Un balcon en forêt

1939, ce sont les premiers mois de ce que l on appellera la dr le de guerre P riode de suspens, d attente particuli rement dans les Ardennes o l aspirant Grange a pour mission d arr ter les blind s allemands si une attaque se produisait A la fois le d serte et avant poste sur le front de la Meuse o montent des signes inqui tants.
Un balcon en for t ce sont les premiers mois de ce que l on appellera la dr le de guerre P riode de suspens d attente particuli rement dans les Ardennes o l aspirant Grange a pour mission d arr ter les blind s al

  • Title: Un balcon en forêt
  • Author: Julien Gracq
  • ISBN: 9782714303332
  • Page: 433
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Un balcon en forêt”

    1. Lieutenant Grange is one of those poor dreamers- like Walser, like Pessoa, like Eugene Eyestones even- who have realized that happiness is the desire to be nothing, but who have been called by circumstances to be something; in Grange’s case, this something is a watchman in an enchanted forest above a world caught in a reverberating hesitation, anticipating a leap into complete catastrophe. Grange the Dreamer finds himself alone on a train in the autumn of 1939 being taken deep into the Ardenne [...]

    2. I don't know if I've ever read a book that is so much a Mariel kind of book as this one. This means nothing to anyone but me. I don't care. This review is for me and anyone else like me. All of the things that I squint view, the staring at lamps and suns squinting, too bright and spotty and unsustainable to find in everything else. Julien Gracq would call it "the unattainable sea in a shell". I'm listening as far away as I can. All in my own language. His was French, originally. Not my language. [...]

    3. Straight away Julien Gracq emphasizes the irrationality of war and the novel begins as if the main hero is going to some wicked never-never land… “A train for the Domain of Arnheim” thought the lieutenant, a great Poe enthusiast, and as he lit a cigarette he leaned his head back against the serge upholstery so his gaze could follow the crest of the high, shaggy cliffs aureoled by the low sun.The beautifully baroque language of the book is in the outright contrast with the dire irreality of [...]

    4. I love when this site leads to masterpieces previously unknown to me. Stoner, most memorably, and a few others. Now this one. Sumptuous prose, never over the top as in The Opposing Shore, steady, flowing, so clear its perception verges on surrealistic swervy poetry. Gracq might just be the supreme poet of anticipatory anxiety, and seculsion in a dense forest with the pulse of bombs on the horizon like heat lightning is therefore maybe his ideal setting. As in "The Opposing Shore," nothing much h [...]

    5. Magnifique La poésie de Gracq m'a encore transportée, et ce roman vient seconder de très près Le Rivage des Syrtes, qui est pour l'instant mon préféré de sa bibliographie. Cette histoire d'angoisse sourde qui monte tout doucement sans qu'on veuille la reconnaître, de guerre qui point sans se montrer, m'a d'ailleurs fait penser au thème de l'attente développé dans le Rivage, et que l'on retrouve ici de façon plus concrète, peut-être un peu plus accessible. Une merveille, que j'ai d [...]

    6. I have felt, throughout the year, an intensifying fear, an increasing discomfort, a kind of claustrophobia, as though something terrible, something unavoidable, perhaps even fatal, was closing in on me. A couple of days ago, this feeling reached an apex, and drove me out of the house around midnight, with no plan or direction in mind. However, once outside a strange sort of calm came over me. The streets were clear, the sky starless and raven black; and the cool air was like clean linen against [...]

    7. An unearthly stillness, a limbo, a lull. Several seasons passed outside of time in a forest outpost at the edge of the world, yet about to be entirely overrun by history. The Balcony In the Forest, perhaps channeling some of Gracq's own wartime experiences, follows a soldier appointed to a four-man anti-tank bunker on the French-Belgian border in late 1939. Amidst interminable uncertainty and dreadful anticipation, he begins to fall in love with his mostly-unpopulated natural surroundings, the m [...]

    8. Julien Gracq, damn. This was some of the most beautiful prose I've read in ages. The story revolves around a French soldier stationed in the remote woods during the long run-up to WWII. There are plot elements about love and war, but the novel sidesteps all conventions and expectations to unfurl its own unusual tale. It's a book thick with intoxicating atmosphere, moments filled equally with dread and wonder, grounded it reality but with a strong whiff of magick. Anyone who's ever found themselv [...]

    9. In the stillness leading up to the 1940 German invasion of France, a reluctant lieutenant and his men occupy a concrete blockhouse in a remote forest near the Belgian border. As the slow weeks creep into months, summer turning to autumn giving way to winter, Lieutenant Grange lives a dream-like existence, entranced by the forest and the young widow Mona whom he encounters one day on the forest road. The stalled war both confounds and lulls Grange into a state of perpetual self-examination. He wo [...]

    10. This is supposed to be a seminal piece of French literature about the Phoney War stage of the Second World War. It recounts the life of a French officer stationed in a Blockhouse in the Ardennes Forest, up to the point when, at the end, the Germans finally arrive through Belgium. This had not been anticipated by the French High Command, in spite of the fact that it was exactly what had happened in the previous war. It is full of descriptions of the forest, the soldiers' everyday life, doing very [...]

    11. Voici l'indispensable pendant de l’Étrange défaite de Marc Bloch. C'est la routine un peu ennuyante qui ressort le plus, l'inquiétant n'intervient qu'à la fin du roman, même si on perçoit rapidement que le héros se retrouve coincé dans une souricière. Il y a bien sûr en parallèle une intrigue amoureuse, qui se déroule au rythme lent du quotidien dans le blockhaus. Toujours aussi bien écrit, mais sans l'aspect fantastique du Château d'Argol, ce roman raconte l'étrangeté de la si [...]

    12. Very beautifully written book in whose' subject I had almost no interest but it kept me reading to the end.Set in a fortified guardhouse on the Meuse from 1939-1940 and following a French officer's story in the face of confusion, uncertainty and ultimately defeat, the book flows magnificently.

    13. For some reason, I chose this of all weeks to read about impending doom and a manic pixie dream girl. What was I thinking?It's beautiful though.

    14. You know how there are some books that you know are really, really great books, but you just slogged through your own reading of them and couldn't wait for them to be over? Those, I think, are all of my 3 star ratings on GoodReads.

    15. I received this book as part of NYRB's classic's book club. If this is any clue as to the caliber of books -- it's so worth it. What an immensely pleasurable read. It transports you into a beautiful internal dreamlike state but has enough tension (war is coming!) that kept me wanting to turn the page. Beautiful, slightly haunting, very memorable.

    16. un chef d’oeuvre: l’absurdité de la guerre et l’impossibilité de la comprendre, l’illusion d’être un spectateur sur un balcon donnant sur une forêt enchantée, pareil aux forêts des contes d’enfance et les souvenirs d’enfance et la difficulté de grandir, que faire da la vie? ah! la beauté de l’écriture surréaliste de Gracq, un écrivain capable de changer le rythme en passant de la lenteur de la contemplation à la frénésie de la sensualité, à la merveille de la magi [...]

    17. Reminded me of Sartre's trilogy, of course, particularly 'Iron in the Soul'. Less political than Sartre, but Gracq is more poetic. It reads so well that the pages fly by. My only complaint is that the main protagonist is the only character fleshed out. It really should be written in the first person, but then

    18. Beautiful prose, an apparently excellent translation by Richard Howard.A compelling novel about a thoughtful man who finds himself isolated in a beautiful spot in an incomprehensible war & then comes across a gorgeous young (possibly underage) woman who throws herself at him — "he discovered he was within her without knowing when it had happened" . . . for the rest of my life, please, spare me.

    19. Describes the period after WWII was declared but before the hostilities started. The scenes are described beautifully but the story is true to the statement that "War is 90% boredom with 10% activity.

    20. I found myself drifting during the descriptions of the forest and perking up at "here come the Nazis" parts. I guess I was in the mood for a work of non-fiction.

    21. This novel is set during the Phony War of 1939-1940, and ends, as one knows from the start that it must, when the Germans invade France in May 1940. The protagonist is a French lieutenant named Grange, stationed in a blockhouse near the Belgian border, in the Ardennes Forest. We never learn his first name or anything whatever about his past. He is literate, sensitive, imaginative. This total absence of exposition is remarkable - a technique most often found in thrillers. And this novel in which [...]

    22. This guy is in the French Army in a little town in a forest waiting for the Germans to attack (WWII), when war has been declared but I guess it's not really "on" yet. The feeling of stillness that comes from the something big and scary that is about to happen, that sense of in-between-ness, of being suspended in this moment that is neither one thing nor another, is expressed through every single thing that happens, and in the setting itself, and prolonged through almost the entire book- it's har [...]

    23. BU KİTAP MÜKEMMELİlave:(Lib gen sitesinde kindle formatında ingilizce basımı var, evvelen yky'den türkçesini okuyup bayılmıştım, tekrar okuyunca bir yıldızı sildim gitti; böyle rüya gibi tasvirlerle yaşanılan deneyimin özünü daha da güçlü aktaran romanları veya genel olarak aşk romanı sevenler okusun. (Sürrealist diyorlar ama Breton gibi değil: belirli bir süreyi, belirli bir olayı erotik, etkileyici tasvir ediyor.) Orman filan da seven okusun.

    24. Quel bonheur que de lire un récit rédigé dans un style aussi remarquable.L'histoire est celle d'une attente. L'attente de la bataille dans une forêt des Ardennes pendant la drôle de guerre.L'attente est meublée par la beauté de la nature, l'observation des préparatifs militaires et l'amour pour une femme-enfant/esprit de la forêt, déjà veuve, croisée par un jour de pluie sur un chemin de la forêt.Ce récit mélancolique m'a laissé un grand regret à l'isssue de la dernière page.

    25. I read this book when I learned of the author's death two years ago and remember liking it and it being quite different. Quite a fanciful book, a soldier in the forest primeval while the Germans invade finds love. Descriptive imagery and storytelling had me thinking of the movie "Pan's Labrynth." Sort of an obscure author to Americans

    26. Il y a des gens dont Julien Gracq qui croient que la vie passe et finit de facon absurde. Cette these presentee ici avec an une histoire de la drole de guerre est remarquagle depourvu de toute nuance.

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