Un homme obscur (An Obscure Man) by Marguerite Yourcenar

Un homme obscur (An Obscure Man) by Marguerite Yourcenar

Published with the short story Une belle matinée 

Edition: Folio Gallimard

First Published: 1982

Language: French

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 227

Published in the US in the short story collection Two Lives and A Dream (University of Chicago Press), translated by Walter Kaiser


TwoLivesAndADreamIn the Netherlands of Rembrandt, of the discovery of the New World and of the printing press, the life of NathanaĂ«l, which could be a life as ordinary as any, acquires tinges and depths that touch the essence of existence. In the clear and introspective style of Yourcenar, we are carried from one segment of the life of this character to another: his birth within the Dutch community of Greenwich, his entreprises on a transoceanic ship, his life in a remote colony of North America after a shipwreck, his return back to Europe working as an editor and a servant to a nobleman and, finally, his death, announced from the very beginning of the novel. Relentlessly, the thoughts of our obscure narrator form into a canvas of subdued colours that reflects on the meaning of existence, on love and on our place alongside the other creatures of the world. It is a real journey for the reader, in the most encompassing sense of the term. Continue reading “Un homme obscur (An Obscure Man) by Marguerite Yourcenar”