Monday, August 27, 2018

Why do the French love Alain-Fournier?

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:

Photos from Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe's 2006 film (Mosca Films)

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