La Princesse de Clèves


La Princesse de Clèves/ Madame de La Fayette/ 1678


A surprisingly light read for a 17th century novel, La princesse de Clèves is a story about court intrigues during the reign of Henry II of France. A meaner person might call it the poor man’s Les Liaisons dangereuses, but La Princesse de Clèves can and does stand on its own. This psychological novel follows the virtuous titular princess while she navigates life in court and falls in love against her better judgement. But don’t let the edifying message deceive you, although much, much tamer than Les Liaisons dangereuses, Madame de La Fayette’s novel hides beneath its surface just as much sex, deception and politics as Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ s classic.

Una lectura sorprenentment lleugera per una novel·la del segle XVII, La princesse de Clèves es pot descriure com una història d’intrigues cortesanes durant el regnat d’Enric II de França. Algú més cruel que jo podria anomenar-la una Les Liaisons dangereuses de descompte, però La Princesse de Clèves s’aguanta per si mateixa. Aquesta novel·la psicològica segueix a la virtuosa Princesa de Clèves mentre s’enfronta a la vida a la cort i a un amor que va en contra tot allò en el que creu. Però no deixeu que el seu missatge edificant us enganyi, malgrat que és molt, molt més pudorosa que Les Liaisons dangereuses, la novel·la de Madame de la Fayette amaga sota la superfície tant de sexe, enganys i política com el clàssic de Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.



Reading Challenge: Back to the Classics 2017

Començo l’any amb ganes de retornar als clàssics i per no tenir excuses (tot i que n’acabaré trobant), m’he apuntat a un desafiament de lectura. Aquí van els meus propòsits:

A 19th century classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th century classic – any book published between 1900 and 1967. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

3.  A classic by a woman author.


4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories).


5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category.


6.  A romance classic. I’m pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot.


7.  A Gothic or horror classic. For a good definition of what makes a book Gothic, and an excellent list of possible reads, please see this list on Goodreads.


8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two Cities, Three Men in a Boat, The Nine Tailors, Henry V, Fahrenheit 451, etc. An actual number is required — for example, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None would not qualify, but The Seven Dials Mystery would.

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  It can be an actual animal or a metaphor, or just the name in the title. Examples include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc. If the animal is not obvious, please clarify it in your post.

10. A classic set in a place you’d like to visit. It can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz, Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the Nile, etc.

11. An award-winning classic. It could be the Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award, just mention in your blog post what award your choice

12. A Russian classic. 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author.


And now, the rest of the rules:

  • All books must be read in 2017. Books started before January 1, 2017 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by December 31, 2017. I’ll post links each category the first week of January which will be featured on a sidebar on this blog for the entire year.
  • You must also post a wrap-up review and link it to the challenge no later than December 31, 2017. Please include links within your final wrap-up to that I can easily confirm all your categories. Also, it is OK to rearrange books to fit different categories in your wrap-up post — for example, last year I originally planned to use Journey to the Center of the the Earth in the Fantasy/SciFi/Dystopian category, but then I decided to count it as an Adventure Classic. Most books count count toward several categories, so it’s fine if you change them, as long as they are identified in your wrap-up post.
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago; therefore, books must have been written by 1967 to qualify for this challenge. The ONLY exceptions are books published posthumously.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! You may also count books that you read for other challenges.
  • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge. You must read a different book for EACH category, or it doesn’t count.
  • Children’s classics are acceptable, but please, no more than 3 total for the challenge. Single short stories and short poems do not count, but you may use epic poems like The Odyssey and short story collections like The Canterbury Tales, as long as it is the entire book.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link to reviews on Goodreads or any other publicly accessible online format. For example, if you have a Goodreads account, you could create a dedicated list to the challenge, and link to that with a tentative list (the list can change throughout the challenge).
  • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2017. After that, I will close the link and you’ll have to wait until the next year! Please include a link to your original sign-up post, not your blog URL. Also, make sure you add your link to the Linky below, NOT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. If I don’t see your name in the original Linky, YOU WILL BE INELIGIBLE. If you’ve made a mistake with your link, just add a second one.
  • You do NOT have to list all the books you’re going to read for the challenge in your sign-up post, but it’s more fun if you do! Of course, you can change your list any time. Books may also be read in any order.
  • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2018. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending on the number of categories completed. One winner will be selected at random for all qualifying entries. The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US currency) from either OR $30 worth of books from The Book Depository. The winner MUST live in a country that will receive shipments from one or the other. For a list of countries that receive shipments from The Book Depository, click here.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up at the linky below! I’ll be posting my list of possible reads for 2017 in the next couple of days. Happy reading!