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*** Cet ebook a été optimisé pour la lecture numérique **** Ce splendide roman, qui reçut le Grand Prix de l'Académie, est consiféré comme l'une des plus belles oeuvres de la littérature française. Nous y retrouvons les vicissitudes d'une paroisse vues par un jeune prêtre catholique confronté à la superficialité du genre humain, ainsi qu'au rejet d'une société rurale au sei *** Cet ebook a été optimisé pour la lecture numérique **** Ce splendide roman, qui reçut le Grand Prix de l'Académie, est consiféré comme l'une des plus belles oeuvres de la littérature française. Nous y retrouvons les vicissitudes d'une paroisse vues par un jeune prêtre catholique confronté à la superficialité du genre humain, ainsi qu'au rejet d'une société rurale au sein de laquelle il a du mal à se faire admettre. Extraits : "Ma paroisse est une paroisse comme les autres. Toutes les paroisses se ressemblent. Les paroisses d’aujourd’hui, naturellement. Je le disais hier à M. le curé de Norenfontes : le bien et le mal doivent s’y faire équilibre, seulement le centre de gravité est placé bas, très bas." "Je crois, je suis sûr que beaucoup d'hommes n'engagent jamais leur être, leur sincérité profonde.Ils vivent à la surface d'eux-mêmes, et le sol humain est si riche que cette mince couche superficielle suffit pour une maigre moisson qui donne l'illusion d'une véritable destinée."


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*** Cet ebook a été optimisé pour la lecture numérique **** Ce splendide roman, qui reçut le Grand Prix de l'Académie, est consiféré comme l'une des plus belles oeuvres de la littérature française. Nous y retrouvons les vicissitudes d'une paroisse vues par un jeune prêtre catholique confronté à la superficialité du genre humain, ainsi qu'au rejet d'une société rurale au sei *** Cet ebook a été optimisé pour la lecture numérique **** Ce splendide roman, qui reçut le Grand Prix de l'Académie, est consiféré comme l'une des plus belles oeuvres de la littérature française. Nous y retrouvons les vicissitudes d'une paroisse vues par un jeune prêtre catholique confronté à la superficialité du genre humain, ainsi qu'au rejet d'une société rurale au sein de laquelle il a du mal à se faire admettre. Extraits : "Ma paroisse est une paroisse comme les autres. Toutes les paroisses se ressemblent. Les paroisses d’aujourd’hui, naturellement. Je le disais hier à M. le curé de Norenfontes : le bien et le mal doivent s’y faire équilibre, seulement le centre de gravité est placé bas, très bas." "Je crois, je suis sûr que beaucoup d'hommes n'engagent jamais leur être, leur sincérité profonde.Ils vivent à la surface d'eux-mêmes, et le sol humain est si riche que cette mince couche superficielle suffit pour une maigre moisson qui donne l'illusion d'une véritable destinée."

30 review for Journal d'un curé de campagne (Premium Ebook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ

    Είναι πραγματικά ενα θαυμάσιο κομμάτι γραφής. Ένα σεμινάριο ανθρωπιάς. Ένα ψυχογράφημα με ευφυέστατη δομή χτίζεται αργά και σταδιακά για την αδυναμία και την πενιχρότητα της ανθρώπινης φύσης. Ο Bernanos ζωγραφίζει με μουντά και σκοτεινά χρώματα το πορταίτο ενός ανώνυμου νεαρού εφημερίου κάπου στη γαλλική επαρχία ενός ζοφερού κόσμου. Το πορτραίτο ενός γνήσιου Αγίου. Ενός ταπεινού, παθητικού και επιθετικού ιερέα που γράφοντας την νεκρολογία της ζωής του με μορφή ημερολογίου συνομιλεί με την πίστη, Είναι πραγματικά ενα θαυμάσιο κομμάτι γραφής. Ένα σεμινάριο ανθρωπιάς. Ένα ψυχογράφημα με ευφυέστατη δομή χτίζεται αργά και σταδιακά για την αδυναμία και την πενιχρότητα της ανθρώπινης φύσης. Ο Bernanos ζωγραφίζει με μουντά και σκοτεινά χρώματα το πορταίτο ενός ανώνυμου νεαρού εφημερίου κάπου στη γαλλική επαρχία ενός ζοφερού κόσμου. Το πορτραίτο ενός γνήσιου Αγίου. Ενός ταπεινού, παθητικού και επιθετικού ιερέα που γράφοντας την νεκρολογία της ζωής του με μορφή ημερολογίου συνομιλεί με την πίστη, τον πόνο και την αγάπη μέσω του πάθους του, κυριολεκτικά και εικαστικά. Η μορφή αυτής της γραφής επιτρέπει στον συγγραφέα να παρουσιάσει μια σειρά απο πολύ βαθιά και ουσιώδη θέματα καθώς και πνευματικούς προβληματισμούς που αποτελούν την διανοητική βάση της ιστορίας. Το παθιασμένο ύφος που κηρύττει αξίες και ιδανικά με ένθερμη πεποίθηση αλλά και έντονα συγκινητική ταλαιπωρία είναι υποβλητικό και επηρεάζει τον αναγνώστη. Η ψυχοφθόρα διαδικασία ανάγνωσης κερδίζει την κατανόηση του πόσο δύσκολο είναι να ζούμε επιφορτισμένοι μόνο με αγάπη ακόμη και στις πιο οδυνηρές αντιξοότητες. Το ερώτημα που κυριαρχεί εξ αρχής και διαπνέει όλη την επιθανάτια εξομολόγηση του βιβλίου είναι το «γιατί να βασανιζόμαστε καθημερινά και ανελέητα απο οδυνηρές αμφιβολίες, πλήξη, αντιπαλότητα, αίσθηση ματαιότητας, απελπισία και αδιάγνωστες κακοήθειες σε κάθε μορφή». Η απάντηση δεν έρχεται ποτέ. Ίσως συμπερασματικά να προκύπτουν απαντήσεις καθαρά υποκειμενικές. Η ανάγνωση του ίδιου του βιβλίου αναπόφευκτα περιβάλλεται απο μια ζοφερή ατμόσφαιρα που ταυτίζεται με τον εφημέριο. Είναι μια πηγή έμπνευσης, προβληματισμού και εμπειρίας. Όμως η διάθεση καταθλιπτική και σπαρακτική αλλάζει μόνο με την κατανόηση και τη σταδιακή συνειδητοποίηση πως όλα οδηγούν σε ένα συμπέρασμα εκπληκτικό. Ως ανθρώπινη μαρτυρία είναι ένα αξεπέραστο γραπτό, στην ευαίσθητη και εξαγριωμένη απεικόνιση του, μέσα στο κενό και τον αλαζονικό ενθουσιασμό της σύγχρονης ζωής όπου η ουσία της Χάριτος=ανιδιοτελούς αγάπης, λειτουργεί και κυριαρχεί συνεχόμενα. Τα επαναλαμβανόμενα στοιχεία πίστης και θρησκευτικότητας ενισχύουν την πνευματική αναζήτηση και απέχουν τελείως απο κάθε μορφή δογματισμού. Θα το χαρακτήριζα δύσκολο ανάγνωσμα που απαιτεί υπομονή και ικανότητα να ακούσεις την επιρροή του που δεν είναι καθόλου επιφανειακή. Η φωνή του είναι εσωτερική και βαθιά σπαρακτική με μια προσπάθεια μετάβασης στην επιτυχημένη ευτυχία της ανθρωπότητας. Οι τελευταίες 50 σελίδες αυτού του έργου είναι ένα αριστούργημα πνευματικής κληρονομιάς του 20ου αιώνα για κάθε «πιστό» αναγνώστη. Καλή ανάγνωση. Πολλούς ασπασμούς.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dhanaraj Rajan

    Spiritual Classic. Catholic Classic. Very Sublime. Will try to write a lengthy review later. ________________________________________________________________________________ An Attempt at a Lengthy Review: I titled it as an attempt, because I am very much certain that I will not be able to express what transpired in me as I read this novel. I agree with my Goodreads Friend, Cathy in defining this novel as a 'deceptively quiet book' and that seems to be in fact very apt. On the surface, it looks like Spiritual Classic. Catholic Classic. Very Sublime. Will try to write a lengthy review later. ________________________________________________________________________________ An Attempt at a Lengthy Review: I titled it as an attempt, because I am very much certain that I will not be able to express what transpired in me as I read this novel. I agree with my Goodreads Friend, Cathy in defining this novel as a 'deceptively quiet book' and that seems to be in fact very apt. On the surface, it looks like a simple tale of an ordinary young Catholic priest and his priestly mission in a parish in the rural France. But that is only the deception. What is behind this simple tale is a narration of many spiritual struggles. It is here Bernanos proves to be more than a simple story teller. Few of the spiritual struggles/theological questions analysed are: 1. What is Prayer? Is it possible to pray at all times with full faith? 2. What is the meaning of life/eternal Life in front of death? 3. What are the meanings of theological virtues - Faith, Hope and Charity? 4. Is God always present in our lives? Or do we find grace everywhere and every time? 5. The question of loneliness and priests; the question of celibacy and priests; priest's devotion to Our Lady; etc. All these issues/struggles/doubts are analysed in a sublime way as only a great writer/spiritual guide/theologian who is illuminated by Divine wisdom can. Bernanos was a devout Catholic and he wanted to be a priest. Thankfully, after a short period of time in seminary, he thought it was not his calling and so came out of seminary. He remained a devout Catholic and became a great writer. Surely, God knew what Bernanos was called for and Bernanos responded to that call. I am very much grateful to God and to Bernanos. P.S. I have a tendency to collect some books as my 'death bed companions'- the books of my last days. Till now I have decided on one (Death Comes for the Archbishop) and now this will be added to that list.

  3. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    Deceptively quiet book which starts off very slowly; though I knew it had to be going somewhere, it is easy to see why some readers miss its depths—I stopped and started it several times myself. And then...! The gist of the story is an inexperienced, young priest arrives at his first parish, a little place out in the country and begins to keep a diary. We also learn he is poor, devout, idealistic and ascetic. None of these traits particularly endear him to his parishioners. He seems to have but o Deceptively quiet book which starts off very slowly; though I knew it had to be going somewhere, it is easy to see why some readers miss its depths—I stopped and started it several times myself. And then...! The gist of the story is an inexperienced, young priest arrives at his first parish, a little place out in the country and begins to keep a diary. We also learn he is poor, devout, idealistic and ascetic. None of these traits particularly endear him to his parishioners. He seems to have but one fellow cleric friend, a worldly priest, de Torcy, who would have him ‘toughen up’ and stand up for himself. Sometimes, I confess I felt a little exasperated with our curé myself. Other times, his self-effacing meekness brought out my motherly instincts and I wanted to help this young clergyman—who so many seemed to despise or take advantage of. What makes the saga so compelling is the gentle, uncomplaining way the new priest relates his many failures and humiliations. As his audience we see his kindnesses misunderstood and his simple mistakes turned against him. And yet he is determined to go out and visit all within his parish despite mounting health problems. Most of the ‘action’ – if it can even be called that – in this novel occurs in the brilliantly constructed conversations between the curate and another character: a confused little girl, an atheist doctor, a long-grieving countess, her malicious teenage daughter, and a soldier of fortune to name a few. It is in these epic dialogues George Bernanos' reason for writing this testimony to faith is truly revealed. It isn’t an action book. It’s much, much better than that! I can see why some – used to reading a different sort of literature – have discounted this book. It has to be read carefully, slowly and perceptively. Also, some background on the author, George Bernanos, and the French movement, positivism, would be extremely beneficial. Highly recommended! One of the most faith-affirming books I’ve read this year!

  4. 4 out of 5

    FotisK

    Κείμενο μεστό, βρίθον θεολογικών αναφορών, πλήρες νοημάτων. Η δομή τού ημερολογίου εξυπηρετεί την παράθεση μεταφυσικής φύσης ερωταπαντήσεων, ανησυχιών και συλλογισμών του καθολικού Μπερνανός. Στη λογική αυτή, καθίσταται ξεκάθαρος ο συμβολισμός: Ο εφημέριος ακολουθεί τα βήματα του Ιησού προς το μαρτύριο και τη λύτρωση, εν μέσω ενός απόντος ποιμνίου, μια έμπλεης πλήξης κοινότητας. Εκεί που ένας αμέτοχος μεταφυσικών αναζητήσεων αναγνώστης (όπως εγώ) και λάτρης της λογοτεχνίας στοχάζεται περί της μα Κείμενο μεστό, βρίθον θεολογικών αναφορών, πλήρες νοημάτων. Η δομή τού ημερολογίου εξυπηρετεί την παράθεση μεταφυσικής φύσης ερωταπαντήσεων, ανησυχιών και συλλογισμών του καθολικού Μπερνανός. Στη λογική αυτή, καθίσταται ξεκάθαρος ο συμβολισμός: Ο εφημέριος ακολουθεί τα βήματα του Ιησού προς το μαρτύριο και τη λύτρωση, εν μέσω ενός απόντος ποιμνίου, μια έμπλεης πλήξης κοινότητας. Εκεί που ένας αμέτοχος μεταφυσικών αναζητήσεων αναγνώστης (όπως εγώ) και λάτρης της λογοτεχνίας στοχάζεται περί της ματαιότητας, ένας πιστός (ομού με τον συγγραφέα) ανακαλύπτει τη Θεία Χάρη. Τούτου δοθέντος, το έργο αδικείται -κατά την άποψή μου- από πλευράς μορφής και όχι περιεχομένου. Συγκεκριμένα, πάσχει από το "προπατορικό αμάρτημα" των γαλλικών γραμμάτων και τέχνης εν γένει: φλυαρία, στόμφος, πληθώρα αφορισμών και ήρωες που ομιλούν την ίδια "γλώσσα" ως φορείς ιδεών. Οι διάλογοι συχνά ηχούν ψεύτικοι, μια αλληλουχία από "ατάκες", σίγουρα πνευματώδεις, φιλοσοφημένοι και εμβριθείς, αλλά για τον λόγο αυτό κάποιες στιγμές παράταιροι και ενίοτε κουραστικοί. Το "Ημερολόγιο" συχνά δίνει την εντύπωση πως "πνίγεται" από το υπερχείλισμα των ιδεών του, ασφυκτιά υπό το βάρος της επαγγελίας του, "στομώνει" από τη ορμή του διαπρύσιου λόγου του. Προφανώς, τα προηγηθέντα είναι απλά προσωπικές και υπερβολικά αυστηρές απόψεις - άλλοι αναγνώστες θα τα προσπεράσουν ως υπερβολές (και καλά θα κάνουν!). Ο "Εφημέριος", εν τέλει, παραμένει ένα εξαιρετικό ανάγνωσμα με ποιότητες και βάθος που ελάχιστα σύγχρονα έργα μπορούν να προσφέρουν.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    The French are in equal parts anti-clerical and devout. Georges Bernanos and Francois Mauriac are excellent examples of the latter tendency. This is the second or third time I have read The Diary of a Country Priest -- and each time I find it has rocked my world. There is a kind of imaginative religious novel in which a saintly joyful figure moves from strength to strength until he or she is ascended bodily into the heavens. Bernanos is not like that. His unnamed priest, who writes in the first p The French are in equal parts anti-clerical and devout. Georges Bernanos and Francois Mauriac are excellent examples of the latter tendency. This is the second or third time I have read The Diary of a Country Priest -- and each time I find it has rocked my world. There is a kind of imaginative religious novel in which a saintly joyful figure moves from strength to strength until he or she is ascended bodily into the heavens. Bernanos is not like that. His unnamed priest, who writes in the first person, is a sickly young man of around thirty who is parish priest in a poor agricultural parish in Northern France whose parishioners are spiteful at best. He tries to see all his parishioners regardless of the cost to his health. During one such visit on a rainy day, he falls on the ground and vomits blood. The word goes around the parish that the priest is an alcoholic. Actually, he drinks wine in which bread is soaked (very symbolic, that) because he can't digest much of anything else. When he sees a doctor toward the end, it is a young man who is injecting morphine into his veins so he could have the strength to see his patients -- because he himself is dying of a rare disease. The end comes to our priest, as it does to all men. His last words are, "Does it matter? Grace is everywhere." Diary of a Country Priest is perhaps a true study of sanctity in a hostile world. Perhaps Bernanos has given us a sense of reality in a troubled world which is more honest and true than what religious authorities would have us believe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    S.

    I thought this was one of those books that comes with a “guarantee.” But of course there is no such thing. Still, I’d read only glowing reviews and boy was I ready for a “triumphant experience.” But on p. 26 I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was really reading about. On p. 54 the voice of the innocent and well-meaning young priest began to irk the shit out of me. On p. 55 I skipped ahead to see if anything would ever actually happen to dilute all the fluffy introspection and it didn’t loo I thought this was one of those books that comes with a “guarantee.” But of course there is no such thing. Still, I’d read only glowing reviews and boy was I ready for a “triumphant experience.” But on p. 26 I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was really reading about. On p. 54 the voice of the innocent and well-meaning young priest began to irk the shit out of me. On p. 55 I skipped ahead to see if anything would ever actually happen to dilute all the fluffy introspection and it didn’t look promising. On p. 64 I took the kitty to the well and drowned it. Ach! If only I lived near a (English) library I’d run so much less risk of wasting money on books. The back cover says $15.95! I checked my order though, and thanks to Amazon, I paid “just” $11.48 for “The Diary of a Country Priest,” so I feel a few dollars better already. Plus I ordered it along with “The Shadow of Sirius” and “Blood Meridian,” both of which paid off. “Sirius” cost $10.88 but was really worth about $17.89, and “Blood Meridian” cost $10.20 but was easily worth $13.86. So actually I only lost 81 cents in this deal, making it easier to swallow. I’m returning to this century now. Nice to see you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    Before his death on April 4th, 1947, Georges Bernanos gave a lecture in Tunisia entitled "Our Friends the Saints" which can teach us to say to the Lord, Lord, your love is infinite; I can't fathom it and it is sufficient for me, to which the Lord might answer us as he answered the mother who lost her little one,{ there is a mother who is hiding her face for the last time against the little heart that no longer throbs, a mother, close to her dead child, offering God the moaning of an exhausted re Before his death on April 4th, 1947, Georges Bernanos gave a lecture in Tunisia entitled "Our Friends the Saints" which can teach us to say to the Lord, Lord, your love is infinite; I can't fathom it and it is sufficient for me, to which the Lord might answer us as he answered the mother who lost her little one,{ there is a mother who is hiding her face for the last time against the little heart that no longer throbs, a mother, close to her dead child, offering God the moaning of an exhausted resignation, as if the Voice that threw the suns into the great void the way a hand disperses grain, the Voice that makes the earth tremble, had just sweetly whispered in her ear: “Forgive Me. One day you will know, you will understand, you will thank Me. But now, what I await from you is your pardon. Forgive Me.” Those people—the harassed women, that poor man—are at the heart of the mystery, at the core of the universal creation and even inside the secret of God Himself. What can I say of this? Language is at the service of intelligence. But what these people have grasped, they have understood by a faculty superior to the intelligence, though not at all in conflict with it, or rather by a profound and irresistable impulse of the soul which engages all the faculties at the same time, which thoroughly absorbs all that is natural in them. . . . } Such a woman, once made aware of God's love for her, she becomes, as it were, another christ. In a word, she is a saint. To surrender to God's will is not easy. Therefore, we don't offer our sufferings up to God, but rather we offer what we might become as a result of suffering. We should go with our sufferings to the maximum degrees of love, to the highest peak of love. Then, our sufferings become for us salvific sufferings, which means in the course of God's dealing with us, we have to genuinely convinced of the prayer which taught us, "Lord, Your will be done".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    The Journal of a Country Priest is the work of the strongly Catholic writer Georges Bernanos who gives the daily drama of a priest fighting in God's army against the devil for the salvation of human souls all the intensity that it so richly deserves. The protagonist of this novel is a young priest who demonstrates that he possesses the true vocation. Despite growing up in poverty and being afflicted with a very serious illness, He does not flinch in his efforts to save the souls whose care has be The Journal of a Country Priest is the work of the strongly Catholic writer Georges Bernanos who gives the daily drama of a priest fighting in God's army against the devil for the salvation of human souls all the intensity that it so richly deserves. The protagonist of this novel is a young priest who demonstrates that he possesses the true vocation. Despite growing up in poverty and being afflicted with a very serious illness, He does not flinch in his efforts to save the souls whose care has been entrusted to him. As the novel concludes: Grace is everywhere. This is must reading for Catholics who need to be reminded periodically of the exceptional courage of so many of our priests and nuns. For readers unfamiliar with the culture context of France between the two wars, it might be helpful to first watch Robert Bresson's movie of the same name which has been hailed as a masterpiece by such diverse critics as Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard. I read the book first. After seeing the movie, I read the book a second time and got much more out of it. As Canadian and a native speaker of French, I can assure any Anglophone that the culture of France is at times very murky to the outsider who must at times go to extra efforts to fully enjoy French literature. Lu en francais.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Durrant

    The Parisian Georges Bernanos (1888-1948) is one of the last century's greatest Catholic novelists, and this is probably his most admired book. As the title indicates, this is a fictional "diary" of a young, very ill, priest who is trying manfully to administer well to his small countryside parish. He struggles with faith, the role of suffering, the nature of evil and almost every other major religious topic as he strives to maintain his integrity and faithful stewardship over a very problematic The Parisian Georges Bernanos (1888-1948) is one of the last century's greatest Catholic novelists, and this is probably his most admired book. As the title indicates, this is a fictional "diary" of a young, very ill, priest who is trying manfully to administer well to his small countryside parish. He struggles with faith, the role of suffering, the nature of evil and almost every other major religious topic as he strives to maintain his integrity and faithful stewardship over a very problematic "flock." His relationships with several of the women in his parish are particularly challenging and force him to consider lust and the role it plays in the religious struggle. It is difficult to do justice to the seriousness and profundity of this book. I hope one day soon to attempt a short essay on Catholic fiction as exemplified by George Bernanos's The Diary of a Country Priest and Francois Mauriac's The Viper's Nest. What I intend to argue is that the very sense of complexity, cynicism, and even darkness they are willing to portray is what Mormon literature has never dared to touch, at least so far as I know, and thus precludes the latter from ever being more than mediocre.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This sad little book moves at the speed of human breath in repose, then spurred toward the halting gasps of mortal exertion. I can't recall ever reading a more painful, moving depiction of truly humble self-sacrifice than the eponymous priest's in Bernanos's engrossing, masterful clinic in the diaristic form of literature. I first heard of the book in an interview with Marilynne Robinson, in which it was cited (by the interviewer) as an apparent predecessor to Robinson's own brilliant and cleric This sad little book moves at the speed of human breath in repose, then spurred toward the halting gasps of mortal exertion. I can't recall ever reading a more painful, moving depiction of truly humble self-sacrifice than the eponymous priest's in Bernanos's engrossing, masterful clinic in the diaristic form of literature. I first heard of the book in an interview with Marilynne Robinson, in which it was cited (by the interviewer) as an apparent predecessor to Robinson's own brilliant and clerically ruminative novel, 'Gilead'. The two obviously belong together in some ways, though the tone and time of Catholic France is a long way from the Calvinic countryside of Iowa, and both books justify themselves apart from any attempt broadly to fit them into a genre or category that could only obscure the potent specificities that make each great. What Bernanos creates in this book is an enchanting, anti-hagiographical portrait of a living saint, in all his selfless, self-doubting glory.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rozzer

    I read this while alone in Tokyo in November, 1975. Brrrr. The book sets forth in living black-and-white an aspect of France that many disregard: the terribly self-punishing, rigid, miserable, very November (of one's soul, so to speak) French Catholicism of times not all that very much gone by. I've never got it straight. Is THIS the Jansenist strain, Port-Royal and all that, or the other, more papistical orthodoxy? Shared with all too many Irish. Something severe, drizzling, gray, wintery, abso I read this while alone in Tokyo in November, 1975. Brrrr. The book sets forth in living black-and-white an aspect of France that many disregard: the terribly self-punishing, rigid, miserable, very November (of one's soul, so to speak) French Catholicism of times not all that very much gone by. I've never got it straight. Is THIS the Jansenist strain, Port-Royal and all that, or the other, more papistical orthodoxy? Shared with all too many Irish. Something severe, drizzling, gray, wintery, absolutely self-denying if not self-torturing. Something that makes all the seventeenth century French Jesuit martyrs more comprehensible, as they continued to celebrate mass with all or perhaps just eight or nine of their fingers having been hilariously amputated by the Hurons or the Iroquois. Something you can feel sweating coldly from the walls of the narrow streets of Lourdes even at the best, freshest, most lovely time of the year. Saw the movie on Turner Classics quite recently. Not a patch on the book. Bresson tried hard, but he just didn't make it. How would one transfer Bernanos in this book to film? A film is by its nature anchored in the fleshiness of the realest possible life. And this work demonstrates how that fleshiness can be and is refused and rejected. In favor of a complete identification with what is, after all, a God whose essence appears to be very human suffering. I'm saddened. I too believe in God. But by no means the God of Bernanos. No. Not the God of so many French Catholics. This strain, this slice of French being is essential for knowing and feeling France and its peoples. It's been around a long time. But the French over the past fifty years have been voting with their feet. And they have decisively voted against this aspect of their history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Bernanos is one of the greatest Catholic writers of the 20th Century and this book, winner of the 1936 Grand-Prix of the French Academy, is widely recognised as his masterpiece. A tale of a young, seemingly inept, parish priest in a remote French village, this is indeed a remarkable novel but not necessarily an enjoyable one. Difficult is what it certainly is. First of all because it reflects the contradictions of its author - a devout Catholic who could be outspokenly critical of the Church, a Bernanos is one of the greatest Catholic writers of the 20th Century and this book, winner of the 1936 Grand-Prix of the French Academy, is widely recognised as his masterpiece. A tale of a young, seemingly inept, parish priest in a remote French village, this is indeed a remarkable novel but not necessarily an enjoyable one. Difficult is what it certainly is. First of all because it reflects the contradictions of its author - a devout Catholic who could be outspokenly critical of the Church, a reactionary monarchist with socialist ideals, a supporter of De Gaulle who became disillusioned with post-war France. It is also difficult because, as its title implies, it expresses its (not always obvious) theological/philosophical message through the medium of a fictional diary - which means long monologues and reminiscences of dialogues between the protagonist and fellow clerics and/or parishioners. Bernanos provides no easy or convenient answers and, for a Catholic novel which ends on a note of hope, it has more than its fair share of existentialist angst. A challenging read, but a strangely captivating one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim B

    I am convinced that the translation of this book (translator: Pamela Morris) is a great barrier to the enjoyment of the book. It is apparent that the translator was unable to bring out the flow of the thought because sometimes the wrong word was used. Also, her choice of dialects was terrible (French peasants who speak like Irish or Cockneys!) From what I've read from other readers, the Diary is difficult enough to get through without this poor translation of it. Please, someone, come up with a I am convinced that the translation of this book (translator: Pamela Morris) is a great barrier to the enjoyment of the book. It is apparent that the translator was unable to bring out the flow of the thought because sometimes the wrong word was used. Also, her choice of dialects was terrible (French peasants who speak like Irish or Cockneys!) From what I've read from other readers, the Diary is difficult enough to get through without this poor translation of it. Please, someone, come up with a new translation! Essential to my staying with the book was the 2002 introduction in my edition by Remy Rougeau. I read it before and after reading the book and without it, I would not have appreciated anything but the end of the book. I rated this book so low because 1) the poor translation, and 2) I couldn't follow the priest's conversations, and 3) until near the end I couldn't relate to the young priest's descriptions. On the other hand, a Goodreads reviewer called "booklady" gave such an excellent review that captured why the book is important, that I have copied and pasted it here: booklady: "Deceptively quiet book which starts off very slowly; though I knew it had to be going somewhere, it is easy to see why some readers miss its depths—I stopped and started it several times myself. And then...! "The gist of the story is an inexperienced, young priest arrives at his first parish, a little place out in the country and begins to keep a diary. We also learn he is poor, devout, idealistic and ascetic. None of these traits particularly endear him to his parishioners. He seems to have but one fellow cleric friend, a worldly priest, de Torcy, who would have him ‘toughen up’ and stand up for himself. Sometimes, I confess I felt a little exasperated with our curé myself. Other times, his self-effacing meekness brought out my motherly instincts and I wanted to help this young clergyman—who so many seemed to despise or take advantage of. What makes the saga so compelling is the gentle, uncomplaining way the new priest relates his many failures and humiliations. As his audience we see his kindnesses misunderstood and his simple mistakes turned against him. And yet he is determined to go out and visit all within his parish despite mounting health problems. "Most of the ‘action’ – if it can even be called that – in this novel occurs in the brilliantly constructed conversations between the curate and another character: a confused little girl, an atheist doctor, a long-grieving countess, her malicious teenage daughter, and a soldier of fortune to name a few. It is in these epic dialogues George Bernanos' reason for writing this testimony to faith is truly revealed. "It isn’t an action book. It’s much, much better than that! I can see why some – used to reading a different sort of literature – have discounted this book. It has to be read carefully, slowly and perceptively. Also, some background on the author, George Bernanos, and the French movement, positivism, would be extremely beneficial. Highly recommended! One of the most faith-affirming books I’ve read this year!" (review in full by Goodreads participant "booklady") I would have liked to have made more marks in the book to go back and reread. However, I bought this book used, I think I may have to return it to a church library in the area (it may have been mixed into someone's books and sold). I did like these statements: "Satan is too hard a master. He would never command as did the Other with divine simplicity: 'Do likewise.' The devil will have no victims resemble him. He permits only a rough caricature, impotent, abject, which has to serve as food for eternal irony, the mordant irony of the depths." "Our habits are our friends. Even our bad habits."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I actually found it incredibly difficult to understand. Some of it, I think, was that it was poorly translated. I read a 1962 edition that doesn't even cite a translator -- so many of the sentences were so convoluted as to be utterly obtuse. Poor translation or witless reader? I never could figure out why Mlle Chantal was such an angry bitch and why she insisted on tormenting the priest. What was her secret? Was the priest an alcoholic or just I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I actually found it incredibly difficult to understand. Some of it, I think, was that it was poorly translated. I read a 1962 edition that doesn't even cite a translator -- so many of the sentences were so convoluted as to be utterly obtuse. Poor translation or witless reader? I never could figure out why Mlle Chantal was such an angry bitch and why she insisted on tormenting the priest. What was her secret? Was the priest an alcoholic or just terminally sick? Gay? Why did M le Comte come to hate the priest? These are just some of the basic narrative issues I couldn't figure out. Forget the whole spiritual aspect--much of what the priest mused on and felt was incomprehensible to me as he described it. I can't help wondering if I'd have understood it if I had read it in French. Or maybe I'm just so spiritually challenged (in a God believing, Catholic way) that I can't comprehend it when it's described. All of that said, there were profoundly moving passages here and there, but over all I don't begin to know what I read. It's rather embarrassing actually--I feel so simple!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karna Swanson

    I was expecting great things, but I couldn't even get through half of it. Hard to follow, boring, lots of long discourses that didn't have a point. I don't know, didn't get it. I have a copy of it if you'd life to give it a whirl.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Conor Hardy

    Beautiful. "We need more 'no name' priests." - Fr. Ron G. regarding the priest of The Diary.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    "Odiarsi è più facile di quanto si creda. La grazie consiste nel dimenticarsi. Ma se in noi fosse morto ogni orgoglio, la grazia delle grazie sarebbe di amare umilmente se stessi, allo stesso modo di qualunque altro membro sofferente di Gesù Cristo". Un indimenticabile "Diario di un curato di campagna", che mi ha accompagnato fin dalla prima giovinezza. Un povero curato "macinato" dalla vita che alla fine di tutto, negli ultimi tristissimi istanti sussurra: "Che importa? Tutto è grazia". Sì, tutto "Odiarsi è più facile di quanto si creda. La grazie consiste nel dimenticarsi. Ma se in noi fosse morto ogni orgoglio, la grazia delle grazie sarebbe di amare umilmente se stessi, allo stesso modo di qualunque altro membro sofferente di Gesù Cristo". Un indimenticabile "Diario di un curato di campagna", che mi ha accompagnato fin dalla prima giovinezza. Un povero curato "macinato" dalla vita che alla fine di tutto, negli ultimi tristissimi istanti sussurra: "Che importa? Tutto è grazia". Sì, tutto è grazia.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Oquendo

    Estou persuadido de que não faço mal algum anotando, dia a dia, com uma franqueza absoluta, os muito humildes, os insignificantes segredos de uma vida, aliás sem mistério algum. “Diário de um Pároco de Aldeia” era daqueles livros que, junto com “Nó de Víboras” e outros clássicos do romance católico, eu já havia anotado numa listinha de “a ler” há mais de 10 anos, por influência do Professor Olavo, mas que ficava olhando de longe, matutando se, de fato, eu teria capacidade para compreendê-lo. Agora Estou persuadido de que não faço mal algum anotando, dia a dia, com uma franqueza absoluta, os muito humildes, os insignificantes segredos de uma vida, aliás sem mistério algum. “Diário de um Pároco de Aldeia” era daqueles livros que, junto com “Nó de Víboras” e outros clássicos do romance católico, eu já havia anotado numa listinha de “a ler” há mais de 10 anos, por influência do Professor Olavo, mas que ficava olhando de longe, matutando se, de fato, eu teria capacidade para compreendê-lo. Agora, tendo finalmente lido o livro, tenho certeza de que está acima das minhas capacidades, não digo intelectuais, porque nesse ponto ele não apresenta maiores dificuldades – não se trata propriamente de um romance filosófico -, mas sim espirituais. A primeira vez que ouvi falar de Bernanos foi no site do prof. Olavo de Carvalho. “Querem saber o que é o catolicismo? Esqueçam os padres e os teólogos - leiam Bernanos.”, escrevera ele (http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/romanc...). E precisou de pouco tempo para eu descobrir que, da sua produção ficcional, “O Diário” era a obra de melhor fortuna crítica. Acontece que o pároco de aldeia, da pequena paróquia francesa de Ambricourt, que escreve o diário e passa o livro sem nome, é um verdadeiro santo, e o diário cobre seu processo de santificação pelo ponto de vista inesperado de anotações pessoais, destinadas inicialmente a serem destruídas e, por isso mesmo, brutalmente sinceras. Como era de se esperar, o livro é todo narrado em primeira pessoa. Trata-se, afinal, de um diário, que só é encerrado com a morte do autor, narrada brevemente numa carta de seu amigo LUÍS DUFRÉTY, que fecha o romance. A escolha da primeira pessoa, especificamente na forma de diário, é, no mínimo, interessante. Não temos tantos relatos de santos em primeira pessoa, mas os que existem são normalmente feitos não sob a forma de um diário íntimo, mas sim de uma autobiografia, geralmente escrita a contragosto para obedecer a um comando do diretor espiritual. Nesses casos, a primeira pessoa se dirige a uma segunda pessoa – o diretor espiritual – e não há propriamente o encontro do escritor consigo mesmo. Não digo, é claro, que não haja valor e sinceridade nesses escritos. Que valor maravilhoso não há, por exemplo, na Biografia de Santa Teresa D’Ávila, ou de Santa Teresinha de Lisieux, escritas ambas a pedido de seus respectivos diretores espirituais? Mas, de fato, a forma do diário, que não é destinado à leitura de ninguém, e sim ao fogo, dá um contorno totalmente diferente à operação da escrita. Certamente Bernanos tinha isso em mente quando, aos 36 anos, escreveu este livro. Est modus in rebus. Isto fica claro quando o pároco vislumbra a quem, realmente, vai encontrar toda vez que resolve tomar notas em seu caderno: Quando me sentei pela primeira vez diante deste caderno de colegial procurei fixar a atenção, recolher-me como quem se prepara para um exame de consciência. Mas não foi a minha consciência que eu vi com este olhar interior ordinariamente tão sereno, tão penetrante, que para ele o pormenor pouco vale, vai logo direito ao essencial. Dir-se-ia que deslizava à superfície de uma outra consciência que me era então desconhecida, de um espelho enevoado onde receei, de repente, ver surgir um rosto - que rosto: o meu, talvez ? ... Um rosto reencontrado, esquecido. Outro ganho artístico que Bernanos obtém dessa escolha é que colhe seu padre num momento anterior, na caminhada da santidade, ao qual, via de regra, os grandes santos se puseram a escrever suas memórias. Sinteticamente, podemos dizer que a vida espiritual é uma ascendente que começa com a via purgativa, passa pela via iluminativa e termina na via unitiva. Como revela o nome de cada via, começa-se pela purgação dos pecados e tendências pecaminosas, passa-se por um período de iluminação, de antegozo das beatitudes celestes, e finalmente entra-se na fase em que a alma está indissoluvelmente unida a Deus e já é impossível pecar e cair da graça. A mim me parece que o pároco começa seu diário na virada da via purgativa para a iluminativa, quando acontece a famosa “secura” da alma, a sensação viva e dolorosa de que Deus nos abandonou. Ao longo da via purgativa, o candidato à santidade faz violência contra suas próprias tendências pecaminosas e Deus vai lhe dando forças e consolações espirituais para prosseguir e vencer todas as tentações. Porém, em determinado momento essas consolações faltam, e esse é o teste e a tentação final: se ultrapassado com êxito, a via iluminativa vem encher a alma de uma paz imperturbável, que não chega mesmo a ser consolação porque não há variação real do espírito. O romance, ou diário, é divido em três partes. Na inicial, o pároco registra algumas reflexões sobre sua paróquia, sobre o estado corrente da humanidade, e ficamos sabendo que essa é sua primeira paróquia. Registra ali diversos pequenos defeitos que dolorosamente enxerga em si mesmo: timidez, incapacidade de administrar dinheiro, antipatias mal contidas; apesar disso, o conteúdo é bastante abstrato, lembrando um pouco as “Memórias de Adriano” e “Aparição”. O tom dessas reflexões é digno das náuseas de Sartre. O mundo parece um lugar extremamente cinzento e sem graça. É o desencanto do mundo que orienta o autor do diário: Dizia eu então que o tédio devora o mundo. Naturalmente é preciso pensar um bocado para nos darmos conta disso; não é coisa que se veja logo. É uma espécie de poeira. Anda-se no meio dela sem a ver, respira-se, come-se, bebe-se, e é tão fina, tão ténue, que nem sequer estala entre os dentes. Basta, porém, que nos detenhamos um segundo para ela nos cobrir o rosto, as mãos. Temos de nos estar sempre a agitar para sacudir de cima de nós esta chuva de cinzas. É por isso que o mundo se agita tanto. Entediado e vendo seus paroquianos mornos, o padre tenta voltar-se ao serviço do próximo, enquanto luta contra os primeiros sinais do câncer de estômago que o haveria de matar. Eis a segunda e maior parte do livro. Não tem título, mas bem se poderia chamar de “diálogos”. Diálogos com pares, dos quais se destaca outro santo, o mais experiente pároco de Torcy, diálogos com membros de uma nobreza decaída, como a Condessa, com militares, com médicos ateus, enfim, com almas a cujo segredo mais íntimo o padre tem um acesso que espanta a si próprio, e que obviamente é uma graça extraordinária decorrente de sua pureza e de sua Ordenação. É notável que, em momento algum, Bernanos permite que venham ao proscênio personagens do estrato imitativo baixo. Estes, como o reitor de Blangermont e o conde, aparecem apenas de relance. A voz, no diário do pároco de Ambricourt, é dada apenas a almas atormentadas, que, sabendo ou não, anseiam pela realização da vida humana, por “queimar como um pavio”, como colocou de modo memorável o prof. Olavo de Carvalho no filme “Bonifácio o Fundador do Brasil”. Digo que essa escolha é notável não só porque resulta num livro denso, cheio da “high seriousness” de que fala Matthew Arnold. O que mais me impressiona é que um padre de origens pobres mas cultivado, colocado num ambiente provinciano, seria um prato cheio para uma crítica social do vezo de um Eça de Queirós, um desfile de personagens ridículos vomitando ditos ainda mais ridículos, para alcançar uma espécie de ridendo castigat mores. Mas essa escolha pelo estilo irônico, imitativo baixo, destruiria a intenção máxima de Bernanos: capturar a alma de um santo em sua evolução para a via unitiva. E esse santo jamais poderia, mesmo num diário que não é destinado à leitura de ninguém, colocar-se na posição de juiz do mundo. Trata-se, afinal, de suas ovelhas, por quem ele se devora de zelo. O sacerdote amava sem esperança de ser amado. Parece ter feito suas, através do registro em diário, as terríveis palavras do pároco de Torcy, lição claramente esquecida pelos nossos padrecos que, tadinhos, entram em depressão e têm crises de pânico: Nosso Senhor não disse que nós éramos o mel da terra, meu rapaz, mas o sal. Ora o nosso pobre mundo parece-se muito com o velho Job na sua pocilga, coberto de chagas e de úlceras. O sal sobre a carne viva queima. Mas ao mesmo tempo não deixa apodrecer. Com a mania de darem cabo do diabo, a vossa outra mania é a de serem amados, amados por vós mesmos, entenda-se. Um verdadeiro padre nunca é amado, fica com esta. Queres que eu te diga a verdade? À Igreja não interessa nada que vocês sejam amados, meu rapaz. Antes de mais nada, sede respeitados, obedecidos. A Igreja precisa de ordem. Ordem de manhã à noite é o que se quer. Consegui a ordem, convencidos de que a desordem acabará por vencê-la no dia seguinte, pois a verdade é que faz parte da ordem, ai de nós, ver a noite desfazer todo o nosso trabalho da véspera - a noite pertence ao diabo. O nosso padre tinha tudo para ser um coitado. Filho de família de camponeses miseráveis, foi viver com sua tia ainda pequeno. Era obrigado a passar as tardes num bar – na verdade um barracão construído oportunisticamente perto de uma mina – onde mineiros vinham encher a cara e dar vazão a sua sensualidade. O menino, que já parecia ter uma forte inclinação à pureza, desenvolve, com esse contato brutal, um asco à sensualidade e uma enorme compaixão pelos sensuais, que iria acompanha-lo pelo resto de sua breve vida. Como foi parar em um seminário não ficamos sabendo. Mas é revelado aos poucos, pelos personagens com quem dialoga, que fez bom proveito de seus estudos e se cultivou bastante. Temos, portanto, um pároco de origens humildes, mas instruído. Apesar dessa instrução, o padre realmente se acha o último dos homens. Sua humildade não é falsa, não se transmite por expressões padronizadas, já estabelecidas por milênios de escritos cristãos. Vemos no seu diário, que não pretende mostrar a ninguém, que o asco por si mesmo é bastante real e genuíno. Nesse ponto, chega a lembrar o Santo Cura D’Ars, que nos momentos de maior desespero chegava a fugir de sua paróquia, para lá ser carregado à força pelos paroquianos: Sim, que estupidez! E eu que esperava ver este diário ajudar-me a fixar o meu pensamento, que se me escapa sempre nos raros momentos em que posso refletir um bocado. Na minha ideia, esperava que ele fosse uma conversa entre Nosso Senhor e eu, um prolongamento da oração, uma forma de suplantar as dificuldades da oração, que ainda me parecem muitas vezes insuperáveis, por causa, talvez, das minhas dolorosas cólicas de estômago. E eis senão quando verifico que Ele me descobre o lugar enorme, desmesurado, que ocupam na minha pobre vida estas mil preocupações quotidianas de que eu por vezes me julgava liberto. Bem sei que Nosso Senhor compartilha dos nossos sofrimentos, por mais fúteis que sejam, e que nada despreza. Mas por que razão hei de inscrever no papel o que, pelo contrário, devia esforçar-me por ir esquecendo? O pior é que encontro nestas confidências uma doçura tão grande que isso, só por si, devia bastar para me pôr de sobreaviso. Enquanto vou garatujando, à luz do meu candeeiro, estas páginas que ninguém chegará a ler, tenho a sensação de ter a meu lado uma presença invisível, que não é por certo a de Deus - mas, antes, a de um amigo feito à minha própria imagem, embora distinto de mim, de uma outra essência ... Ontem à noite esta presença tornou-se-me de repente tão sensível que me surpreendi a inclinar a cabeça para não sei que interlocutor imaginário, com um súbito desejo de chorar que me envergonhou. Aos trancos e barrancos, lutando contra suas dores de estômago, sua inadequação à vida mundana, contra a desconfiança dos poderosos da terra, contra a tibieza de uma aldeia que espera dele apenas o cumprimento burocrático de seus deveres de pároco, o padre vai aos poucos realizando ganhos espirituais que, como revela a franqueza de seu diálogo, ele próprio não percebe. Desses ganhos são sinais as vontades súbitas que tem de ir a tal ou qual lugar, as palavras que diz no momento certo e não sabe porque diz nem de onde vêm, as coisas que intui e não teria como saber sem uma assistência sobrenatural, dentre outros elementos de pura sabedoria que ele, evidentemente, trata como estranhos ao seu mais íntimo ser. Exatamente como alertado pelo pároco de Torcy, o padre de Ambricourt parece se embaraçar com os signos evidentes da ação da graça em sua vida, se unindo, de forma atabalhoada como tudo em sua vida, aos santos que se avexam de serem “os filhos mimados de Deus”. Essa evolução espiritual aparece em diversos momentos, sendo o ápice, a meu ver, a conversa, ou melhor diria batalha, com a Sra. Condessa, que ao fim se arrepende de sua dureza de coração – dureza essa insuspeitada, não fosse a graça extraordinária conferida ao pároco! – separando-se, ao fim da lida, de um pecado tão arraigado que ao apartar-se dele morreu prontamente. Alguns dos diálogos são, é verdade, um registro que Bernanos fez de críticas à Igreja que, na boca do pároco, ficariam inverossímeis e destruiriam a integridade frágil da personagem. São desse tipo o diálogo com Olivier sobre a visão da Igreja acerca das guerras modernas, que antecipa as reflexões de um Eric Voegelin, a conversa com o médico ateu Dr. Laville, que lhe diagnostica brutalmente o seu mal, e finalmente as breves palavras trocadas com Louis Dufréty, o amigo que traiu sua ordenação e que, não obstante, era o que ali estava para absolve-lo em seu leito de morte e colher suas últimas palavras “O que importa? Tudo é Graça!”. Embaraço-me ao tentar encontrar o lugar na vida e o tema último e final deste romance. Como disse no início, ele me pareceu claramente acima das minhas capacidades espirituais. Trata-se, talvez, do único romance no qual a vida de um santo foi detalhada de forma exata, incrivelmente exata, num mundo pós-Freud, pós-Proust e pós-Amiel, levando a suspeitar que o autor tivesse uma alma tão larga quanto a de um verdadeiro santo. Do volume que tenho em mãos, e que está todo marcado a lápis, cheio de anotações desconexas, como se fosse um estudo de não ficção, me prende um dos trechos que marquei, e que talvez contenha a chave do romance: “Toda a gente me diz: ‘Sê simples!’ Faço o possível. É tão difícil ser-se simples! Mas a gente da sociedade lê ‘os simples’ como lê ‘os humildes’, com o mesmo sorriso indulgente. E os que eles deveriam dizer era: os reis.” Para entrar no reino dos Céus, é preciso ser como as criancinhas. E o pároco de Ambrincourt viveu e morreu como uma criança, um verdadeiro rei em sua humildade. Quem de nós estará à altura dessa vida? Quem de nós poderá de fato compreender o romance de Bernanos? Fico verdadeiramente chocado que tenha sido um best-seller. Para mim, ele continua como um desafio misterioso e todavia claro, a todos nós.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ignacio

    Emocionante. La impotencia de un hombre humilde ante Dios y la humanidad, aunque esa humanidad sea tan sólo un remoto pueblo del norte de Francia y ese hombre sea un sacerdote. La gracia recibida hace de su tarea una obra de proporciones titánicas en manos de un hombre tímido, reservado y enfermo. A su lado Dios, la Iglesia, representada por la figura amable e íntegra del cura de Torcy, y la conciencia de su misión. Frente a él, un mundo mezquino, simple y vulgar, lleno del dolor sordo de los hábi Emocionante. La impotencia de un hombre humilde ante Dios y la humanidad, aunque esa humanidad sea tan sólo un remoto pueblo del norte de Francia y ese hombre sea un sacerdote. La gracia recibida hace de su tarea una obra de proporciones titánicas en manos de un hombre tímido, reservado y enfermo. A su lado Dios, la Iglesia, representada por la figura amable e íntegra del cura de Torcy, y la conciencia de su misión. Frente a él, un mundo mezquino, simple y vulgar, lleno del dolor sordo de los hábitos y las rutinas; y la esperanza. Un hombre torturado por su debilidad, pero capaz del heroísmo del amor. Bernanos hace teología con una comprensión del alma humana más que notable.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    A beautiful book that captures the trials and joys of a young priest in France in the first part of the 20th Century. The book kept me engrossed, but I must say that I felt as if I was reading it through a cloudy set of glasses. I'd be hard pressed to relate all that happens to the unnamed (I think) priest. I have a hunch that the English translation (there seems to be only one) is not that great. Still I highly recommend this novel.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark miller

    Reader Response Paper-writing The Diary of a Country Priest By GEORGE BERNANOS I just finished the novel so you will have to excuse me of my immediate sadness and sorrow for a man so beautiful and full of life. I could not bear to feel him die. Yes, feel. I felt as though I was with him in all his time of turmoil, agony, and internal suffering. I understand the meaning of Grace now, or at least I think I do. He meant that no matter what evil or hatred has been or is bestowed upon you that it does Reader Response Paper-writing The Diary of a Country Priest By GEORGE BERNANOS I just finished the novel so you will have to excuse me of my immediate sadness and sorrow for a man so beautiful and full of life. I could not bear to feel him die. Yes, feel. I felt as though I was with him in all his time of turmoil, agony, and internal suffering. I understand the meaning of Grace now, or at least I think I do. He meant that no matter what evil or hatred has been or is bestowed upon you that it doesn't matter because you are loved and forgiven by Jesus ,God, or Love. I think that's what he was saying through out the whole novel. That Grace is all around us and within us at all times. I can only think of love and this is the great power of the Universe. It cannot be beaten or destroyed and no one truly loses it, even if they are filled with so much hate as it seems to consume them, there is still so much love left for them. I do believe this is the underlying message of this wonderful and enlightening book that is difficult to describe in words, as words will only convey an injustice to the growth and meaning it had to me I think the evidence for my pretext of meaning for this novel can be seen at the beginning of chapter five, after his spiritual confrontation with Mademoiselle, daughter of M. Le Cont e, where the young Priest is recollecting himself from what seems like a battle with satin himself. He is also analyzing introspectively his own interpretation of evil, and in the same instant his self-reproach to the meeting with Mademoiselle. In that way he reminds me of myself, for the Priest and I battle with similar demons. And with a higher consciousness which in a way is both a curse and gift that neither the Priest nor I can account for. I think he comes to an unconscious realization of what he always knew about evil and the Devil himself which prepares him for his second battle with evil or hate. I am not insinuating that the people themselves are the evil ones but thinking makes it so. He states in the beginning of Chapter five “ Solidarity in evil, there is the horror of it” (Bernanos 144). And later on the same page which is the most important of all, and I will expand on this further “ The devil will have no victims resemble him. He permits only a rough caricature, impotent, abject, which has to serve as food for eternal irony, the mordant irony of the depths” (144). The Priest talks about evil being so far from our understanding nor can he picture a hell as a world, or a universe. And that is it he has figured it out without an awareness of it. In that there is no hell or evil, it is misguided and needs to be led back home to truth. This what he realizes the devil and evil are all lies there is no truth in them. He also states there is only one monster and criminal and he sucks down the crime unto himself. I get it complete, though difficult to delineate upon. Evil and hate are so far removed from reason and mental representation that it confuses the mind. It can distort emotion and feelings to the point of a madness where you can't think reasonably anymore as it consumes you. This is what I mean by evil really doesn't exist but the thinking makes it so. Agape love on the other hand is very different as it heals and protects. It is warm and bright. There is no confusion with agape love, it exists where you feel it and you know it personally and intimately. It requires no explanation and it is not analyzable because you are love. “Does it matter? Grace is everywhere....” (298) I think there is so much meaning to this book and it is difficult to expound on without writing several hundred pages. I believe in this novel there is a hidden allegory of the temptation of Jesus by the spirit of the wilderness. Just as Jesus was led into the desert and it was not done by presumption on the part of Jesus, nor was it for mere display of resisting temptation from the devil. The devil was not the true opponent, oh but it may have been seen by the devil in that way, it was because Jesus wanted to test himself. All these attempts by the devil were to alienate Jesus from God, and in the same way the Priest in the novel is repeatedly drawn into battle of this nature regarding his allegiance to God. Though for the most part he believes, unconsciously, his greatest opponent was himself by his doubt, his self-reproach, his nightmares. But this was all illusion and in the end he does endeavor and knows truth and love are one with his conscience. I understand this battle very well and intimate, as though it is like second nature to me as I experience it day after day. But I read and I learn and I grow to understand myself and my weakness, along with my strengths. I believe there are numerous references to my mentor Fydor Dostoevsky. George Bernano is in some way his protege and he might have out done his teacher in the art of trans-positioning allegory and symbolism in way that attaches to the unconsciousness. A remarkable feat if I may say so to read a novel and a physical change occurs within the plasticity of the brain. I study daily cognitive-behavioral and psychoanalytical science on my own time. I have read many and many of the greatest Nero-scientists and the there is a deep and overwhelming problem they are attempting to answer the mind-brain problem. There are in fact two problems the first attempts to understand how the brain processes representations in the form of neuronal behavior and neurotransmitters, that's the easy problem, the hard problem is the unconscious thing, such as why do you feel a certain way when you see the color red which might be a totally opposite way I feel about the color red. Or why do you appreciate a certain song, and the memory’s which pop up, without even wanting them to. Right know the things you are thinking are not chosen by you at all, but come into the conscious through the unconscious. What I am getting at is there are only a few people that could probably solve a mystery as big as the one every Brain scientist on the planet are dealing with at present and one of the people being Dostoevsky and another now George Bernano. A human only has access to his unconscious through dreaming, however you are not in a conscious state when in REM sleep, but somehow these writers can gain access to it. It makes me wonder.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt Pitts

    My early impression of this novel was that it felt like a cross between The Brothers Karamazov and Gilead. By the end that comparison ceased to be helpful in describing this unique and profound work. 4.5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I think this was the last book I finished in 2018. The novel was actually portrayed as being what the title implies, nonetheless with detailed reflections and conversations with the community: parishioners, fellow priests, professionals, even with non-believers. The plot is nothing epic or grand and it simply the ordinary and vivid impressions of a simple parish priests, covering nonetheless profound themes. There are themes of of poverty, wealth, industrialization, domestic strife, suffering, de I think this was the last book I finished in 2018. The novel was actually portrayed as being what the title implies, nonetheless with detailed reflections and conversations with the community: parishioners, fellow priests, professionals, even with non-believers. The plot is nothing epic or grand and it simply the ordinary and vivid impressions of a simple parish priests, covering nonetheless profound themes. There are themes of of poverty, wealth, industrialization, domestic strife, suffering, death and suicide. The priest given the role he plays in the community is of course at the center of it all and it obviously takes a toll. I especially liked the reflections on the simplicity, the humility of Our Lady and Our Lord's life, and also the one on the vocation of priests. The priest appeared to struggle a lot with the issue of poverty, not his own poverty but rather why the poor must suffer so. The discussion on this struggles to go anywhere and is never particularly decisive, then again it is one element of the greater and daunting problem of evil. It's certainly a slow read, but the characters may still leave an impact on you in their short scenes. For what it's worth this is a novel that lives on its ambiance.

  24. 4 out of 5

    sch

    This book is most remarkable. In Marilynne Robinson's GILEAD (2005), to which it has been compared, the psychological drama is mostly displaced and off-stage; we get hints of the narrator's moral and spiritual growth. In THE DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST, by contrast, the first-person accounts vividly reproduce what happened off-stage, so that one feels the writer's often painful growth. While the two novels are similar in form, the reading experience is quite different. I was moved by the narrator's This book is most remarkable. In Marilynne Robinson's GILEAD (2005), to which it has been compared, the psychological drama is mostly displaced and off-stage; we get hints of the narrator's moral and spiritual growth. In THE DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST, by contrast, the first-person accounts vividly reproduce what happened off-stage, so that one feels the writer's often painful growth. While the two novels are similar in form, the reading experience is quite different. I was moved by the narrator's observations and spiritual insights (into his own life and that of his parishioners), but this mild pleasure left me unprepared for the dramatic conversion narrative in Chapter 6. I've never encountered an episode so powerful, pious, and extended (about one-tenth of the book's length) in fiction. It's as if one combined the pathos of Graham Greene's THE POWER AND THE GLORY (1940) with the piety (but none of the awkward dialogue) of Evelyn Waugh's BRIDESHEAD REVISITED (1945). Greene's novel is also about a "failed" country priest, while Waugh's (another first-person narrative) is one of the great "conversion novels." One other (of many, I'm sure) noteworthy feature of the book is the almost Dostoevskyan monologues. The narrator-priest records the speech from across the social spectrum: his superiors and fellow priests, a young, mischievous, lower-middle class girl from his catechism class, the local gentry, a soldier on leave, a char-woman in the city -- the variety is impressive, and always convincing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Like many diaries, this novel at first comes across as drifting in focus, centered on the mundane interactions with the priest's flock, fellow churchmen and suppliers of his wine and food. Bernanos is acutely aware of the jockeying within a parish: the importance of the priest's image among the churchgoers and among the Catholic hierarchy, and, most vividly, his relationship with the troubled family of the local nobility. The debates on faith and its nuances seem to last forever and turn on poin Like many diaries, this novel at first comes across as drifting in focus, centered on the mundane interactions with the priest's flock, fellow churchmen and suppliers of his wine and food. Bernanos is acutely aware of the jockeying within a parish: the importance of the priest's image among the churchgoers and among the Catholic hierarchy, and, most vividly, his relationship with the troubled family of the local nobility. The debates on faith and its nuances seem to last forever and turn on points that are almost invisible. Long speeches with the lonely Countess and (separately) with her manipulative daughter, with a skeptical doctor, with a fellow seminarian finding his way out of the priesthood. In the end, what saves the book is the gradual struggle of the priest himself who at first does not realize he is in crisis, despite not being able to pray, barely eating, and simultaneously falling seriously ill and losing his footing in the parish. The result can seem like faith melodrama, especially the not-entirely-convincing end. Bernanos probably considered the ending to be his statement (as in his libretto to Poulenc's "Dialogue of the Carmelites", in which much is made of the way the fearful Blanche joins the sisters about to be executed), but what impresses overall is the struggle of an unremarkable, if sincere priest for faith in a countryside that is spiritually inhospitable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    jo

    i read this a long time ago. though i remember it only dimly, i know that it changed my life, the way some books do. like The Catcher in the Rye. like Almanac of the Dead. like If This Is a Man. like that book by czeslaw milosz in which he riffs on whitman, whose title i cannot remember/find to save my life, and which got dropped to the bottom of the atlantic ocean when i tried to ship my books across continents in a box that was way too slight to hold so much weight. there are good books somewh i read this a long time ago. though i remember it only dimly, i know that it changed my life, the way some books do. like The Catcher in the Rye. like Almanac of the Dead. like If This Is a Man. like that book by czeslaw milosz in which he riffs on whitman, whose title i cannot remember/find to save my life, and which got dropped to the bottom of the atlantic ocean when i tried to ship my books across continents in a box that was way too slight to hold so much weight. there are good books somewhere between northern france and the statue of liberty for the fish to enjoy. beats plastic, petrol, and mercury, don't you think? if you know what milosz i'm talking about, drop me a note. with life-changing books, sometimes it's a freak thing, sometimes there's no freakness involved at all. i don't know who to recommend it to. maybe no one. i'm in a space now in which only fast pace and cool COOL language works for me. i read mysteries, even though i am an extremely poor consumer of mysteries. i've discovered there's some really great stuff in genre fiction. i thank mike for this, and linda. this "review" has almost nothing to do with the book it is supposed to review, but maybe my friends will read it anyway and understand why i needed to write it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    The story concerns a young priest in a provincial French town, early in the 20th century. This is to some extent a "philosophical novel" in which the events are mainly a platform for extended conversations on the nature of God and belief among characters representing every social level of their town. Our young priest is unusual in that he doesn't simply provide comfort and fulfill the rituals - he forces a few of his parishioners to confront their actual faith, or lack thereof. This doesn't make The story concerns a young priest in a provincial French town, early in the 20th century. This is to some extent a "philosophical novel" in which the events are mainly a platform for extended conversations on the nature of God and belief among characters representing every social level of their town. Our young priest is unusual in that he doesn't simply provide comfort and fulfill the rituals - he forces a few of his parishioners to confront their actual faith, or lack thereof. This doesn't make him entirely popular. As for the actual plot - well, the blood he coughs up throughout is relevant. Bernanos was something a conservative (certainly in the matter of religion) who was very briefly on the side of the rising tide of fascism in the early 1930s (he describes his support for Franco as lasting "two or three weeks" - would that Stalin's enthusiasts in other countries had a similarly brief infatuation) but turned entirely against Nazism, reacting by moving to South American from 1938-45 and criticizing the Vichy government from a safe distance.

  28. 5 out of 5

    d

    I Mi parroquia es una parroquia como las demás. Todas se parecen. Las de hoy en día, naturalmente. Ayer mismo le decía al señor cura de Norefontes que el bien y el mal deben hallarse equilibrados, o si lo prefería, superpuestos uno y otro sin mezclarse, como dos líquidos de distinta densidad. Al oír mis razones, el señor cura de Norefontes se echó a reír. Es un buen sacerdote, muy benévolo, muy paternal y que pasa en el propio arzobispado por espíritu fuerte y un tanto peligroso. Sus ocurrencias I Mi parroquia es una parroquia como las demás. Todas se parecen. Las de hoy en día, naturalmente. Ayer mismo le decía al señor cura de Norefontes que el bien y el mal deben hallarse equilibrados, o si lo prefería, superpuestos uno y otro sin mezclarse, como dos líquidos de distinta densidad. Al oír mis razones, el señor cura de Norefontes se echó a reír. Es un buen sacerdote, muy benévolo, muy paternal y que pasa en el propio arzobispado por espíritu fuerte y un tanto peligroso. Sus ocurrencias provocan la hilaridad en los presbiterios y él suele acompañarlas con una mirada que quiere ser viva y que en el fondo es tan marchita, tan fatigada, que al verla me dan ganas de llorar [...] Qué pocos son los libros que desde la primera línea me generan la dulce inquietud de que acá se va a ir todo al traste. Toda la novela tiene menos de cristianismo y más de existencialismo de lo que parece. Dan ganas de volverse jansenista, leerse todo Balzac, volver a ver todo Bresson (ahora sí, con toda la paz del mundo), etc.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Neoboethius

    Let me describe myself, so you understand where I'm coming from. I'm 62 years old. Pre-Vatican American Catholic. Altarboy saying the Mass in Latin way back when in the '60's. Since then, something of a tough guy. Military vet. Trial Lawyer. Sinner. Left the Church for personal reasons. I imagine that this book will have little appeal for most of my non-Christian friends, and even my Protestant friends, who simply don't "get" Catholic religiosity. However, for you present or fallen away Catholic Let me describe myself, so you understand where I'm coming from. I'm 62 years old. Pre-Vatican American Catholic. Altarboy saying the Mass in Latin way back when in the '60's. Since then, something of a tough guy. Military vet. Trial Lawyer. Sinner. Left the Church for personal reasons. I imagine that this book will have little appeal for most of my non-Christian friends, and even my Protestant friends, who simply don't "get" Catholic religiosity. However, for you present or fallen away Catholics, I hardly recommend the book highly enough. This is one of the few books I can remember that was so intense, I had to put it down from time to time just to compose myself. This is the only book I have read in a half century which made me cry. 'Nuff said.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    I found myself skimming the long tedious monologues through this book, which got me to the end quicker, but didn't give me the full picture of the book. At first I found myself interested in the main character's life, but as it took quite a while for the crux of the story to show itself (some could argue that the crux doesn't really show itself until the very end of the book...), I lost interest and could not immerse myself in the story. A good idea that has been used much more often in recent f I found myself skimming the long tedious monologues through this book, which got me to the end quicker, but didn't give me the full picture of the book. At first I found myself interested in the main character's life, but as it took quite a while for the crux of the story to show itself (some could argue that the crux doesn't really show itself until the very end of the book...), I lost interest and could not immerse myself in the story. A good idea that has been used much more often in recent fiction, and I can understand why it has been popular, but I wouldn't recommend this much for a modern audience, or at least one not interested in debates of the nature of God's love.

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