Thursday, June 10, 2010

[91] Bonjour Tristesse

This novel is the tale of one seventeen year old girl's wishes, moods, desires and wants as she tries to destroy the happening of a marriage between her father and his fiance, Anne, of whom is portrayed as a rather quiet, calm woman, whereas her father and herself are party animals.

I find that the most interesting part of this novel is that at the time of publication the author was eighteen years old. Therefore, the words she writes come across as the kind of things that a teenager would think and feel, where irrational thoughts and spur of the moment decisions far outweigh logic and reason.

This novel was particularly easy to read for me, not because it's only 130 pages long, but also because I am at the age where her character is still a familiar one. I'm 20, and so I haven't been alienated by teenage desires and such yet. I'm still in that frame of mind where I can be frivolous and not have to worry about mortgages and whether or not my son has done his homework.

I can image, though, how Cecile's frame of mind as she narrates the story could be annoying to older readers who find her to be an annoying whiny bitch, because in all honesty that's exactly what she is.

While it was written in 1955, it does draw heavily on sexual relationships, particularly that between Cecile and her lover, Cyril (I've always found Cyril an odd name, but that's not related). While it doesn't go into any real detail, it is fairly evident that the sex is rather blissful. I'm not at all sure when sex began appearing as frequently in books as it does in the movies now. By in books I mean in actual good books not Mills & Boon type books. I'm scared to research this, but it would be interesting to find out. I'm imagining it was earlier than film, but then there was assorted book burnings by parents who thought books like 'The Scarlett Letter' were evil, so it's hard to tell.

Now I'm just rambling nonsense so I'll leave it there. I recommend this book as a quick read if you're pushing for numbers, and I also recommend it if you're young and can still remember all the words to your graduation song.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoyed this one. She's annoying, yes, but the prose is really beautiful and at least she's honest. Most girls that age would have tried to write some more "mature" work.