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Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



A Gullible Pietist and A Killer Without Motive: Lafcadio’s Adventures by André Gide

Lafcadio's Adventures - Andre Gide Les Caves Du Vatican - André Gide

Abridged version of my review posted on Edith’s Miscellany on 11 October 2013

The story of Lafcadio’s Adventures revolves around a set of five exaggerated types rather than characters: the confirmed atheist, model scientist and freemason Anthime Armand-Dubois; the practicing, though pragmatic Catholic and writer of mediocre novels Count Julius de Baraglioul; Lafcadio Wluiki, an eighteen-year-old man who is the illegitimate brother of Count Julius de Baraglioul; the criminal school-mate of Lafcadio called Protos; and the devout as well as naïve Amédée Fleurissoire. In the centre of the plot is a big swindle about the Freemasons having secretly imprisoned Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican cellars and having replaced him by a false pope. Amédée Fleurissoire sets out to rescue the Pope and quickly gets into trouble which makes him the chance victim of a “motiveless murder” with unexpected aftermaths for everybody involved.

Even though Lafcadio’s Adventures bursts with irony and exaggeration, its basic plot is borrowed from true events. However, the swindle serves the author only as the suitable background for his multilayered character and sociological studies. André Gide raises in his novel released in 1914 many different, often existentialist questions regarding human condition. Also his writing style is varied and satirizes the traditional form of the novel which used to be realistic or analytical. I must admit that it took me a while to get into the story, but maybe this was because I’m not used to reading surrealistic satires in French. Despite all I enjoyed the book and am ready to recommend it to everybody with a taste for the grotesque.

For the full review please click here to go to my blog Edith’s Miscellany.

Source: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com