The Charterhouse of Parma

By Stendhal, Richard Howard, Robert Andrew Parker

3.81 - ratings 15,340

Richard Howard's exuberant and definitive rendition of Stendhal's stirring tale has brought about the rediscovery of this classic by modern readers. Stendhal narrates a young aristocrat's adventures in Napoleon's army and in the court of Parma, illuminating in the process the whole cloth of European history. As Balzac wrote, "Never before have the hearts of princes, minist Richard Howard's exuberant...

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September 12th 2000 by Modern Library

(first published March 1839)

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Quotes From "The Charterhouse of Parma"

"The lover thinks oftener of reaching his mistress than the husband thinks of guarding his wife; the prisoner thinks more often of escape than the jailer thinks of locking the doors. Therefore, in spite of every obstacle, the lover and the prisoner are certain to succeed."
"This beautiful thought, of 'dying close by that which one loves', expressed in a hundred different ways, was followed by a sonnet in which it was found that the soul, separated, after atrocious torments, from the frail body in which it dwelt for twenty-three years, and impelled by that instinct for happiness natural to all that has once existed, would not reascend to heaven to mingle with angelic choirs as soon as it was set free, and in the event of the awful judgment according it forgiveness for its sins, but, happier after death than it had been in life, it would go a few steps from the prison where it had lamented for so long, to be reunited with all that it had loved in the world. And thus, the sonnet's last line went. I shall have found my paradise on earth."
"Aşık sevgilisine ulaşmayı, kocasının karısını düşündüğünden daha sık düşünür; tutsak kaçıp kurtulmayı, gardiyan kapısını kapatmayı düşündüğünden daha sık düşünür, demek ki, engeller ne olursa olsun aşık ve tutsak başarılı olmalıdır."
"The presence of danger inspires a sensible man with genius, raising him, so to speak, above himself. In the case of the man of imagination, it inspires him with romances, which may indeed be bold, but which are frequently absurd."
"Quinze jours de désespoir et quinze jours d’espérance, c’est par ce régime patiemment suivi que nous parviendrons à vaincre le caractère de cette femme altière ; c’est par ces alternatives de douceur et de dureté que l’on arrive à dompter les chevaux les plus féroces. Appliquez le caustique ferme. "
"There's one convenience about absolute power, that it sanctifies everything in the eyes of the people."
"Geistig begabte Menschen, die auf einem Thron oder in seiner Nähe geboren sind, verlieren häufig das Feingefühl. Um sie herum ist freimütige Unterhaltung verpönt; sie erscheint ihnen grob. Sie wollen nur Masken sehen und maßen sich doch ein Urteil über die Schönheit der Gesichtsfarbe an."

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