Monsieur Ouine

Monsieur Ouine

Monsieur Ouine

Monsieur Ouine

Synopsis

In a small village in northern France, Monsieur Ouine, a retired professor, is taken in by the dull local squire, Anthelme de Néréis, and soon rules the life of both Anthelme and his wife, Ginette. A fourteen-year-old fatherless boy, Philippe Dorval, flees home and, on impulse, follows Madame de Néréis to her château. There the squire, who is dying, tells the boy that his father is actually alive and well - that despite what Philippe's mother had told him, his father had not died in World War I. The forsaken boy finds himself on that fatal evening succumbing to Monsieur Ouine's embrace after falling into a drunken sleep in the old professor's bed. The events of the tempestuous night lead to upheaval in the village the next morning, when, at dawn, a boy's body is found afloat in a stream near the château. Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), one of the twentieth century's most powerful and idiosyncratic writers, was also the most original Roman Catholic writer of his time. Singularly ambiguous, mysterious, and highly paradoxical, Monsieur Ouine was first published in 1943. Of Bernanos's eight novels, it was the one that he himself dubbed his "great novel". This is the first English translation of the definitive 1955 French edition. William S. Bush is a professor emeritus of French at the University of Western Ontario and is known internationally for his volumes in both French and English on Georges Bernanos.
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