Henry de Montherlant
- Title: Chaos and Night
- Author: Henry de Montherlant
- ISBN: 9781590173046
- Page: 478
- Format: Paperback
Don Celestino is old and bitter and afraid, an impossible man An anarchist who has been in exile from his native Spain for than twenty years, he lives with his daughter in Paris, but in his mind he is still fighting the Spanish Civil War He fulminates against the daily papers he brags about his past exploits He has become bigoted, self important, and obsessed a bDon Celestino is old and bitter and afraid, an impossible man An anarchist who has been in exile from his native Spain for than twenty years, he lives with his daughter in Paris, but in his mind he is still fighting the Spanish Civil War He fulminates against the daily papers he brags about his past exploits He has become bigoted, self important, and obsessed a bully to his fellow exiles and a tyrant to his daughter, Pascualita Then a family member dies in Madrid and there is an inheritance to sort out Pascualita wants to go to Spain, which is supposedly opening up in response to the 1960s, and Don Celestino feels he has no choice but to follow He is full of dread and desire, foreseeing a heroic last confrontation with his enemies, but what he encounters instead is a new commercialized Spain that has no time for the past, much less for him Or so it seems Because the last act of Don Celestino s dizzying personal drama will prove that though there is nothing serious , there is tragedy An astonishing modern take on Don Quixote, Chaos and Night untangles the ties between politics and paranoia, self loathing and self pity, rage and remorse It is the darkly funny final flowering of the art of Henry de Montherlant, a solitary and scarifying modern master whose work, admired by Graham Greene and Albert Camus, is sure to appeal to contemporary readers of Thomas Bernhard and Roberto Bola o.
Recent Comments "Chaos and Night"
There is a special kind of leniency in the face of detestable and mediocre people in their old age, as if the proximity of death was somehow redeeming: it is similar to that we have for children, and, for the more merciful of us, for youths; But for dotards, there is no negating their responsibility: they have once led a life that brought about, along their unpreventable decline, their particular brand of moral squalor. It is with such a life that Montherlant is concerned, a life of Chaos on its [...]
This book should probably be subtitled "How to age gracelessly". But that would be casting a callous interpretation upon it. The story revolves around an irascible Spanish expatriate, Don Celestino. Having fled from Spain during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil because of his anarchist partisanship, he ends up residing in a France he never grew to appreciate, much less love. Despite living there for well over a decade, he doesn't bother to learn its language, always using Spanish despite incon [...]
"Er was de chaos, die het leven was, en de nacht, die was wat er voor het leven en na het leven was. () Er was dat wat geen zin heeft: het leven, en dat wat geen zijn heeft: hetgeen er voor het leven en na het leven was." Overrompelende roman over Don Celestino, een moegestreden Spaanse Burgeroorlog-veteraan die sinds 20 jaar asiel vond in Parijs. Bedwelmd door zijn eigen desillusies teert en vegeteert hij op zijn politieke dromen en zijn gefnuikte ambities. De voormalige anarchist en barricaden [...]
This is what happens to true-believers when their cause fails. It takes place in 1040's Paris. I recommend this novel to all readers of serious fiction EXCEPT young American writers. The quality and powerful content of this classic might influence you to write similarly serious prose works, which will bar you from real publication in the current USA.
Revolutions destroy lives, but the lack of revolution can also be devastating. Don Celestino is one such victim. He is an aging Spanish anarchist living in Paris, on a small stipend sent by his uncle. He has two friends, and at the beginning of the book loses them. The rest of the story is Don Celestino's decline. Chaos and Night shows how Death draws its net around a man, and slowly, almost playfully reels him in. It's at once terrifying and reassuring. Don Celestino needs death, to answer cert [...]
About a Spanish anarchist living in Paris, having fled his country after the Civil War. This is a bone bleak depiction of a wasted life, in essence, of an enormously bitter man who antagonizes everyone close to him out of a deep-seeded personality disorder masquerading as an exaggerated sense of moral purity. Motherlant (no way in hell that was his real name) seems to be one of those infant terrible sorts who everyone grew to hate, a rightist in the Ezra Pound mold whom my introduction suggests [...]
Politics doesn't matter because you're going to die.
Found this in a free pile at a punk house. Someone else, like me, must have also picked it up because of its anarchist themes and then realized it is reactionary trash, lol. Also just very annoying, bad writing.
While I usually enjoy curmudgeons and their complaining, the airing of grievances in this is much too frustratingly petty and pervasive.
Read way back when. The ending stays with me.
Not a subtle or enriching read by any means, Chaos and Night over-relies on straight exposition to explain and give background to Don Celestino, a man that de Montherlant sculpts as a modern-day Quixote with little nuance or trust in the reader. Celestino lives in the past, wallows in self-loathing, doles a hate-love to his daughter, and is so overwhelmingly motivated by spite and caprice that I felt like he was a mixture of many Dostoevsky characters. But in Dostoevsky, they are granted more ti [...]
A novel of the washout, the failure, and the absurd conservative nature of the former radical. In this case, it is Celestino, former Spanish Civil War anarchist-fighter, who has lived in exile in Paris for twenty years raising his daughter who only pretends to listen to his dumb philosophical rantings. He writes political manifestoes and critiques and occasionally gets published. As he nears 70, what he can't figure out is why none of these bourgeois pigs, including his daughter, will listen to [...]
Not what I was expecting- I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't latter day Celine. Montherlant's protagonist is an anarchist who, thanks to self-obsession and an almost pathological hatred of actually existing human beings, turns into a nihilist, despite his own better judgment. HdM does a nice job mixing up omniscient third person narration and free indirect discourse. It's quite tricky, sometimes, working out whether we're reading 'Celestino,' HdM, or HdM's thoughts on Celestino's t [...]
"Liked it". I'm always stumped by this; but I suppose this is not the appropriate venue for musing over the vagaries of subjective taste comparisons.Or, perhaps, it is. Chaos and Night actively provokes questions of taste and distaste; appreciation and revulsion; overdetermined authorial implications and underexposed moral ambiguities. Do I "like" the novel? Sure, perhaps, it's an awkward read at times, and there's much in it which I strongly disagree with, but I felt that reading Chaos and Nigh [...]
This is a very unhappy book, populated by unhappy characters, unhappy memories, unhappy history, unhappy politics. There is a lot of misery here -- imagined and real --, and a large part is self inflicted, expected and quietly accepted. Friends, enemies, does not matter -- Don Celestino only sees the reality that he wants to see, and if in a pinch, he simply imagines it.That said, it is a very well written book, the characters come to life right off the page. I felt like I could actually see Cel [...]
Not an easy read: - the introduction gets it spot-on by calling an 'aesthetic ordeal': - this book is destined to stay in my brain in some fashion for years or the rest of my life. A perturbing account of a man's last years, aging and defiant, it parallels Don Quixote to devastating effect. If you want to get a head start on pondering your last days on earth and how not to prepare for it, here is the book for you.
The back cover calls this "an astonishing modern take on Don Quixote," and it is a chilling, funny (in the way Don Quixote is funny) look at the drama (tragedy) of the life of a Spaniard exiled in France and becoming increasingly isolated and obsessed by the Spanish Civil War. With a perfect ending.
Deathly dissection of a man's disgust with himself, his family, friends, country, culture, the world very funny, often very telling, written with ease and beautifully translated a Celinean romp through fear and loathing as the walls close in
Nothing like Bernhard-esque misanthropy.
great novel of spanish civil war veteran and refugee who after living 20 years in paris returns to madrid. pessimistic, misanthropic, murderous in his mind, a modern day conquistador.
Bleak, bitter, and full of an almost suffocating irony with a devastatingly mysterious ending. Why aren't more of Montherlant's books in print?
Probably my favorite NYRB Classics title. Murky, sad, cranky, political . . . hysterical. An almost impossible balance of seriousness and satire.
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