When the French magazine Lire asked readers to name their favourite book, Henri Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes came in seventh--right between The Red and the Black and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Yet few English-speakers have ever heard of the novel (though F. Scott Fitzgerald probably adapted its title for The Great Gatsby).
What do the French like so much about Alain-Fournier's sole work of fiction--and why have most English-speakers ignored it? I try to find out in the new issue of Manhattan Review:
- Frank Davison's English translation of "Le Grand Meaulnes"
- Carcanet's edition of Alain-Fournier's poems (in English)
- Julian Barnes on the novel
- VIDEO: Hermione Lee discusses "Le Grand Meaulnes"
- VIDEO: A look at Alain-Fournier's hometown from French television
- AUDIO: Mathurin Voltz's audiobook of the novel
- A website about the book (in English and French)
Photos from Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe's 2006 film (Mosca Films)