François Mauriac: Le noeud de vipères (Vipers’ Tangle; later: The Knot of Vipers)


The latest addition to my website is François Mauriac‘s Le noeud de vipères (Vipers’ Tangle; later: The Knot of Vipers). It is considered one of Mauriac’s best novel, a judgement with which I wholeheartedly concur. It tells the story of a very successful lawyer, who hates his family (wife, children, their spouses and children) with a passion, and schemes to do them out of their inheritance. The story primarily consists of a letter he is writing to his wife, for her to find after his death, in which he pours out his scorn for her and their two children. He tells the story of his life and of his view of their marriage, hoping that she will realise the depth of his antipathy for her. But then life takes a strange turn. It is a first-class novel, like all Mauriac’s novels, one of gloom and misery, as the main characters are interested in property and honour alone.

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