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[KINDLE] ✽ L'Élégance du hérisson By Muriel Barbery – Cravenjobs.co.uk



10 thoughts on “L'Élégance du hérisson

  1. says:

    I recently had a brief relationship with a young lady who had studied philosophy at a university in southern California The relationship was destined to be a brief one, as she left for the Philippines to join the Peace Corps just a week or so ago On one of our last evenings together, she thanked me for something that I found curious She said, Isaiah, have you ever met someone at a party or something who finds out you studied philosophy and then they just try to talk to you the whole rest of the night about random philosophers they happen to know about, when all you want to do is play beer pong and find someone to make out with I m not sure I would have voiced the sentiment in exactly the same words, but I know what she was talking about Actually, for me these days my background in philosophy is fairly inconspicuous, but the exact same thing happens to me for my work in the space industry I ll meet someone at a bar or a house party who has a subscription to Scientific American, and he ll find out where I work and then he ll tag behind me for the entire rest of the party asking my opinion about aliens, or string theory, or any number of subjects almost totally unrelated to my actual specialty or areas of interest except they happen to fall under the general heading of space sciences Or perhaps in a rare case he might want to talk about space policy, or advanced propulsion systems, or something else that I do actually care about But it s Friday night, man Can t you just chill out Let me get drunk Wait do you by any chance have a sister Anyway, she continued, thanks for not ever doing that Now to understand why I find it curious that she would thank me for such a thing, you do have to realize that we had certainly had conversations about philosophy I remember one particular rant about utilitarianism, Mills, and his relationship to his father on a concert lawn somewhere And I m sure I made plenty of my categorically unfunny cracks about Kantian imperatives But the point was that I didn t bring it up when it was totally irrelevant and then refuse to drop it the whole night because I didn t understand that even people that love philosophy don t walk around thinking about philosophy all day barring, of course, our dear MFSO , nor do they give two shits that you are marginally acquainted with a few Wikipedia entries on phenomenology And even if they did, couldn t it wait until after we meet your sister and I ve got a decent buzz going Well, this book is that guy He follows you around at a party boring you with his pent up discussion questions from a survey course on philosophy that his professor didn t care enough to work out of him.Don t misunderstand me My issue with this book is not the literary name dropping or the dime store philosophizing Some authors can get away with this stuff, even brilliantly Kundera, for example The difference is that Kundera is interesting Whereas nothing and no one in this book is anything but a one dimensional bore.Who cares about these people Why should I care about them One s a concierge, the other s a privileged brat with the exact same hormones as every other 12 year old girl on the planet Now, you might say, that s the point, Barbery is trying to show that these people are marginalized, and look how beautiful they actually are in their minds and spirits But they re not beautiful I don t give a damn that they re smart You know what, lots of people are smart Smart people are a dime a dozen That doesn t make you, or me, or Renee or Paloma a special beautiful flower It makes them smart, but they re still completely uninteresting I mean, that s really the crux of the irritant right there Barbery spends half of this book droning on and on about how this concierge and schoolgirl are so unseen because of social expectations, and she would have them be redeemed because they are both intelligent and tender But that s absurd That s like Good Will Hunting without the d nouement I ll say it right now, I don t care about Renee, because she s a concierge in a building in France I read the whole book and I still don t care Is it because I m stilted by my class astigmatism Please I m barely middle class I grew up in trailers and fertilized lawns for a living I don t care about her because she is a concierge and has done nothing interesting with her life except sit in her apartment with a fat cat and read Tolstoy And the ultimate stupidity the most absurd thing in this entire book is this ridiculous and unbelievable artifice that Renee has to hide who she is, because of the expectations of the upper class As if they re going around with spyglasses on trying to root out concierges who have read too much Marx What garbage If I found out my concierge had read Marx, I would a not give a shit and b avoid her as much as humanly possible, out of fear that she would talk to me in exactly the way Renee talks to the reader in this book interminably If anything, I d be interested in her if she were an ignorant working class stiff I d like to know what her life is like, then Carver writes about people like that all the time, and its enthralling Because he makes you care about these people and their motivations Intelligentsia pretensions in a do nothing concierge Excuse me while I pour some bourbon in this drink Same goes for Paloma She s precocious, fine That s charming, I guess, but it s not redeeming She wants to kill herself and burn down her family s house Wow That s really unique I guess I should care about her plight Or just maybe she s exactly the same as every other precocious 12 year old brat in the bourgeoise world and she ll get over it as soon as she discovers penis and marijuana I ve read this book be described as very French in its casting of the class divides, but I think that s totally incorrect The invisibility of people who aren t interesting is universal The ethic espoused in this book that Renee and Paloma are profoundly worthwhile because they are intelligent and tender is unequivocally American Only in modern western cultures would we say, oh how wonderful and individual that you are smart and feel alone you are a special flower everyone gets a participation ribbon No A brat who wants to burn her house down and a concierge who has done nothing with her life except isolate herself are not special, no matter how many books they ve read They are every single uninteresting person that I don t want to read books about Don t even get me started on Kakuro, the messianic father figure or the absurd Japanese fetish that permeates the book like one of those guys that follows you around at a party talking about natural healing because he read the Tao Te Ching and thinks sushi is real tasty He s a paper thin romance novel male Dominant, austere, deep, and sexually unconscious After reading Kakuro in Hedheog, I understand why women get so upset about male fantasy portrayals of women in novels by male authors This is the exact other side of that coin.This was of a rant than a review, so here s my summary for the book jacket stupid, stupid, stupid I was irritated the whole time.


  2. says:

    My name is Renee, and I m the first protagonist of this book the hedgehog, as it were I m a 54 year old concierge who works in a building populated by rich and powerful people who barely notice my existence I m also a closet intellectual and I frequently try to prove that to you by digressing into asides about philosophy, culture, and other topics I alternate between sniping at the apartment owners for their snobbish indifference to my lowly concierge self an image I strive to maintain at every opportunity while blaming the rich apartment owners for buying into it , and terror that they may find out that I read loftier books than they do I m as much of a snob as they are, if not worse, but I guess we won t go there let s keep things simple, even though this book is ostensibly higher literature Given the owners apathy toward me, it s not clear what I fear might actually happen if they learned that I was an intellectual Probably nothing But hey, this conflict keeps the book going and maybe makes some kind of a statement about French class differences I guess you d have to be French to understand But you don t have to be French to feel smug and superior about reading this pretentious novel In fact, it probably helps if you re not French because then you re reading something foreign.My name is Paloma, and I m the other protagonist of this book I m a brilliant, precocious, underestimated and misunderstood 12 year old who plans to burn down my apartment and commit suicide on my 13th birthday I m not sure exactly why I m so unhappy I mean, I can make all kinds of bitter and cynical observations about my parents and sister, but really, I m not lacking for anything I can tell you in lofty language about how life truly has no meaning, but for someone so bright, my thinking tends to be pretty two dimensional as does my personality and my life in general Although disliking your family is pretty normal in adolescence, it s not clear why, in all 12 years of existence, I ve never discovered a friend, teacher, neighbor, or relative who might complicate my unilaterally dark feelings about humanity by actually having some positive qualities But maybe this is part of what helps me sound like a 50 year old philosopher even though I m supposed to be a 12 year old girl, so I guess that s something In fact, I spend so much time sounding intellectual that, except for my melodramatic suicidality, there s little hint of the fact that, emotionally, I m really just an early adolescent A bit attention to my emotional side might have made my character interesting, but c est la vie I get a little three dimensional at the end, but you have to hang in there and I m not sure it s worth it My name is ___, and I m a reviewer for a snooty periodical I just finished Muriel Barbery s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and my editor is expecting a review from me this week To be honest, all the pedantic asides left me cold They took me out of the story and weren t all that interesting I kind of skimmed over them, but that s not something I could ever reveal to my readers I have to act like I read them, understood them, and appreciated them as only a brilliant reader could I have to act like they enhanced the novel, rather than detracting from it Similarly, if I poke holes in the characterization or plot, it might sound as if I didn t understand or failed to appreciate the depth of this book When a book comes out that tries to sound like it s above my head, my job is to rave about it This way, the snooty readers of my snooty periodical can feel even snootier as they read, even as they also feel alienated by this pretentious book I Khaya, not one of the characters wrote the above when I was about halfway through and feeling very negative Now that I ve finished the book, my opinion mostly stands I will say, though, that the book had some better moments and was quite readable It s really a 2 going on 3 star book, as opposed to a solid 2 or a 2 rounded up from 1 book Definitely didn t live up to its hype, though.


  3. says:

    This is another moment when I wonder what is wrong with me Everyone in France recommends this book The premise is original enough that I was hoping the book would be a real find within the same super high end Parisian apartment building live 2 misfits the 54 year old concierge who reads Kant and Tolstoi in secret and a 12 year old girl with abnormally high IQ and suicidal tendencies The first half of the book is an excuse for the author s long academic digressions on Kant, phenomenology, William Ockham, oh and Tolstoi Nothing is really going on When finally a semblance of plot surfaces, it is so banal that you want to cry So much for this latest ode to French high culture The only redeeming point about the book for me is that it made me want to re read Tolstoi


  4. says:

    That so many people love this book makes me fear for the future of literature It is one of the most pretentious, banal novels I ve ever read In fact, novel is too good a word for its bloggishly self indulgent, smugly insipid meanderings Actually most blogs are much interesting than this book The two main characters the concierge Renee and the young girl, Paloma are hypocritical snobs who accuse others of snobbery This intolerance is forgiveable in a child perhaps, but not in a 53 year old concierge Renee whines about her lot constantly and not in an amusing way she s incredibly tendentious and judgemental She vaunts her superior intelligence, is very self involved, and yet fancies herself compassionate.The world view of the book is conservative Renee worships the accepted canons of Western art, music, and thinking She herself epitomizes the upper middle class women she regards with such scorn She is one of the most obnoxious characters I ve come across in a book The author expects the reader to sympathize with Renee, but she is boring and self pitying, among other faults Both Renee and Paloma the girl think themselves unconventional, yet they are extremely ordinary in their views They are humorless this is NOT a funny book and mean they mock everyone they know and regard themselves as superior beings All of their thinking is cliched, and their stale opinions are expressed with narcissistic melodrama and hyperbole, in elevated tones and stilted diction Actually, the concierge and the 12 year old girl sound pretty much alike The characterization is that thin The book is full of stereotypes Asia and Asians are characterized as mysterious and inscrutable It makes France or French culture look bad The book has no tension but it does have some contrived action as well as a ludicrous red herring The prose is riddled with sentimentality and cuteness, and the awkward plot serves as a skeleton for a host of trite, sophomoric ideas A few basic philosophical problems are rehashed in reductive ways, and the narrators imagine that they invented these ancient conundrums Oh, and the writing is terrible affected and clumsy Forget le mot juste Words are misused throughout In the last twenty pages, the concierge weeps quite often and I guess the reader is supposed to sob along, but it s bathetic, anything but moving The only emotions I felt were disgust and anger With so many wonderful books to read, why are so many people reading and liking this drivel


  5. says:

    if you are an artist, a thinker, someone who longs for , an aestheticist, a dreamer, a seeker then read this book it made me laugh and cry in a way that only a well crafted, well loved, well written book can.


  6. says:

    I must admit this wasn t a 5 star read until the last 50 pages, which may actually make this a 6 star read This book is beautiful for its underlying truth we are all worthy of love, love that will surely be given, if we will but believe we are worthy.My friend Rose, repeated the quote that referenced Renee Michel as being prickly like a hedgehog, but so elegant on the inside For me, the section that spoke volumes was the Profound Thought by Paloma in defense of grammar Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you ve said or read or written a fine sentence You can recognize a well turned phrase or an elegant style But when you are applying the rules of grammar skillfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, see it quite naked, in a way.She continues, but enough here Thank you Paloma, you reminded me of my mother I can see her nodding her head in such agreement.


  7. says:

    L elegance du herisson The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog French L l gance du h risson is a novel by the French novelist and philosophy teacher Muriel Barbery The book follows events in the life of a concierge, Ren e Michel, whose deliberately concealed intelligence is uncovered by an unstable but intellectually precocious girl named Paloma Josse Paloma is the daughter of an upper class family living in the upscale Parisian apartment building where Ren e works 2010 1388 360 9789644162978 21


  8. says:

    An expert, uproarious parallel play of two extremely astute yet heartwarming consciousnesses There are so many quotable lines here, observations that are immeasurably insurmountably profound It is a book of paradigms, life lessons, needle point philosophies arriving from two different backgrounds The Point no matter where you are from, you can attain an envious intelligence plenty a poetic articulation.About the plot must be simplified by simpler minds my own, etc as la femme francois version of the English novel by Nick Hornby the adorable film with Hugh Grant it spawned About a Boy Although the two main protagonists don t reference each other til after the first half of the book Refined elegant doi , the novel astounds You will very likely want to reread this one once again in your lifetime


  9. says:

    If you bite into this expecting a light, buttery, wholly unhealthy croissant, be forewarned it has some fiber in it, too It s about two unlikely intellectuals One is a dowdy concierge in an upscale Paris apartment and the other is an unusual 12 year old girl living there with her well to do family I like how their brainpower comes through in their ideas and observations rather than from the author just telling us how wicked smaht they are to borrow Chuckie s phrase from Good Will Hunting Their outsized crania were not always easy to carry Renee, the concierge, was not to the manor born probably like the servants quarters and she never seemed to forget it She had a real thirst for knowledge, though an accomplished autodidact in philosophy, film, art, and music But she never felt comfortable sharing any of these joys with anyone given what she felt the attitudes towards a woman of her social standing would be The girl was a different story Her cross to bear was how to carve out a niche for herself in a family that was all too comfortable with its elevated status Her main weapon against the soullessness of life in the upper crust was cynicism She wielded it well, sometimes to humorous effect At times she may not have seemed real, but then you could say the same about the Coneheads, and if you recall, they too were from France As everyone knows, smart people don t always figure out ways to be happy This is one of the themes However, they might just meet someone with a clear sighted appreciation for hidden beauty, an easy manner, and a rich vein of empathy for kindred spirits Much of the meeting up takes place late, but is powerful when it finally does The spoiler police prevent me from saying as much as I d like.In addition to interesting characters, a solid plot, and real wisdom to impart, the book was well written to boot I rarely think to appreciate how difficult a translator s job must be to project a distinctive voice, but this work really stood out Comment on dit 2 thumbs up en Francais At least I know how to say croissant fibre still d licieux.


  10. says:

    54 , , , , 54 , , , , 54 , , , , , , , , , , 12 , , , 7 , , , ..


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download L'Élégance du hérisson, read online L'Élégance du hérisson, kindle ebook L'Élégance du hérisson, L'Élégance du hérisson 1c330be2f9dd A Moving, Funny, Triumphant Novel That Exalts The Quiet Victories Of The Inconspicuous Among UsWe Are In The Center Of Paris, In An Elegant Apartment Building Inhabited By Bourgeois Families Ren E, The Concierge, Is Witness To The Lavish But Vacuous Lives Of Her Numerous Employers Outwardly She Conforms To Every Stereotype Of The Concierge Fat, Cantankerous, Addicted To Television Yet, Unbeknownst To Her Employers, Ren E Is A Cultured Autodidact Who Adores Art, Philosophy, Music, And Japanese Culture With Humor And Intelligence She Scrutinizes The Lives Of The Building S Tenants, Who For Their Part Are Barely Aware Of Her Existence Then There S Paloma, A Twelve Year Old Genius She Is The Daughter Of A Tedious Parliamentarian, A Talented And Startlingly Lucid Child Who Has Decided To End Her Life On The Sixteenth Of June, Her Thirteenth Birthday Until Then She Will Continue Behaving As Everyone Expects Her To Behave A Mediocre Pre Teen High On Adolescent Subculture, A Good But Not An Outstanding Student, An Obedient If Obstinate Daughter Paloma And Ren E Hide Both Their True Talents And Their Finest Qualities From A World They Suspect Cannot Or Will Not Appreciate Them They Discover Their Kindred Souls When A Wealthy Japanese Man Named Ozu Arrives In The Building Only He Is Able To Gain Paloma S Trust And To See Through Ren E S Timeworn Disguise To The Secret That Haunts Her This Is A Moving, Funny, Triumphant Novel That Exalts The Quiet Victories Of The Inconspicuous Among Us