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The Antihero

Stendhal, in his novel The Red and The Black, has created one of the most engaging antiheroes in literature.  Julien Sorel, both handsome and ambitious is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and leave his home-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. This leads ultimately to the commission of a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that brings Julien down.   The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui. The complex, sympathetic portrayal of Julien, the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions, makes him Stendhal's most brilliant and human creation-and one of the greatest characters in European literature.
Julien Sorel is not the first anti-hero in European letters, but he is perhaps the first character who oscillates between hero and anti-hero, throughout the story.  His ambivalent, unstable identity will come to define the 19th-century protagonist.  A rebel, a French-style Horatio Alger, a mask-wearing social comedian, a plaything of fate, Julien Sorel continues to fascinate readers. His story is more relevant than ever now, when arbitrary authority is presented as our friend and guardian, and those who see history as not quite ended are branded friends of terrorists.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
The future of the markets
It appears to me that the main problem facing future stock market gains is the fact that the baby boomers will look at this and say the following: Sure markets go up and down and this is just a panic and we will recover, however, I have enough money (and this is figuring inflation into the mix) to live on the rest of my life. I'm out of here. Since they have fueled the market for the last 20 years, will there be enough people willing to take risk in the future to repeat the gains we have had. My feeling is that for the above reason, much money that has left the market this time will never return, or if it does the allocation will be much lower.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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