Julien Gracq: Au château d’Argol (The Castle of Argol)

The latest addition to my website is Julien Gracq‘s Au château d’Argol (The Castle of Argol). This was Gracq’s first novel and was rejected by Gallimard, no doubt because it is somewhat overwrought. It tells of a rich, noble scion buying, sight unseen, a remote castle in Brittany, to which he invites Herminien, his best friend, and Heide, Herminien’s girlfriend. During the course of the novel, we meet no other person, apart from a brief glimpse of a servant, and with the castle, hidden in a large and mysterious forest and overlooking the sea, with a deserted coastline. Albert and Heide seem to fall in love almost at once and the inevitable love triangle plays itself out, though what we might most remember is the lavish, Gothic descriptions Gracq gives us of the castle and its surroundings.

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