Le Rivage des Syrtes

Le Rivage des Syrtes The great maritime state of Orsenna has long been lulled by settled peace and prosperity It is three hundred years since it was actively at war with its traditional enemy two days sail across the wate

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  • Title: Le Rivage des Syrtes
  • Author: Julien Gracq
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 362
  • Format: None
  • The great maritime state of Orsenna has long been lulled by settled peace and prosperity It is three hundred years since it was actively at war with its traditional enemy two days sail across the water, the savage land of Farghestan a slumbering but by no means extinct volcano The narrator of this story, Aldo, a world weary young aristocrat, is posted to the coast ofThe great maritime state of Orsenna has long been lulled by settled peace and prosperity It is three hundred years since it was actively at war with its traditional enemy two days sail across the water, the savage land of Farghestan a slumbering but by no means extinct volcano The narrator of this story, Aldo, a world weary young aristocrat, is posted to the coast of Syrtes, where the Admiralty keeps the seas constantly patrolled to defend the demarcation between the two powers still officially at war His duties are to be the eyes and ears of the Signory, to report back any rumours of interest to the State Goaded, however, by his mistress, Vanessa Aldobrandi, he takes a patrol boat across the boundary to within cannon shot of the Farghestani coastal batteries The age old undeclared truce is no than a boil ripe to be lanced.

    One thought on “Le Rivage des Syrtes”

    1. I enjoyed this book. I did not enjoy it as much as some books I have read but I did enjoy it more than some other books I have read. The things that the words said happened were interesting to me. Some of the sentences were less interesting to me than some of the other sentences. Some of the sentences that were less interesting to me were less interesting to me because I had read similar things in different sentences in different books on previous occasions. During reading the pages I sometimes [...]

    2. The Opposing Shore has a quite unique atmosphere – it is written in the baroque language of the nineteenth century classical novels and at the same time it is fraught with the Kafkian surreal suspense of the kind that permeates The Castle and it even boasts some whiffs of beautifully enigmatic Gormenghast.“Solitude and boredom. It's what happens to something that's felt itself gathered together too long, too exclusively. The vacuum that occurs at its frontiers – a kind of numbness which is [...]

    3. ** Unfinished **________________________You stand at the shore taking in the salty air. The waves crashing on the shore sing to you soothingly. A calm smile adorns your face. You look at the horizon and wonder what lies beyond.You wander around in the quiet, somnolent streets. Like a child digging in the dirt to discover little treasures, you roam the un-walked paths unearthing their secrets. The unvisited corners grow intimate and become your safe haven.You gaze back at your city and its famili [...]

    4. I finished this over a month ago and have been figuring out how to review it. It's one of those rare BURIED novels that's so good I'm actually tempted to *not* to tell anyone else about it. To keep it to myself and try to figure out how to replicate some of its magick. So in that spirit, I'm not going to say too much. The Opposing Shore has been described as science fiction, but it takes place in an ancient kingdom that's closer to Calvino's Baron in the Trees if that book was more doomstruck an [...]

    5. Read this thanks to this bit in Enrique Vila-Matas's Dublinesque:"He'd published lots of important authors, but only in Julien Gracq's novel The Opposing Shore did he perceive any spirit for the future. In his room in Lyon, over the course of endless hours spent locked away, he devoted himself to a theory of the novel that, based on the lessons apparent to him the moment he opened The Opposing Shore, established five elements he considered essential for the novel of the future. These essential e [...]

    6. What seems at first to be little more than an exquisitely-described study of a state of suspended history, of the torpor and inertia attending a 300-year ceasefire and decadence of the national machinery, gradually shifts and darkens into something more unsettling. Julien Gracq's principle subject, in a career bisected by WWII and time in a POW camp, seems to be observing through subtle, isolated viewpoints, just where and how the 20th century fell aside, somewhat willingly, into the flames of c [...]

    7. This book could serve as a great case study for aspiring authors on how a potentially very good book can still be spoiled by poor execution.Unusually what spoils the book is not what you would normally expect - unexciting plot, uninteresting characters, unnatural dialogue - but, and almost uniquely in my experience, the problem is with the book’s written style alone, which is very overwrought and one that few readers could enjoy. Normally I am not even conscious of literary style, but a book l [...]

    8. INTRODUCTION: Several days ago, I discovered this novel utterly by chance. Published in France almost 60 years ago and an instant classic there honored with the Prix Goncourt - which the author refused after publicly railing against literary prizes - The Opposing Shore hooked me from the first page and I could not leave it before doing this review, though usually I leave some time between reading and reviewing for the book to "settle" in my mind. I also plan to get as many books of the author as [...]

    9. Maybe there are moments when you rush into the future as into a fire—helter skelter. Moments when it intoxicates you like a drug, when a debilitated body no longer resists… Orsenna is an ancient country dominated by its capital city, ruled primarily by several aristocratic families, whose outer coastal province of Syrtes lies across the sea from the mysterious country of Farghestan (the ‘Opposing Shore’), with which Orsenna has been embroiled in a long-slumbering war of 300 years’ time [...]

    10. I originally gave this award-winning book three stars, but downgraded it because its dubious message seemed to be that jingoism is the best (only?) antidote to internal decay. How ridiculous. Maybe I missed something.

    11. The writing here is exceptional; both elegant and oppressive. It reminded me a bit of Kafka, and a bit of Micheal Cisco. There isn't much plot to speak of for the first ~80%, but the joy of reading Gracq's writing easily pulled me along.Probably more a 4.5 than a 4, but not quite forcefully enough for me to round up. If there was more actual "stuff" occurring in the novel to pair with writing it would be easier to push it over. That said, still very well recommended (but you might need to ILL it [...]

    12. A strangely atmospheric novel that blends the exotic and prosaic to create a mysterious time and landscape to be swallowed into. It is set between two locations: Orsenna, a fabulous city state of decaying grandeur, living on past glories; and Syrtes, a desert province on a distant and desolate coast to which the protagonist, Aldo, is assigned by the Orsenna Signory to observe naval operations. It is a post that requires almost no effort as the decaying fleet is almost non-existent and nothing ha [...]

    13. What Buddhist burst of contemplation led Julien Gracq to write this strangely atypical historical fantasy? The Opposing Shore is set in the Venice-like maritime state of Orsenna which faces, across a strait, the Muslim kingdom of Farghestan. We follow the young, ambitious Aldo, who signs up with the Signory to be sent to Syrtes, in the dour old Admiralty fortress which reminds Orsenna that, after three centuries, it is still technically at war with Farghestan. Most of Aldo's colleagues at the Ad [...]

    14. Cuatro estrellas con revisión al alza, pues no tengo verdaderas razones para privarlo de la máxima puntuación fuera del consabido criterio de prudencia.

    15. Edit: Oh and that cover with the giant floating rock is a complete lie :# .So in premise this reminded me a lot of the excellent The Tartar Steppe. Both are about young men sent to remote outposts where the odds of anything exciting happening are quite remote but vigilance is nevertheless required.You could easily change the setting of these stories to say a nuclear missile silo in the usa and the stories would still work pretty well.However the Opposing Shore diverts completely from the Tartar [...]

    16. “The Opposing Shore” (Le ravage des Syrtes, 1951) is a haunting and very difficult novel. I read it as a statement about the way torpor settles over a person or, in this case, a whole state, and the inevitable, growing urge to shake things up, move towards action, even though that action might bring destruction and death. Aldo, a member of a prestigious family in the imaginary city of Orsenna, is stationed at a fort on the coast. On the other side of the sea is Farghestan, with which Orsenna [...]

    17. It was an effort to finish this book. It's not very long, but it actually took me months to read it, because I hated it so much I could only handle it in small doses. Gracq has maybe the most pretentious prose style I've ever read. In fact, this book contains what just might be the worst sentence ever written (but don't ask me what it is, because I don't remember and can't seem to find it I just remember laughing when I read it). The book is less a story than a collection of strained similes (p [...]

    18. J'ai terminé la lecture du Rivage des Syrtes le 20 janvier 2008! Autant la lecture des premiers paragraphes du roman m'ont laissé une impression vague et complexe, autant le dernier chapitre, les Instances secrètes de la Ville, ont réussi à éclairer d'une façon très brillante et lucide les derniers coins d'ombre qui subsistaient dans mon incompréhension du récit. La dernière page, particulièrement poignante et empreinte d'une critique non pas naïve, mais tout simplement humaine, m'a [...]

    19. I am finding the prose of this book very odd and difficult to sink into. I am torn between thinking that it is rich and strange like eating something thick and creamy, and thinking that it is rich and strange like trying to wade through something thick and creamy. The book also reminds me of the Tartar Steppe, which I found similarly dreamy and hard to get into. I am beginning to dread that DFW IRS boredom book, as I am worried that stories about inertia and lack of direction are maybe not my th [...]

    20. He acabado bastante aburrido de tanta metáfora, de tanto simbolismo florido y de tanta repetición. Aunque despierta ecos inequívocos a "El desierto de los tártaros", la novela de Buzzati, con su lírica sencilla, melancólica y precisa es mucho más evocativa y, desde mi punto de vista, muy superior. Y es una pena, porque la novela tiene su puntito y podría haber llegado a interesarme. Pero le sobra la mitad (o más) de azúcar y merengue.

    21. The vacant, disquieting world herein exists on the same plane as Giorgio de Chirico's visual art—in a time outside of time, suspended in inertia, poised on the brink of turmoil.

    22. After learning the premise of The Opposing Shore I had to read it, but not because the premise is particularly noteworthy: The Opposing Shore is the story of a man who enrolls in the armed services and is sent to a remote base on the border of his country, a base on the outskirts that is notable because it faces a foreign nation that his country has long been at war with, but everything has been quiet on that front for many years. Not a bad premise by any means, but what made it intriguing to me [...]

    23. «C'est ainsi que j'avais connu Vanessa. Je ne devais me rendre compte que bien plus tard de ce privilège qu'elle avait de se rendre immédiatement inséparable d'un paysage ou d'un objet que sa seule présence semblait ouvrir d'elle-même à la délivrance attendue d'une aspiration intime, réduisait et exaltait en même temps au rôle significatif d'attribut. " Baigneuse sur la plage ", " châtelaine à son rouet ", " princesse sur sa tour ", c'était les termes presque emblématiques qui me [...]

    24. I vacillated on what grade to give this book, how much I really liked it, because while there were some things that I really liked there were also things that really annoyed me. I finally gave it four stars, mostly because I can see myself wanting to reread it some time.Opposing shore is set in a fictitious European-feeling country named Orsenna, in a time where there are cars and steamboats but no modern feeling to anything. The main character, the one everything is told through in the book, is [...]

    25. Há um fortíssimo sensualismo ao longo deste romance sobre decadência plácida. Sente-se isso na introspecção face ao mundo que rodeia os personagens, constantemente traduzida em longas metáforas que preenchem os espaços vazios do deserto e do mar. Estes elementos, bem como o urbanismo decadente, são opressivos e constantes ao longo deste romance desolador.Acompanhamos o jovem idealista Aldo, filho de uma das melhores famílias de Orsenna. Potência militar e económica que se desvanece, [...]

    26. A diferencia de otras lecturas decepcionantes, en esta obra de Julien Gracq no he tenido que bregar con elementos que objetivamente pueda calificar de ridículos o impostados. Para nada eso conlleva lo opuesto: que haya encontrado elementos admirables o de gran autenticidad. Cualquier motivo me parecía bueno para pausar su lectura y cualquier momento era el oportuno para no retomarla. Intuyo que esto se debe a que Gracq está más atento a su propia exhibición estética que no a despertar el i [...]

    27. Ce que j’ai cherché à faire, entre autres choses, dans Le Rivage des Syrtes, plutôt qu’à raconter une histoire intemporelle, c’est à libérer par distillation un élément volatil, « l’esprit-de-l’Histoire », au sens où on parle d’esprit-de-vin, et à le raffiner suffisamment pour qu’il pût s’enflammer au contact de l’imagination. Il y a dans l’Histoire un sortilège embusqué, un élément qui, quoique mêlé à une masse considérable d’excipient interne, a la [...]

    28. An unsettling, abstract French novel very much in the vein of Maurice Blanchot's equally unsettling, abstract "Thomas l'Obscur." There's this country (terraces, sea, desert, shapes like a Di Chirico painting) at war with another country (vaguely sketched Oriental other) and our protagonist is on guard on the seashore. Like Blanchot, I'm not sure I'm quite capable of appreciating Gracq on the level he's meant to be appreciated, but damn if I won't try. Lyrical, puzzling, fascinating, and while I [...]

    29. Bir yerde Vanessa'nın dediği:"Hayır, Aldo birisi gitti oraya. Çünkü başka bir yol yoktu. Çünkü zamanı gelmişti. Çünkü birinin oraya gitmesi gerekiyordu."Herkesin istediği lâkin dile getiremediği o 'şey'in olması; bu boğuntunun, sıkıntının, eziyetin bitmesi için gereken Mesih'in, Aldo'nun romanı (mı?)Peşpeşe okuma yapmak isteyenlere önerim, 'Barbarları Beklerken' (Coetzee), 'Tatar Çölü' (Buzatti) ve belki 'Dava' (Kafka) olur.

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