Hot Best Seller

The Life of Henry Brulard

Availability: Ready to download

The Life of Henry Brulard is the autobiography of one of France's greatest writers, Stendhal, author of The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. Here, writing at white heat and with such ferocious honesty and indignation that his book was to remain unpublishable for more than a century after its composition, Stendhal revisits his unhappy childhood in a stuffy provincial town and The Life of Henry Brulard is the autobiography of one of France's greatest writers, Stendhal, author of The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. Here, writing at white heat and with such ferocious honesty and indignation that his book was to remain unpublishable for more than a century after its composition, Stendhal revisits his unhappy childhood in a stuffy provincial town and bares his rebellious heart. His adored mother, who died when he was only seven; a father devoted only to his own social ambitions; the aunt whose daily cruelties passed for care: these are among the indelible portraits in a work that captures the sights, sounds, places, and characters of Stendhal's youth, its pleasures and sorrows, with preternatural clarity and immediacy. Full of dazzling images and burning emotions, The Life of Henry Brulard is a vivid memoir that is also an extraordinary work of the imagination.


Compare

The Life of Henry Brulard is the autobiography of one of France's greatest writers, Stendhal, author of The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. Here, writing at white heat and with such ferocious honesty and indignation that his book was to remain unpublishable for more than a century after its composition, Stendhal revisits his unhappy childhood in a stuffy provincial town and The Life of Henry Brulard is the autobiography of one of France's greatest writers, Stendhal, author of The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. Here, writing at white heat and with such ferocious honesty and indignation that his book was to remain unpublishable for more than a century after its composition, Stendhal revisits his unhappy childhood in a stuffy provincial town and bares his rebellious heart. His adored mother, who died when he was only seven; a father devoted only to his own social ambitions; the aunt whose daily cruelties passed for care: these are among the indelible portraits in a work that captures the sights, sounds, places, and characters of Stendhal's youth, its pleasures and sorrows, with preternatural clarity and immediacy. Full of dazzling images and burning emotions, The Life of Henry Brulard is a vivid memoir that is also an extraordinary work of the imagination.

30 review for The Life of Henry Brulard

  1. 4 out of 5

    AGamarra

    "No he sido hombre galante, o por lo menos no lo suficiente; sólo me ocupaba de la mujer que amaba, y cuando no estaba enamorado, pensaba en el espectáculo de las cosas humanas, o leía con fruición a Montesquieu o a Walter Scott" En verdad me parece muy adecuado haber leído primero de Stendhal sus grandes novelas antes de leer sus demás escritos, que pueden ser interesantes y entretenidos para los que conocemos ya a Stendhal y nos interesa saber peculiaridades de su vida y sus memoria "No he sido hombre galante, o por lo menos no lo suficiente; sólo me ocupaba de la mujer que amaba, y cuando no estaba enamorado, pensaba en el espectáculo de las cosas humanas, o leía con fruición a Montesquieu o a Walter Scott" En verdad me parece muy adecuado haber leído primero de Stendhal sus grandes novelas antes de leer sus demás escritos, que pueden ser interesantes y entretenidos para los que conocemos ya a Stendhal y nos interesa saber peculiaridades de su vida y sus memorias nos da una idea de cómo así pudo Stendhal formar algunos de sus personajes en "Rojo y Negro" por ejemplo, ya sea tomando algunos conocidos suyos a lo largo de su vida de modelos de algunos personajes o ya sea imprimiendo en su personaje central Julián Sorel algunos detalles de su propio carácter o experiencias, ese descubrimiento de esas cosas fueron las partes más interesantes para mí. Stendhal escribe aquí la biografía de sus primeros años, ahí es donde lamentablemente creo el libro puede aburrir pues no sólo Stendhal es repetitivo en muchas cosas: el amor a su madre, el odio a su padre y aversión a su tía Séraphie, la más odiada para él, tanto que hizo que agradezca al cielo su muerte. Tal vez la ausencia de una vida entretenida o llena de espectáculos hace su niñez aburrida, pues la verdad yo no saqué muchas cosas de ahí, más bien, siendo justos, debió haber sido un niño un poco perverso, malhumorado para muchos de los que lo conocieron incluso sus amigos. Y Stendhal es muy sincero aquí pues habla de sus defectos y muchas veces se autocalifica como "perverso". Tuvo realmente luego de su madre un hogar en el cual él no se sentía dichoso, al contrario, las maneras aristocráticas de las que su padre y su abuelo M. Gagnon se sentían tan orgulloso no gustaba del "jacobino" niño. Constantemente amaba lo que aborrecían su padre y su tía y odiaba lo que les parecía bueno. Él se queja que ellos no le dejaban socializar y de ahí nació su aversión. Comprendemos así a muchos personajes como digo de sus grandes novelas. Lamentablemente, la parte que más me gustó se da casi al final y termina abruptamente. La llegada a Italia con el ejército napoleónico y su fascinación por Italia. Es una pena que hay que agregar a todo lo que he dicho frecuentes lagunas en la cual Stendhal no recuerda bien lo que pasó (parece más producto de falta de poder revisar bien sus apuntes o perfeccionar pues creo que lo hubiera podido presentar de manera mucho más amena) o el desorden significativo de sus ideas en la cual pareciera más divagar que contar una memoria. Es en realidad un libro que no me ha gustado sobre todo en la primera parte aunque me han encantado algunos apuntes literarios, históricos o militares. Siendo justos un 3 creo es la mejor calificación.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This is the strangest of autobiographies: In fact, it is like a set of notes for an autobiography, with repetitions, footnotes that are nothing more than a reminder to the writer, and crude illustrations of rooms, streets, and scenes that played a part in the early life of Stendhal (Henri Marie Beyle). And it is only the first twenty or so years in Stendhal's life that are covered, comprising his childhood in Grenoble, his first few months in Paris, and his happiness at joining Napoleon's army in its i This is the strangest of autobiographies: In fact, it is like a set of notes for an autobiography, with repetitions, footnotes that are nothing more than a reminder to the writer, and crude illustrations of rooms, streets, and scenes that played a part in the early life of Stendhal (Henri Marie Beyle). And it is only the first twenty or so years in Stendhal's life that are covered, comprising his childhood in Grenoble, his first few months in Paris, and his happiness at joining Napoleon's army in its invasion of Italy. Why is it called The Life of Henry Brulard when Stendhal's real name is Marie-Henri Beyle? If we learn anything in the first two-thirds of the book, it is that Marie-Henri loathes his father and his aunt Seraphie, who seems to spend most of her time belittling and punishing him. He refuses to call himself Beyle, adopting instead the name Brulard, which belonged to his late, beloved mother. When Seraphie dies and he finally gets to Paris, he is disconsolate because in Paris there are no mountains, as in his native Dauphiné. In fact, until the very end, when Stendhal falls in love with Italy, he is a young man not comfortable in his own skin:"Is Paris no more than this?" This meant: the thing I've longed for so much, as the supreme good, the thing to which I've sacrificed my life for the past three years, bores me. It was not the three years' sacrifice that distressed me; in spite of my dread of entering the Ecole Polytechnique next year, I loved mathematics; the terrible question that I was not clever enough to see clearly was this: Where, then, is happiness to be found on earth? And sometimes I got as far as asking: Is there such a thing as happiness on earth?Although The Life of Henry Brulard lacks the formal excellence of a great literary biography such as we are accustomed to, it is so manifestly truthful and self-critical that, for once, we do not feel that the author is busily embroidering an alternate past for himself. The whole book was written over a four-month period in the 1830s, when Stendhal was fifty-two. Reading The Life of Henry Brulard is like experiencing a great writer forgiving all the dead ends and defeats of his youth. It is, if anything, a kind of celebration of a wayward youth. Stendhal stops writing abruptly when he feels his life is on the right track. What we get are all the wrong tracks that threatened to overthrow his development. Fortunately for all of us, Stendhal went on to become a great writer, one who was eventually happy within his own skin.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Διόνυσος Ελευθέριος

    This has to be one of the finest autobiographies ever written. I'm a little surprised to see the less than positive reviews of it here. I found Stendhal's meandering and picturesque tale of his formative years to be perpetually engaging, admirably honest, witty and intelligent throughout. I especially enjoyed his ongoing commentary on (and rejection of) bourgeois European life and the lasting and significant influence that great books (like those of Rousseau) had on him. Also, his mature recogni This has to be one of the finest autobiographies ever written. I'm a little surprised to see the less than positive reviews of it here. I found Stendhal's meandering and picturesque tale of his formative years to be perpetually engaging, admirably honest, witty and intelligent throughout. I especially enjoyed his ongoing commentary on (and rejection of) bourgeois European life and the lasting and significant influence that great books (like those of Rousseau) had on him. Also, his mature recognition of youthful folly was constantly as humorous as it was courageous. A nearly unsurpassable masterpiece.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yani

    Es una autobiografía lo suficientemente extensa como para abarcar los 50 y tantos años que Stendhal tenía en el momento de la escritura. El problema está en la selección (consciente o inconsciente) de los hechos que quiso contar e inmortalizar. No voy a extenderme demasiado porque los únicos méritos que encontré en este libro son técnicos... y ni siquiera disfruté eso. Stendhal inserta dibujos y planos que parecen ayudarlo a rememorar y a convencernos de que lo que está diciendo fue real. En la Es una autobiografía lo suficientemente extensa como para abarcar los 50 y tantos años que Stendhal tenía en el momento de la escritura. El problema está en la selección (consciente o inconsciente) de los hechos que quiso contar e inmortalizar. No voy a extenderme demasiado porque los únicos méritos que encontré en este libro son técnicos... y ni siquiera disfruté eso. Stendhal inserta dibujos y planos que parecen ayudarlo a rememorar y a convencernos de que lo que está diciendo fue real. En la narración hay una especie de fluir de la conciencia (no me estoy refiriendo al de Joyce, sólo estoy usando libremente los términos) que casi siempre vuelve a la época de la infancia. Y es que, justamente, para él todo empieza con la muerte de su madre. Stendhal habla de todo: del odio hacia su padre, de su desdén por Francia, de sus amantes y amigos ( a veces suspende su propia vida para hablar de la de ellos con un tono de superioridad que me resultó insoportable), de su educación. No estoy mencionando todos, porque llega un momento en que uno se pregunta qué es interesante y qué no. Y duele saber que la respuesta es "casi nada". Es un 2.5 a secas.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    If this hadn't been a work-related must read, I doubt I would have finished it. A rambling repetitive mess of chaotic thoughts and fragmentary recollections, a deluge of names and references to contemporary events, judgements and developments, none of which really come to life, and with only some vivid scenes, few and far between, that light up in the murk. Starting off on Stendhal with this would induce only a happy very, very few to move on to his great novels, I suspect. Much of it is also If this hadn't been a work-related must read, I doubt I would have finished it. A rambling repetitive mess of chaotic thoughts and fragmentary recollections, a deluge of names and references to contemporary events, judgements and developments, none of which really come to life, and with only some vivid scenes, few and far between, that light up in the murk. Starting off on Stendhal with this would induce only a happy very, very few to move on to his great novels, I suspect. Much of it is also simply incomprehensible. There are anecdotes I completely fail to see the point of. Take this observation: 'I learnt English only many years later, when I invented the idea of learning by heart the first four pages of The Vicar of Wakefield [Ouaikefield:]. This, I fancy, was around 1800. Someone had had the same idea in Scotland, I believe, but I didn't find that out until 1818 when I got hold of some Edinburgh Reviews in Germany.' Little or no connection with what precedes and follows this passage. It sounds like a madman's comments. 'Invented the idea'? What's the idea? How do you learn a language just by memorizing four pages of text in it? And who was that Scotsman? Didn't he speak English already? What is he talking about. In the Dutch edition that I read, the notes don't help me either. And it's full of these random jottings. The whole thing sounds like Stendhal muttering to himself rather than addressing any reader. (Of course, the thing was never finished or published in his lifetime.) Granted, that is also what gives it some life. And maybe memoirs (with all those names of people most everybody has now forgotten) just isn't my genre.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    Henry Brulard was the draft of his autobiography that Stendhal never finished. Stendhal was certainly right to publish it in his lifetime. The work was not complete and from what one can see from the document that exists, Stendhal had no idea where he wanted to go with the work. It is the role of the scholar to take documents like Henry Brulard and draw from them to create a true biography. Packaging and presenting this as a somewhat complete work does a disservice to both Stendhal an Henry Brulard was the draft of his autobiography that Stendhal never finished. Stendhal was certainly right to publish it in his lifetime. The work was not complete and from what one can see from the document that exists, Stendhal had no idea where he wanted to go with the work. It is the role of the scholar to take documents like Henry Brulard and draw from them to create a true biography. Packaging and presenting this as a somewhat complete work does a disservice to both Stendhal and the unfortunate person who pays for it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    i want to read this book so bad it's distracting. i don't have anytime to read it right now, and i'm already reading too many books. so instead of reading it right now, i just pick it up and look it over. i love stendhal. i can't wait to read new (to me) stendhal.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Don Wilton

    Found this book hard to digest and the tale somewhat far fetched. More Hocus Pocus than escape. The two pricipal characters outwitting the 'wiley orientals' and intriguing their way to freedom just 2 weeks before the end of the war. Not pointless, but just too much of a bore for my liking.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cooper Renner

    Much more consistently interesting than either "Red and the Black" or "Three Italian Chronicles", and full of the sense of who Stendhal was.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Will

    "The word genius was for me, at that time, what the word God is for a bigot." (Chapter XXVIII)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    I wish there was a way to give this book five stars without indicating that I think most (or indeed, the vast majority of) people would enjoy it. So, a few caveats: Stendhal repeats himself constantly, the timeline manages to be highly confusing despite covering about ten years total, the footnotes all refer to things he's doing in Rome in 1843, at one point he tells us that his aunt was 24 in 1790 and that he has no idea how old she is in the same paragraph, which is characteristic of the gener I wish there was a way to give this book five stars without indicating that I think most (or indeed, the vast majority of) people would enjoy it. So, a few caveats: Stendhal repeats himself constantly, the timeline manages to be highly confusing despite covering about ten years total, the footnotes all refer to things he's doing in Rome in 1843, at one point he tells us that his aunt was 24 in 1790 and that he has no idea how old she is in the same paragraph, which is characteristic of the general level of editorial oversight, and Brulard isn't actually his name. It's certainly not as compulsively readable as his novels, or even most of the travel writings and essays. At the same time, Stendhal is Stendhal: witty and charming and intelligent and fundamentally sincere and warm. It's a fascinating record of the mindset of a particular time and place, and of the origins of Stendhal's particular narrative fixations. This isn't exactly nonfiction: it's clear that he's telling a story about himself, and the story is pretty familiar. But then, Stendhal only really has one story, and I enjoy it every time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kerschen

    It’s not the most _realized_ Stendhal, but all the rough patches are worth it for that wondrous, guileless ending where he finally approaches his long-anticipated first love, discovers he can’t write a word and breaks off the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Antoine Vazquez

    C'est une découverte. Il faut découvrir et apprendre les grands classiques, surtout quand c'est un nom comme Stendhal. Mais j'ai eu du mal à me laisser transporter..

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carlo Mayer

    Finiti

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

    Rambling complaints about his childhood and with some humorous sections.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wojciech

    Happines.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lieketseng

    tres belle

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kit

    red & black & charterhouse are both incredible novels. this memoir is kind of dull.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Madden

    I feel duty-bound to recommend to all writers Stendhal's unfinished autobiography. THE LIFE OF HENRY BRULARD,The Life of Henry Brulardnot just because he is the author of THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA and THE RED AND THE BLACK, which I also recommend ferociously, but because it is the most unique posthumous autobiography I know, full of commentary about what he is doing, w I feel duty-bound to recommend to all writers Stendhal's unfinished autobiography. THE LIFE OF HENRY BRULARD,The Life of Henry Brulardnot just because he is the author of THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA and THE RED AND THE BLACK, which I also recommend ferociously, but because it is the most unique posthumous autobiography I know, full of commentary about what he is doing, wants to do, will do, maybe, from page to page, replete with his drawings on almost every page to orient himself for future revisions, additions, refinements. Brulard is one of Henri Beyle's [Stendhal's] many pseudonyms. He is witty almost line by line, ironic often, Byronically romantic, appealing very much to me at the moment, especially, because I am 900 pages into my memoir of my two years in the army [Korean "police action"] called MY INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN THE ARMY, in which page by page, I make the same kinds of instructions to myself and notes for the Promethean task of revision. I cannot imagine any writer not being entranced by this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    T

  21. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lika

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nadja Hofmann

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben Villars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tiago Marques

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Gillig

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Adams

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maqroll

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Colley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vir Dextrogir

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.