1827), trans. C.K. Scott-Moncrieff, 1946.)

In 1827, Octave is a young man living the moment in which an aristocratic young Frenchman must become a grown-up. This includes getting married. Small wonder that he is rather gloomy and tormented about the whole idea, since he feels obliged to find a rich wife, but he is in love with his cousin, Armance, an orphaned, sensitive and intelligent young woman. And there you have your drama: he is shy because of his illness; she is shy because she’s poor. Doomed love. Nevertheless, Octave will decide to marry her after an equivocal incident in which her honor might be at risk, thus finding a suitable excuse to let her finally know how much he loves her (those were the days). The ending is an interesting solution to the problem.

Comment:

One of the Bengali female characters in the recent movie, “The Namesake,” is reading Stendhal’s “Armance,” while visiting New York from Paris, where she studies.

The Namesake”

Director: Mira Nair

Writers (WGA):

namesake.jpg

Sooni Taraporevala (screenplay)
Jhumpa Lahiri (novel)

Release Date:

9 March 2007 (USA)

The Namesake”

Now that the steam engine rules the world, a title is an absurdity, still I am all dressed up in this title. It will crush me if I do not support it. The title attracts attention to myself.

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