The Red and the Black

The Red and the Black

By Stendhal; Roger Gard (Translator)

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140447644, 576pp.

Publication Date: September 2002

Charts the rise and fall of an ambitious young social climber in a cruel, monarchical society
Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Renal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime and brings about his own downfall. "The Red and the Black" is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.
Roger Gard's fine translation remains faithful to the natural, conversational tone of the original, while his introduction elucidates the complexities of Julien's character. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading and an appendix on Stendhal's use of epigraphs.
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About the Author
STENDHAL(Marie-Henri Beyle) was born in Grenoble in 1783. He served in Napoleon's cavalry and thereafter lived in Italy and Paris, where he wrote many books, including On Love, the autobiographical Life of Henri Brulard, The Charterhouse of Parma (which he wrote in fifty-two days), and The Red and the Black. He died in 1842.
BURTON RAFFEL is a distinguished professor of humanities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His many translations include Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel, winner of the 1991 French-American Foundation Translation Prize, Chretien de Troyes's Arthurian Romances, Cervantes's Don Quijote, and Balzac's Pere Goriot. His translation of Beowulf has sold more than a million copies.
DIANE JOHNSON Is the author of ten novels--most recently Le Mariage and Le Divorce--two books of essays, two biographies, and the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's classic film "The Shining," She has been a finalist four times for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.