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[[ Read Epub ]] ã Memoirs of an Egotist õ Memoirs of an Egotist, Stendhal s fragmentary autobiographical work, is alert, wry, and perpetually self questioning Through a series of apparently random impressions of the political, social, and artistic movements of the world around him, he imbues a range of human experience, from the mundane to the extraordinary, with the significance it deserves Containing everything from delightful thumbnail sketches of his friends and colleagues, to lyrical remembrances of gardens and operas and tenderly amused descriptions of tea with London prostitutes, Memoirs of an Egotist is as startling as it is revealing Fragmentary, but Stendhal is full of life, and his sharp observations makes it fascinating reading Throughout the book, Stendahl s descriptions of the different people he associates with are acute and merciless he doesn t spare even the people he calls his friends somehow it would seem he rather meant that he was able to bear with them temporarily The entire atmosphere of 1820 s Paris appears bleak and claustrophobic in Stendhal s anecdotes, and the social etiquette stifling to a degree th Fragmentary, but Stendhal is full of life, and his sharp observations makes it fascinating reading Throughout the book, Stendahl s descriptions of the different people he associates with are acute and merciless he doesn t spare even the people he calls his friends somehow it would seem he rather meant that he was able to bear with them temporarily The entire atmosphere of 1820 s Paris appears bleak and claustrophobic in Stendhal s anecdotes, and the social etiquette stifling to a degree that made me think it that it would possibly have made people ache for a bloodbath out of sheer frustration Yes, that badSince it is muchof a fateful mistake for a young man to drop some unseemly remark than it is to his advantage to say something clever, posterity, probably less inane, will have no idea of how insipid polite society was Stendhal himself doesn t appear as entirely likable either, at first droning on about his heartache, or about the mistresses he could have had if he only hadn t been so distracted by said heartache, or rather distracted by trying to conceal said heartache so he wouldn t be ridiculed or what he considers far worse so his lost love, the incomparable M tilde, wouldn t be ridiculed Or about missed friendships, or about the salons he could have joined if only he hadn t been so distrait Well, the title Souvenirs d gotisme doesn t exactly suggest he intended to spare anyone much less himself As you keep turning the pages, it s exactly his critical eye, combined with his wry wit, that makes himandlikableOn arriving in a town I always ask 1 Which are the 12 prettiest women 2 Which are the 12 richest men 3 Which is the man who could get me hangedIt becomes clear to the reader how, under certain noxious circumstances, how hard it is to be even remotely likeable.There s an amusing anecdote where he s visiting whores in a remote district of London Half expecting to be murdered by their pimps, Stendhal and a friend sets out for Westminster Road It s a three storey house, and Stendhal comments that In all my life I have never seen anything so small , and also that if it hadn t been for the boredom of after dinner London and the stimulus of possible danger he wouldn t have gone at all The next day, upon not having been murdered, but rather having had a good time or so it would seem , they send for an excellent lunch to treat both themselves and the young girls And after going to see a play Shakespeare, most likely they return in the evening with champagne This is one of the few times where Stendhal behaves with a degree of exuberance, but it may contain a hint of what it did to him to be able to forget, if only for a very brief time, his great love M tilde, who he d left in Milan, the relationship still unconsummated after years of courtship , along with polite society almost everywhere he went.I am animated, passionate, wild, and sincere to excess in friendship and in love, until the first cooling off Then, from the wildness of a sixteen year old I pass, in the twinkling of an eye, to the machiavellianism of a fifty year old and, after a week, there s nothing left but melting ice, a perfect chilliness Stendhal was a complex man in an era of extremes of corruption, vain ambition, marriage for money even the choice of a mistress or a lover was calculated by considering the advantages it could bring, or at least in most cases had an undertone of ambition , and, for anyone not entirely deprived of wit as Stendhal would put it , an existence replete with boredomif I had beenastute, I d become disgusted to the point of nausea with women, and thus with music and painting like my two contemporaries M.M de la Ro si re and Per ochin They are dessicated, disgusted with the world, philosophers Instead of that, in everything concerning women, I have the good fortune to be as naive as at the age of twenty five This is the reason why I ll never blow out my brains in disgust at everything, out of boredom with life Stendhal had made sure this memoir wouldn t be published until long after his death, so he gives himself a free reign in commenting on just about everything and everyone For firsthand observations of early 19th century Paris and France and Europe in general , Stendhal is a great and intriguing source There s really nothing else that I know of that quite compares to this when it comes to wry social commentary This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License This is a book by a writer, primarily for other writers Stendhal is carrying out an interesting experiment, and I m surprised that it hasn t hadof an impact Unless you have an unusually positive view of human nature, you ll agree that most autobiographies are dreadful collections of self serving lies No, you said Tony Blair I never mentioned him In general, it s easy to point fingers, and of course some people are worse than others But even the most careful, consciencious, impart This is a book by a writer, primarily for other writers Stendhal is carrying out an interesting experiment, and I m surprised that it hasn t hadof an impact Unless you have an unusually positive view of human nature, you ll agree that most autobiographies are dreadful collections of self serving lies No, you said Tony Blair I never mentioned him In general, it s easy to point fingers, and of course some people are worse than others But even the most careful, consciencious, impartial seeker after truth is likely to end up with a variant on the usual mess Simone de Beauvoir, who I think is about as honest as it gets, complains bitterly that her memoirs are filled with mauvaise foi Churchill s History of the Second World War is brilliant, but contains flagrant half truths and omissions he wasn t allowed to write about Turing and the code breakers because it was still top secret, and it was psychologically impossible for him to give the requisite weight to the story of the Eastern front If de Beauvoir and Churchill can t get it right, what hope for mere mortals Stendhal was well aware of the problems, and tried to cut the Gordian knot He wrote down his story very quickly, with minimal or no revision, as if he was writing a series of letters he also decided from the beginning that it would be published at least ten years after his death, so he wouldn t have to worry about hurting people s feelings The result is interestingly different from a normal autobiography It s unavoidably incoherent in places, and often comes across as just rough notes there are places where the editor says he s left up to three quarters of a page of blank space, presumably intending to fill in the gap but never getting around to it Often, he talks about people and places without adequate introduction, and I had one finger permanently in the end notes Stendhal scholars have spent over 150 years trying to figure out obscure references, and there are still instances where they re stumped But you really do have the feeling that this is someone who s not just trying to be honest, but actually succeeding a lot of the time Three things in particular stand out He spends a great deal of time regretting love affairs that either went wrong or never happened he is appalled by the dishonesty and mediocrity of nearly all his fellow writers and, although he dearly loves his friends and does his best to explain their stirling qualities, he s completely unable to do so They re just, you know, great guys.Even though the first impression is of a very unfinished work, there are lovely fragments scattered through the text It s rare to have three pages go by without finding something you immediately want to quote I think this was my favourite passage, though many others ran it close Avez vous jamais vu, lecteur b n vole, un ver soie qui a mang assez de feuille de m rier La comparaison n est pas noble, mais elle est si juste Cette laide b te ne veut plus manger, elle a besoin de grimper et de faire sa prison de soie.Tel est l animal nomm crivain Pour qui a go t de la profonde occupation d crire, lire n est qu un plaisir secondaire Tant de fois je croyais tre 2 heures, je regardais ma pendule il tait 6 heures et demie Voil ma excuse pour avoir noirci tant de papier.My translation Have you ever seen, gentle reader, a silkworm who has eaten enough mulberry leaves It s not a flattering comparison, but a very fair one This ugly creature no longer wants to eat, it wants to climb up somewhere and start making its prison of silk.The animal called the writer is similar For someone who has tasted the profound pleasure of writing, reading is nothan a secondary pleasure Many times I ve believed it was 2 in the afternoon, and then looked at the clock to find it was 6.30 There s my excuse for having blackened so much paper.Well, I had better get out of my cocoon and start making dinner But I do so wish I could reply to him If you happen to have a time machine, please deliver this note to M Beyle in 1833 tell him that his book was by no means as dull as he feared, and is still appreciated in 2010 He seemed concerned about its future success, and I d like to reassure him that his experiment worked out very well.I just can t stop thinking about Stendhal s unusual book Have to give it another star in recognition of that On the matter of sex What I got out of this book was exactly one thing That in some parts of Europe at the time, women and men were equal in this respect everybody had lovers It wasn t something men did to women This makes scenes that might otherwise be repugnant resonate with eroticism Perhaps the equality is merely in the minds of men but Stendhal is a realist and so I doubt that An expert in the area might demolish my illusions, however.though I m not sure I want you to, if you are On the matter of sex What I got out of this book was exactly one thing That in some parts of Europe at the time, women and men were equal in this respect everybody had lovers It wasn t something men did to women This makes scenes that might otherwise be repugnant resonate with eroticism Perhaps the equality is merely in the minds of men but Stendhal is a realist and so I doubt that An expert in the area might demolish my illusions, however.though I m not sure I want you to, if you are reading this.In Chapter 3, two of Stendhal s friends decide to cheer him up by taking him to see a courtesan Alexandrine appeared and surpassed all expectations She was a tall and slim girl of seventeen or eighteen, already mature.she was quiet and gentle but not at all shy, fairly gay and not unseemly in her behaviour My friends eyes goggled at the sight of her Lussinge offered a glass of champagne, which she refused, and disappeared with her Mme Petit introduced us to the two other girls who weren t bad but we told her that she herself was prettier..Poitevin took her off After a dreadfully long interval, a very pale Lussinge returned Your turn, Beyle ie Stendhal , they cried You ve just come home it s your privilege not at all sure why getting to go second is special I found Alexandrine on a bed, a little wan, almost in the costume and in the exact position of Titian s Duchess of Urbino Let s just talk for ten minutes, she said in a lively way I m a bit tired, let s chat My young blood will flare up again soon.She was adorable, I perhaps had never seen anyone prettier There wasn t too much licentiousness about her except in the eyes which gradually became suggestively animated and full you could say of passion.I failed entirely with her it was a complete fiasco So I had to rely on a substitute which she submitted to Not quite knowing what to do, I wanted to try this manual expedient again, but she refused She seemed astonished Considering my situation, I said several quite good things and then went out Of course, I had to hurry off to Google to look up Titian s Duchess of Urbino What was she wearing Ah I should have guessed.That s what she s wearing It turns out that this picture is a matter of great controversy nothing to do with whether you like her outfit, by the way Mark Twain said of it You enter the Uffizi and proceed to that most visited little gallery that exists in the world the Tribune and there, against the wall, without obstructing rap or leaf, you may look your fill upon the foulest, the vilest, the obscenest picture the world possesses Titian s Venus It isn t that she is naked and stretched out on a bed no, it is the attitude of one of her arms and hand If I ventured to describe that attitude there would be a fine howl but there the Venus lies for anybody to gloat over that wants to and there she has a right to lie, for she is a work of art, and art has its privileges I saw a young girl stealing furtive glances at her I saw young men gazing long and absorbedly at her, I saw aged infirm men hang upon her charms with a pathetic interest How I should like to describe her just to see what a holy indignation I could stir up in the worldyet the world is willing to let its sons and its daughters and itself look at Titian s beast, but won t stand a description of it in words.There are pictures of nude women which suggest no impure thought I am well aware of that I am not railing at such What I am trying to emphasize is the fact that Titian s Venus is very far from being one of that sort Without any question it was painted for a bagnio and it was probably refused because it was a trifle too strong In truth, it is a trifle too strong for any place but a public art gallery What Twain is saying here, in Tramp Abroad I think, is that if you wrote this picture in words it would be obscene rather than erotic Indeed, it has been referred to as the masturbating Venus so you see what I mean Interesting in this context, that Stendhal, whether intuitively or consciously knew that to be the case, and thus refers to Alexandrine in this most sexy way without any sex in his language whatsoever A mere reference to a painting says it all I m completely ignorant of art, but I expect back then educated people reading this book would have understood the reference immediately indeed, maybe everybody else does But permit the matter to becomplex Is it not fair to say that although in this case the exquisitely erotic painting of the Duchess Venus looking directly as us, her invited lover, hard nipples, touching herself, does the job no words would, to Twain s chagrin at the same time, one could readily imagine a tacky picture rendered delicate via choice words Tit for tat if you will forgive me putting it this way Recuerdos de egotismo es un relato ntimo de las vivencias de Stendhal desde 1821 hasta 1830, es digamos la segunda parte de La vida de Henry Brulard.Es una autobiograf a mezclada de algunos eventos falsos y muchos alterados m nimamente pero es en realidad la vida que tuvo Stendhal durante aquel tiempo.Hay muchas cosas que me gustaron del libro, no estoy seguro pero creo que hay que ser stendhaliano para poder disfrutarlo m s, no s si le pueda gustar a alguien que no conoce a Stendhal o no Recuerdos de egotismo es un relato ntimo de las vivencias de Stendhal desde 1821 hasta 1830, es digamos la segunda parte de La vida de Henry Brulard.Es una autobiograf a mezclada de algunos eventos falsos y muchos alterados m nimamente pero es en realidad la vida que tuvo Stendhal durante aquel tiempo.Hay muchas cosas que me gustaron del libro, no estoy seguro pero creo que hay que ser stendhaliano para poder disfrutarlo m s, no s si le pueda gustar a alguien que no conoce a Stendhal o no est interesado en conocer m s de l El relato y sus peripecias al ser tan reales no son necesariamente interesantes, y la manera de contarlo no es precisamente la mejor como en sus grandes obras, en gran parte de seguro porque es como muchas obras de l inconclusa, Stendhal no la termin de escribir.Hay dos cosas importantes que sin embargo me llaman la atenci n lo primero es que para m Stendhal es fuente de conocimientos no s lo de historias ficticias sino de muchas cosas y lo segundo que es una obra que te permite conocer qu tan rom ntico realmente era Stendhal.Sobre lo primero pues Stendhal como dice en una parte del libro ha conocido a grandes hombres, es una persona que digamos se apasiona por las grandes almas de su tiempo, as como describe todas las personalidades que trat en la poca as como juzga obras de sus contempor neos, as pude conocer m s sobre Napole n, Racine, Shakespeare, Madame de Stael, Benjamin Constant, Merim e, Daru, Walter Scott, Schiller, Monti, Lancival, y muchos otros personajes que gracias a Stendhal tratar de conocer m s, muchos literatos que han escrito libros algunos olvidados que a partir de ahora buscar.Sobre lo segundo, es algo que si bien no me sorprende demasiado s ya me ha hecho comprender algunas cosas de su obra Stendhal al parecer fue muy desdichado en el amor y es un gran contraste con aquella idea que algunos ten amos y que algunos expertos dec an sobre l, que era una persona fr a, c nica y mordaz Muy cierto su obra puede ser as pero luego de haber le do Del amor y sobre todo Recuerdos de egotismo nadie puede dudar que era en el fondo tras la careta, como l mismo dice un personaje muy sensible y apasionado