THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD - by Anatole FRANCE
The Prize Novel of the French Academy in 1881, from the pen of Nobel Prize-winning French Author Anatole France. Here, presented in a translation by author Lafcadio Hearn along with the essay 'On Crime' by Anatole France. A breathtaking piece of fiction wherein France has managed, as a writer, to inhabit the psyche of a old man (Sylvestre Bonnard) - while the author was actually in his early thirties!
"I feel myself a great criminal; it seems to me that an unknown crime, an infamous action, weighs on my conscience." Feodor Dostoievsky
Editor's Note (to this New Edition): "LIVING TIME® Digital is delighted to be able to present to the reading public this new edition of Anatole France’s ‘The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard’. This novel, the author’s ﬁrst major piece of ﬁction, was the Prize Novel of the French Academy in 1881, and France himself went on to become the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1921. It is a very origi-nal piece of ﬁction, written, from beginning to end, as if it were comprised of entries in a journal. However, the skill and subtlety of the author have managed to make this format lively and suspenseful, when in the hands of another it might be trite and insigniﬁcant. The present edition is based on the accurate trans-lation of Lafcadio Hearn, which manages to convey not only the meaning of the words but the spirit of the author. Changes have been made to his translation only so as to bring it in line with the punctuation and house style of Living Time® Digital. Hopefully this new edition will make Anatole France’s book more accessible and attractive to read than it has been before, for it is a book that has been largely neglect-ed in recent years and does need to be re-evaluated. In addition to the text, the reader will ﬁnd the essay by Hearn himself an illuminating introduction to the book, as also the extract from France’s piece ‘On Crime’, which has never before been printed along-side this work. The contents, for the ﬁrst time ever, now indicate each of the diary entries in the volume, while the textual annotations are at the book’s close. A portrait of France is included just before the text."
An Extract from this Book: "She had added, "You shall not see Monsieur Bonnard any more; for he has been giving you bad advice, and he has conducted himself in a most shameful manner towards me". "I then said to her, ‘That, Mademoiselle, you will never be able to make me believe'. Then Mademoiselle slapped my face and sent me back to the school-room. The announ-cement that I should never be allowed to see you again made me feel as if night had come down upon me. Don't you know those evenings when one feels so sad to see the darkness come? well, just imagine such a moment stretched out into weeks - into whole months! Don't you remember my little Saint-George?Up to that time I had worked at it as well as I could -just simply to work at it - just to amuse myself. But when I lost all hope of ever seeing you again I took my little wax ﬁgure, and I began to work at it in quite another way. I did not try to model it with wooden matches any more, as I had been doing, but with hair-pins. I even made use of épingles à la neige. But perhaps you do not know what épingles à la neige are? Well, I became more particular about it than you can possibly imagine. I put a dragon on Saint-George's helmet; and I passed hours and hours in making a head and eyes and a tail for the dragon. Oh, the eyes! the eyes, above all! I never stopped working at them till I got them so that they had red pupils and white eye-lids and eye-brows and every-thing! I know I am very silly; I had an idea that I was going to die as soon as my little Saint-George would be ﬁnished. I worked at it during recreation hours, and Mademoiselle Préfère used to let me alone. One day I learned that you were in the parlour with the schoolmistress; I watched for you ; we said Au revoir!that day to each other. I was a little consoled by see-ing you. But, some time after that, my guardian came and wanted to make me go out with him one Thurs-day. I refused to go to his house, - but please don't ask me why."
One of the Classics of modern French Literature.