Jean-Christophe, Volume I: Dawn, Morning, Youth, Revolt [Paperback] Review

Jean-Christophe, Volume I: Dawn, Morning, Youth, Revolt [Paperback]This is the first in a 10 volume novel written by Romain Rolland who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in part for this effort.Nowadays, virtually no one has heard of Rolland.Here are the last paragraphs of volume 1:

"O, Paris!" he thought, "Paris! Come to my aid! Save me! Save my thoughts!"

The thick fog grew denser still. Behind Christophe, above the country he
was leaving, a little patch of sky, pale blue, large, like two eyes--like
the eyes of Sabine--smiled sorrowfully through the heavy veil of clouds and then was gone. The train departed. Rain fell. Night fell.

Clearly times and tastes have changed, but I think that Rollard's novel illustrates Oscar Wilde's infamous dictum (as modified by Professor Bloom) that "all bad art is sincere."It's painfully easy to imagine Rolland writing his fiction and crying through it all.

Another interesting thought:Romain Rollard figures in the opening paragraphs of Sigmund Freud's once famous work, "Civilization and Its Discontents."Freud quotes him as a then anonymous famous and admiring friend who corresponded with Freud about the illusion of religion.Both Rollard and Freud believed essentially (I libel each a bit with just that one adverb to describe their nuanced deep positions here) that God was dead, but for different reasons.Now, both Freud and Rollard are both not only dead, but usually forgotten and when remembered only with puzzlement.Maybe God is not dead.

Humanists of the world unite!

I mock, but seriously so.Rollard is today's equivalent of a New York Times marvel.He's doubtless despise George Bush and the "war" on "terror" and might even have organized a petition.And, yet he's forgotten in the hall of mirrors.

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Product Description:
"Jean-Christophe" is the history of the development of a musician of genius. Translated by Gilbert Cannan.

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