PAGES FROM THE GONCOURT JOURNAL by Robert-Ed. Baldick

PAGES FROM THE GONCOURT JOURNAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a new English translation of the famous, and much disputed, Journal by the brothers Goncourt, first published in its eleven-volume entirely in France in 1959. A durable literary partnership. Edmund and Jules Goncourt punctuated the second half of the nineteenth century with their novels, criticisms, histories, and dramas; and, although some of their works pioneered the way for Zola and the Impressionists, the Journal remains as their most memorable effort. Beginning in 1851 on the day which saw the publication of their first novel and Louis Napoleon's coup d'eta. It continues until the death of the surviving younger brother in 1896, describing Parisian life, portraying the Greats of the day (Gautier, Rodin, Zola), criticizing their work, recording anecdotes-scandalous and otherwise about all manner of personages, and revealing their own personal fears, plans, and memories. The excerpting here is felicitous: the more pretentious passages of aristocratic arstheticism are absent, and the style is surprisingly informal and well-translated. Either as autobiography or social and literary history, the Journal is a vivid, absorbing period piece.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1962
Publisher: Oxford University Press