Thursday, March 15, 2012

French Professor Reviews Novels

Dr. Nathalie G. Cornelius of the Department of Languages and Cultures has recently had three book reviews published in The French Review:

In December 2011 appeared her review of Chochana Boukhobza’s novel Le troisième jour, the story of Rachel and her impresario Elisheva, two Jewish cellists who return to Jerusalem after five years to give a concert. Amidst the violence and the beauty of politically charged Israël at the height of the first Intifada in 1990, the area’s history becomes a backdrop for a painful return to their origins.

In February 2012 was published her review of Agnès Michaux’s Les sentiments, a literary reconstruction of the onset and aftermath of the affair between Marilyn Monroe and French actor/singer Yves Montand. The novel distills the experiences to emotional states rather than factual incidents, where perspectives shift from one protagonist to another in an effort to propose an alternate view of the famous events.

In March 2012 appeared her review of Philippe Besson’s Retour parmi les hommes, the second installment in a tale of French society during and just after World War I. The protagonist Vincent de L’Étoile’s past is marked by his close relationships with author Marcel Proust and Arthur Valès, a soldier who loses his life in the war. Vincent’s present revolves around his relationship with eccentric writer Raymond Radiguet. Less of an adventure tale than a fictional journal of displaced identity and exile, the novel recounts the human condition and the memorialization of personal and universal suffering.

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