Coup de Gr ce is Books Love had made her a glove in my hands of a texture both supple and strong Espresso another cup of espresso and more espresso as I read this book Th
Coup de Grâce is Books Love had made her a glove in my hands, of a texture both supple and strong.Espresso, another cup of espresso, and more espresso, as I read this book. The title of the book says everything you need to know. This is one book that didn't attempt to pull me in, as the first few pages are story stilts, but just when I thought I knew where its texture and narrator were taking me, it yanked me by the hair, surprised the hell out of me and quite frankly, made me a bit uneasy. Why read another war novel of despair after just having read Zweig's The Post-Office Girl? I'm not sure. I've always wanted to sample Marguerite Yourcenar's works and this was an easier, shorter avenue. Besides, there is more to this than war; there is love and bond, even when love becomes an additional wound. And there are those distilling moments of contemplation, when Erick tenderly presents imagery of Sophie, a woman who desperately loved him, but one whose love he could not return:In the glass were reflected the eyes of a child, or of an angel, perhaps; the face was broad with contours not sharply defined, like earth itself in spring, a region of fields gently sloping, traversed by streams of tears; the cheeks had the tint of sunlight on snow and the lips's pale rose almost made one tremble; her hair was as blond as those light golden loaves of good bread that we saw no more.This Sophie reminds me of the Sophie in Styron's Sophie's Choice, one whose world around her shatters and soon, she becomes one of the shards. Really, what can I say about this plot of layered despair except that I could hardly concentrate on Erick's stoic narration, I barely was able to uncover Conrad's motives (perhaps because he chose to live through his books, ignorant of many things occurring around him), and I only wanted to see Sophie illuminated? The prose is elegant and occurs in mouthfuls of expertly arranged words that at times are lyrical, and there in the background, there is Sophie, occurring through Erick's recollections: a woman in love with a man undeserving, a woman symbolic of the civil war occurring, a woman who must sacrifice everything she knows to fight for everything she believes.. Set in the Baltic provinces in the aftermath of World War I, Coup de Grace tells the story of an intimacy that grows between three young people hemmed in by civil war Erick, a Prussian fighting with the White Russians against the Bolsheviks Conrad, his best friend from childhood and Sophie, whose unrequited love for Conrad becomes an unbearable burden.. The best Kindle Coup de Grâce Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987)Elle était trop jeune pour se douter que l'existence n'est pas faite d'élans subits et constance obstinée, mais de compromissions et oublis.()Based upon actual incidents, Marguerite Yourcenar's short novel Le Coup de grâce (1939) is, despite all the trappings of the setting in western Latvia during the 1919 war between the Bolshevists and their many enemies, a close and claustrophobic examination of a ménage à trois consisting of Eric, the narrator, and the siblings, Conrad and Sophie, that could not but remind me of Jean Cocteau's Les Enfants terribles, published a decade earlier. The vectors of desire within the threesomes differ, but the cruelty, obsession and co-dependence of the characters are very similar in these two books, as is the growing presence of death at the core of the relationships.Though the relation never crosses the line so firmly drawn by church and state at that time (a line which, I am grateful to be able to say, is passing from absolute to derisory during my lifetime), Eric and Conrad form the central pair and Sophie is the self-sacrificing satellite.(*) Nonetheless, to my mind it is Sophie who is the central character. Not only does she occupy the narrator more than anybody or anything else, but it is her love, commitment, desperation, despair and, finally, rebellion that give shape to the narrative and lead to the final, terrible scene. The accompanying story of the war in the Baltics is not entirely essential, but it does add another layer of fated darkness to the trio's tragedy as Eric and Conrad fight their doomed battle against the Bolschevists while European governments, exhausted by the War to End All Wars, increasingly erect obstacles to the logistical support of the anti-Bolshevists. Conrad is nearly a cypher of purity, Eric is lucid, distant and solitary, while Sophie is self-destructive and desperate; all are doomed. Yourcenar has produced a tale that is every bit as dark as Cocteau's - if not quite as distilled, as honed to a fine and exact point of concentration - and told with penetrating psychological finesse.() She was too young to suspect that existence is not made of sudden elans and obstinate constancy, but of compromises and disrememberings.(*) In Les Enfants terribles the siblings, Paul and Elisabeth, formed the binary system whose satellite was Gérard.