(@ BAP) The Red And The Black, by Stendhal

3 posts

The Red And The Black, by Stendhal

@Bronze Age Pervert

What I like : Depiction of a morally superior man that has to serve a degenerate faux elite in order to advance in life. Stendhal's take on the "hypocrisy" (as he calls it) necessary for the awakened individual to survive in a modern, democratic society is splendid, and I very much identify with the character in this regard.

What I don't like : The painstaking detail in the analysis of the main character's feelings towards his love interest(s), and viceversa. I don't give a flying fuck about all this romantic nonsense. It's extremely irritating and sometimes it makes me want to burn the book.
I wrote the notes below in an alcohol-fueled spergin' spree right after finishing the book -- then completely forgot about them. I am now posting them because the world has the right to know how tremendously insightful I am.

  • Sorel is possessed by a grand vision, and he materializes it through action. He’s not a sperg douchebag who, “possessed by a grand vision”, but with his determination weakened by moral cowardice, takes up writing or painting (or internet posting). Artists are often weaklings that retreat into a world of fantasies to avoid facing their true destiny. Stendhal is of course exempted from this invective, for he was an indefatigable traveler, and a warrior.

  • Sorel is a man of superior qualities who, by virtue of being born in a chaotic age, ends up as a serf to a fake elite. Those of us stuck with jobs have suffered a thosand times the humilliation that a man feels when he realizes that the people ABOVE him are scum, not worthy of licking his boots. It’s an absurd situation that, incorrectly digested, can wither even the most robust spirits.

  • The perfect solitude in which Sorel exists through the novel is another outward sign of the great depth of his spirit, which no other mortal can probe. Only the God-like narrator can comprehend and appraise all his complexities, and explain his actions.

  • I was wrong in my unfavorable observations about the romance aspect of the novel. It is essential in the evolution of the character, a central part of his search for power. It is also an insightful way of exposing the vacuous existences of the aristocratic ladies Sorel seduces.
Bob Dylan Roof

I'm reading this now and agree with Cornelio's observations. I will also add something that I previously mentioned to BAP. 19th-century male authors grasped female psychology far better than their modern counterparts. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that modern entertainment and art are principally geared toward flattering and preserving women in their delusions. It may also be related to the gradual merging of the sexes in the middle and upper classes.