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Friday, April 19, 2019

Expanding Upon Life's Mysteries

“A novel is a mirror walking along a main road.” – Stendhal

Born in 1883, Marie-Henri Beyle - who wrote under the pseudonym Stendhal - is one of the most original and complex French writers of the first half of the 19th century, chiefly known for his works of fiction. Perhaps his finest novel is the 1830 work The Red and the Black from which the above quote comes.

Before settling on the pen name Stendhal, he published under many names including “Louis Alexandre Bombet” and “Anastasius Serpière.”  The only book that Beyle published under his own name was The History of Painting  in 1817.  Over his lifetime, in addition to many books – both fiction and non – Stenhal authored hundreds of stories, essays and published letters. 

                                 “A good piece of fiction, in my view, does not offer solutions,” Stendahl said.   “Good stories deal with our moral struggles, our uncertainties, our dreams, our blunders, our contradictions, our endless quest for understanding.  Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand up on those mysteries.”

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