Read ebook La belle bête by Marie–Claire Blais –

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Read ebook La belle bête by Marie–Claire Blais –

I know that I m supposed to consider the author s flat detached distant style and the esulting incomprehensibility of the characters to be a mark of depth even genius But I am a big girl now I ve probably ead this book over half a dozen times It s a uick ead that always leaves me feeling uneasy There is nothing beautiful in this world The breadth of sorrow is breathtaking This is a horrifying tale of warped damaged human beings doing damage to each other s souls in ways that only family members can do The pace is brisk the action is elentless both physical and psychological and while there is a certain inevitability to the ending the author does an excellent job of throwing in enough unexpected plot twists and unsettling insights and passages to keep the eader engaged I would say the book is Gothic except that most of the settings are pastoral so there is none of the claustrophobic feel of that genre and in other espects especially its brevity it bears some esemblance to work of existentialist writers such as Camus and in its exploration of self love and self loathing to Dostoevsky The writer of the afterward describes as something of a fractured fairy tale and that is also true My only criticism of the book is that there is some measure of edundancy in some of the descriptions and the epeated emphasis on the beauty of Patrice gets tiresome eventually so it does have some of the marks of a first novel which it is My only disappointment was that I came to Blais hoping to learn something of uebec whence she hails and this novel could be set virtually anywhere so long as the setting is ural and has horses A eally iveting ead for me nonetheless Very strange yet gripping story Mad Shadows is a Canadian novel telling of a blatantly dysfunctional family in a powerful and unforgettable way This book feels like a fairy tale It is about a family that loves only beauty and is abhorred by ugliness This leads to a hollow life for most members of the family However one person was perceived as ugly and was ejected This leads to several violent events that destroy the family I am not sure what I think of the story but it will be discussed in class in a few weeks A thoroughly nasty unpleasant misanthropic delight I loved it Whether you admire her or disdain her Blais is one BRAVE ladyShe leads her life on the edge She doesn t try to sugarcoat her own violent childhood family memories from the sound of it and how many of us can boast of that but she faces those tough memories suare onOne brave ladyMarie Claire Bl. A harrowing pathology of the soul Mad Shadows centres on a family group Patrice the beautiful and narcissistic son; his ugly and malicious sister Isabelle Marie; and

Ais with Margaret Atwood and others was one of our first Canadian proponents of postmodernism She began her writing career as a courageously candid and daringly individualistic voice in a country characterized by a sense of inferiority and complianceSuch beginnings though were understandably shaky and unsure of their footing as is evidenced in this novel one of her earliestFinding one s identity and defending it against all the inevitably violent eactions of the world is never easy It certainly wasn t easy in those staid former times for people like Blais and myselfBut with ecognition comes ease Once Blais found her books hailed by u bec intellectuals as Canada s answer to the nouveau oman and the unsparingly adical fiction of the existentialists she felt comfortable enough in her own skin to produce a lifelong string of new age classicsBut the conservative voices ceaselessly tried to unseat her literary pre eminence in the years of La R volution Tranuil And when I came across her as a settled middle class twelve year old it was like descending into the maelstromIt was a lazy Saturday morning like so many others When I sat in my favourite armchair next to the living oom picture window overlooking a picturesue stand of mature Maples at my parents house this unassuming new book was sitting on the coffee table left there certainly by my librarian bibliophile MomI picked it up always one for a good eadThe next few hours spent completely wrapped up in the vicious head games of a pathologically dysfunctional u b cois family left me utterly drained and appalledMy first preteen Initiation by FireNow I hesitate to dip into her novels You know so many of our unpleasant memories tend to get plugged away behind a psychological firewall that we necessarily erect Without tangible hope our lives eally can become hopeless in so many espectsBut I salute Mlle Blais for her unflagging courageThis book epresents as I said a youthful writer who was at that distant time desperately unsure of herselfBut isn t that the way it is for all of us in our early years We have to leave behind the comforting illusions of childhood for a mindset that is only at first unclear and embryonic And it may emain that way for years That doesn t matterThe only thing that matters is our faith that we e doing the ight thing by searching for a comprehensive worldview For with that faith we WILL find itA POV perhaps that epresents at once our Deepest Self and the world s ultimate meaningBlais seems to have settled for second best finding herself but. Ouise their vain and uncomprehending mother These characters inhabit an amoral universe where beauty eflects no truth and love is an empty delusion Each character is.

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In a meaningless world At least her compensation is her geniusSo if you want to ead Blais and you should take one of her ecent self assured and pre eminently masterful novels truer mirrors of our bizarre modern worldFor she now expertly and steadily holds high her well crafted lens before this Fallen Dystopia of ours And ecords it all so wellJust don t start with this one This gruesome novel published in 1959 about a dysfunctional family comprised of a narcissistic son a spiteful sister and a nasty mother was the first cannon shot in a barrage that his continued ever since showing us the ugly side of domestic life in today s North America A elative of Ms Blais once told me that anyone who had ever know her family would be inclined to forgive her for the extraordinarily nasty tone that has characterized all her fiction This is a great pioneering work for a dubious genre of which Canadians are uite proud I emember seeing the National Ballet Version entitled Mad Shadows choreographed by Ann Ditchburn and featuring Veronica Tennant and Karen Kain which I uite enjoyed I hope that the National Ballet will continue to evive this work from time to time Read it I ead this slim disturbing novella in one sitting during the middle of the night partly because I could not tear myself away from the drama and partly because it was so twisted that I needed it to be over This is a warped dark fairy tale exploring themes elated to family love beauty and ugliness It is mostly about mean people who do treacherous things to one another It s seriously impressive how much violence and hatred Blais packed into this short novella It kind of kicks ass in the same way a Babes in Toyland song does a short but concentrated burst of fury distortion and aggressive female age Maybe Blais is uebec s answer to Flannery O Connor minus the grace at the end Even though this novella is almost 60 years old it s well worth checking out if you are looking for a bold dynamic and twisted example of how powerful the form can be This book I ead in about 14 hours 6 of which were in a bar where I was freuently paraphrasing the ensuing action to my companion He would come back and say What s happening now and I d say Well the boy who is the personification of beauty is about to get in an Oedipal struggle with the father figure who walks with a golden CANE and the mother s vanity has given her face cancer that she is trying to conceal with makeup and the ugly girl is beginning a elationship in the green world with a blind man who sees her as beautifu. Ultimately annihilated by their own obsessionsAcclaimed and eviled when it exploded on the uebec literary scene in 1959 Mad Shadows initiated a new era in uebec ficti.

Marie Claire Blais naît à uébec en 1939 Elle publie à l’âge de vingt ans un premier roman La Belle Bête dans leuel elle analyse avec une âpre lucidité les ressorts psychologiues d’une relation violente pleine de haine et d’envie entre une jeune femme trop laide et son frère simple d’esprit mais si beau ue l’on ne voit ue lui Cette violence cette sauvagerie resteront présentes dans tou