My Friends

My Friends Victor Baton is a wounded war veteran trying to reestablish his prewar lifestyle but avoid work Living in a run down boardinghouse Baton spends his days searching Paris for the modest comforts of war

  • Title: My Friends
  • Author: Emmanuel Bove Janet Louth
  • ISBN: 9780856357848
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Paperback
  • Victor Baton is a wounded war veteran trying to reestablish his prewar lifestyle but avoid work Living in a run down boardinghouse, Baton spends his days searching Paris for the modest comforts of warmth, cheap meals, and friendship, but he finds little Despite his desperate situation, Baton remains vain and unsympathetic, a Bovian antihero to the core Bove himself callVictor Baton is a wounded war veteran trying to reestablish his prewar lifestyle but avoid work Living in a run down boardinghouse, Baton spends his days searching Paris for the modest comforts of warmth, cheap meals, and friendship, but he finds little Despite his desperate situation, Baton remains vain and unsympathetic, a Bovian antihero to the core Bove himself called My Friends, published in France in 1923, a novel of impoverished solitude The book, his first novel, drew praise from such writers as Rilke, Gide, and Beckett and is to this day the author s most celebrated work.

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    About "Emmanuel Bove Janet Louth"

    1. Emmanuel Bove Janet Louth

      Emmanuel Bove, born in Paris as Emmanuel Bobovnikoff, died in his native city on Friday 13 July 1945, the night on which all of France prepared for the large scale celebration of the first quatorze juillet since World War II He would probably have taken no part in the festivities Bove was known as a man of few words, a shy and discreet observer His novels and novellas were populated by awkward figures, losers who were always penniless In their banal environments, they were resigned to their hopeless fate Bove s airy style and the humorous observations made sure that his distressing tales were modernist besides being depressing not the style, but the themes matched the post war atmosphere precisely.


    1. Have you ever relocated to a place a long way from that you consider home, that place where your friends and family remain? Have you done so with some hope for a better future? Has it happened that the move was accomplished with fewer resources than would have made the move much easier, or at the very least, where greater resources—wealth—might have made that transition much easier? Have you noticed that you notice everything? Has it occurred to you that the worst part about a move like that [...]

    2. Sometimes a book comes along that is so good that I don't know what to say. How do you express speechlessness in writing? Every page contained perfect sentence after perfect sentence. Sentences that were both funny and sad at the same time. Like crystallizations, clear and precise. But above all, simple sentences--Bove makes writing seem easy, even self-evident, when it is obviously not. Beckett says Bove has an instinct for the essential detail like no other, and I cannot agree more. Observatio [...]

    3. Yes, this is a perfect novel. Perfect tone, voice, tempo. Perfect sentence by sentence. (I mean, is there a more tidy, well-crafted, luminous sentence than "Raindrops were falling on the ground, never one on top of another."- and I can't even tell you why it's perfect, it just is). All the perfect strange phrasing. ("In the morning we should go by taxi to the Bois de Boulogne. The driver's elbows would move." "I had no intention of dying, but I have often wanted to arouse pity. As soon as a pass [...]

    4. Lets talk about the mystery of the unique French invention of concierge, rampant in its heyday of 1920s Paris. What manner of beast is it? Here is what I can deduce: withered old crone (invariably), comfortably ensconced in a freebie flat on the parterre of a block of flats, tasked with the baton of promoting virtue and morality, which should always be accomplished by bombastically parading up and down the stairwell, broom in hand (for show only: no cleaning ever seems to be done) and sermonisin [...]

    5. Solitude, what a sad and beautiful thing it is! How beautiful when we choose it! How sad when it is forced upon us year after year!Some strong men are not lonely when they are alone, but I, who am weak, am lonely when I have no friends. It is my inside thought, that Marieling voice that's white lonely, that he wanted to be alone. What would he have left if he settled his light dust? Would his spirits soar ever higher, new glass sky shards, past changing atmosphere windows, heavenly doors. Baton [...]

    6. Yes. Hell and expletive yes. As ever, other reviewers have capably articulated my thoughts for me, so there’s no reason to read this when you can read Geoff Wilt, Knig-o-lass, Jimmy, Adam Florida and Mark Zero’s fine reviews. I won’t provide links, since they’re easily findable by looking above (or below) this sparse paragraph. All I can say is: heartbreaking and melancholy, perfectly realised, the real deal. Universal. Read it. But don’t listen to this after.

    7. 'Is mijn leven dan zo abnormaal dat het de wereld aanstoot geeft? Ik kan het niet geloven.'Sublieme roman over eenzaamheid, pijn en vervreemding, maar ook de wil om te leven en de moeizame zoektocht naar verlossing en loutering. Korte, krachtige zinnen die met slechts enkele subtiele wendingen en een verbluffend oog (en oor!) voor details een van intensiteit huiverend en zinderend universum vol duisternis en wanhoop oproepen. Knappe vertaling van Angèle Manteau.

    8. C'est un petit tour de force sur la solitude humaine. Pourtant c'est bien petit. La maitrise technique vaut quatre étoiles mais le contenu ne vaut pas plus que deux. Je donne trois étoiles à ce roman vraiment bien écrit.

    9. “La mia immaginazione si costruisce degli amici perfetti per l'avvenire ma, nell'attesa, mi accontento di chiunque.” “I miei amici” fu pubblicato nel 1924 e conobbe un enorme successo per alcuni anni per poi essere completamente dimenticato. Si deve a Peter Handke * il merito di una nuova circolazione del racconto.Victor Baton – la voce narrante- racconta con spiazzante semplicità della propria solitudine. Frasi brevi, precise, dettagli chiari: tutti ingredienti che compongono la corn [...]

    10. This is yet another book I never would have discovered were it not for My Friends. My Friends. A few of My Friends read this recently, and their reviews were very laudatory. So I decided to trust My Friends, most of whom I have never met but merely typed to in isolation, alone at my computer. Because My Friends' reviews were so positive (I want them to know that I trust their reviews because I want them to continue being My Friends since "friendship would be such a great comfort to me" [36]), a [...]

    11. (3.5)If I'd read this before reading A Singular Man, I'd likely have enjoyed it more. However, I found that other novel to be more compelling in its design. My Friends, Bove's first book, is less a novel and more a series of vignettes. While I often enjoy 'novels' of this nature, the similarities between the two narrators and their activities are so striking that My Friends ends up reading like a less evolved version of A Singular Man. That being said, there is still a lot to enjoy here courtesy [...]

    12. Sono arrivata a questo libro su consiglio di Vila-Matas e di Wim Wenders. Vila Matas ne Il dottor Pasavento dedica parecchie pagine a Bove, accostandolo in qualche modo a Walser : “Non gli piaceva farsi vedere, voleva passare inosservato. E al pari dello svizzero Walser, aveva una profonda allergia per tutte le forme di magniloquenza. A questa etica della scomparsa in vita, Bove affianca uno stile che consiste, secondo quanto ne disse Artaud, nel rifiutarsi di fare letteratura, fuggire da tutt [...]

    13. Proto Beckett. Beckett learned everything from this book. Not sure when he read it, but the character and the style are very similar to Watt.

    14. Mes Amis présente une succession de scènes à la fois cocasses et poignantes, dans lesquelles un protagoniste socialement maladroit poursuit son fantasme d’une amitié idéale qui s’incarne dans une rencontre qui, fatalement, déçoit ses attentes ridiculement hautes. C’est également un tour de force stylistique qui atteint un grand niveau d'incarnation dans une forme brève avec des effets minimalistes, où chaque phrase est savoureuse."J’aime les enfants, aussi quand je rencontre ce [...]

    15. "I think about death and the sky, for whenever I think about death, I think about the stars too. I feel very small beside the infinite and quickly abandon these thoughts Solitude, what a sad and beautiful thing it is!"

    16. LeseberichtVictor Baton ist in den Zwanzigern und Kriegsinvalide und er ist ein einsamer Mann. Nichts wünscht er sich sehnlicher als einen Kameraden, einen Freund. Er möchte jemanden der ihn akzeptiert und den er akzeptieren kann. Jemand der Freud und Leid mit ihm teilt.Leider neigt Baton dazu seine Zuneigung zu schnell zu verschenken. Er lernt jemanden kennen indem er bspw. jemandem Feuer gibt oder ähnliches. Man kommt daraufhin ggf. ins Gespräch und Victor legt soviel in die Worte und Gest [...]

    17. Emmanuel Bove’s slender first novel My Friends follows World War One veteran Victor Baton down some of the the seediest alleys in Paris in a futile search for companionship. The novel’s title is ironic because, in fact, Baton has no friends, and though his misery would love to find some company, Baton chooses potential friends poorly and is either betrayed by or alienates them each in short order. The novel is charming in its sympathy for the down-and-out, for characters who don’t fit into [...]

    18. Batôn Victor, el protagonista de la novela es como el Drogo de El desierto de los tártaros, alguien cuya condena -muy a su pesar- es la espera; no espera como hacía Drogo a un enemigo fantasma, sino que lo que espera Batôn es encontrar un amigo. Batôn cobra una pensión de incapacidad -tiene un brazo dañado- tras la guerra que le permite apañarse. Decide no trabajar y eso le supone problemas, granjearse la hostilidad de su vecindario parisino, que no entiende que Batôn, como en su día A [...]

    19. Libro magnifico, recentemente ripubblicato da Feltrinelli in edizione economica.Bove è un autore che non scrive storie di trama, ma storie di punti di vista, potremmo dire, sullo stare al mondo. Questa è una storia di solitudine - il titolo è ironico - e di disperazione, il protagonista è un reduce della Prima Guerra Mondiale che vive di una piccola pensione di invalidità in una Parigi che conosciamo solo attraverso piccoli appartamenti miserabili, bordelli, ristoranti alla buona che servon [...]

    20. This is my favorite book of all time. However, I have found that it is not for everyone. The story follows a very sad fellow through a few chapters of his friendless life in Paris. There is something about the melancholy and drab hues of his life that Bove captures effortlessly. He is a master of subtlety which makes even the most terrifying episodes of his character's life feel like soft cashmere. If you are looking for linear storytelling and a happy ending do not continue; if you like to cont [...]

    21. "Bove fu in effetti tra i primi grandi scrittori della periferia (ciò che corrisponde così bene alla sua scrittura eccentrica), consapevole non solo che non c'è niente di meno marginale dei margini, ma che ai margini della vita c'è sempre un sovrappiù di vita." - dalla postfazione di Beppe Sebaste

    22. He would like the war to be forgotten. He is sorry it is no longer 1910.At that time, according to him, people were decent and friendly. The army looked like the army. It was possible to give credit. People were interested in social problems.When he speaks of all this, both his eyes—the real and the artificial—become moist and his eyelashes stick together.The time before the war vanished so quickly that he cannot believe it is nothing but a memory.”People who like me a little and understan [...]

    23. Toujours un plaisir de lire Emmanuel Bove. Ce premier roman de 1924 paru désormais aux éditions de l'Arbre Vengeur avec de délicieuses illustrations est une merveille pour la lectrice désormais assidue de Bove. Une fatalité incroyable dans ce personnage cherchant absolument l'amitié en déambulant dans Paris et souhaitant ne vivre de rien ! J'en parle plus longuement sur mon blog : akathegirlwhoreads.wordpress.

    24. Ich kann mich jetzt nicht mehr genau erinnern, wodurch ich auf diesen französischen Autor und sein (1924 geschriebenes) Buch aufmerksam wurde, es ist jedenfalls ein ganz fantastischer kurzer Roman, der mich in jeder Hinsicht restlos überzeugt hat. Übersetzung von Handke (1981, die erste und einzige ins Deutsche). Allerhöchste Empfehlung.

    25. *3 stelline e mezzo per un libro stranissimo ma che forse forse è una piccola perla incompresa per chi ama scrivere, per chi ama la descrizioni senza un secondo fine, aneddoti di vita di un emarginato

    26. Je me décide à écrire ces lignes en français car la version linguistique de ce livre est une erreur de ma part. En effet, je l'avais acheté à Turin avec d'autres livres italiens. J'étais tellement ému de trouver un auteur de mère luxembourgeoise que je n'ai même pas pensé à ma norme de base: ne lire des traductions que lorsque je ne maitrise pas suffisamment la langue originale. En plus, je suis beaucoup plus fluide en français qu'en italien! Mais soit.Mes amis est un livre franchem [...]

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