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The Gods are Athirst
     

The Gods are Athirst

4.5 2
by Anatole France
 

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The Gods Are Athirst (French: Les dieux ont soif, also translated as The Gods Are Thirsty or The Gods Will Have Blood) is a 1912 novel by Anatole France. It is a fictional story set during the French Revolution.

The story of the infernal rise of Évariste Gamelin, a young Parisian painter, involved in the section for his neighborhood of Pont-Neuf, The Gods

Overview

The Gods Are Athirst (French: Les dieux ont soif, also translated as The Gods Are Thirsty or The Gods Will Have Blood) is a 1912 novel by Anatole France. It is a fictional story set during the French Revolution.

The story of the infernal rise of Évariste Gamelin, a young Parisian painter, involved in the section for his neighborhood of Pont-Neuf, The Gods Are Athirst describes the dark years of the Reign of Terror in Paris, from Year II to Year III. Fiercely Jacobin, Marat and Robespierre's most faithful adherent, Évariste Gamelin soon becomes a juror on the Revolutionary Tribunal.

The long, blind train of speedy trials drags this idealist into a madness that cuts off the heads of his nearest and dearest, and hastens his own fall as well as that of his mentor Robespierre in the aftermath of the Thermidorian Reaction. His love affair with the young watercolor-seller Élodie Blaise heightens the terrible contrast between the butcher-in-training and the man who shows himself to be quite ordinary in his daily life.

Justifying this dance of the guillotine by the fight against the plot to wipe out the gains of the Revolution, in the midst of the revolutionary turmoil that traverses Paris, Gamelin is thirsty for justice, but also uses his power to satisfy his own vengeance and his hatred for those who do not think like him. He dies by that same instrument of justice that up until then has served to satisfy his own thirst for blood and terror.

Gamelin's profession of painter also reflects on the book's theme. His best work is a depiction of Orestes and Electra, with Orestes resembling a self-portrait of the artist; Gamelin, like Orestes, is capable of killing his family. Élodie later comes to be identified with Electra - though, in her affair with Gamelin, where she loves him first for his mercy and then for his violence, and takes a less radical lover after he dies, she also represents France.[1]

The character of Maurice Brotteaux is very interesting. Without being reactionary, this former noble is well aware of the problems the Revolution faces in this period and finds the charges unjustified. One might think that this character speaks for the author.

The title, Les dieux ont soif, is taken from the last issue of Camille Desmoulins's Le Vieux Cordelier, which criticized the Jacobins; that line in turn was supposedly taken from an Aztec explanation of the necessity of human sacrifice.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940027043629
Publisher:
J. Lane
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
4 KB

Read an Excerpt


2 T simplicity, and by way of distracting the poor, lovesick creature's grief, the painter handed her one of the soldiers he had drawn in water-colours and asked her if he was like that, her sweetheart in the Ardennes. She bent her doleful look on the sketch, and little by little her eye brightened, sparkled, flashed, and her moon face beamed out in a radiant smile. "It is his very likeness," she cried at last. "It is the very spit of Jules Ferrand, it is Jules Ferrand to the life." Before it occurred to the artist to take the sheet of paper out of her hands, she folded it carefully with her coarse red fingers into a tiny square, slipped it over her heart between her stays and her shift, handed the painter an assignat for five livres, and wishing the company a very good day, hobbled light-heartedly to the door and so out of the room. chapter{Section 4Ill N the afternoon of the same day Évariste set out to see the citoyen Jean Blaise, printseller, as well as dealer in ornamental boxes, fancy goods and games of all sorts, in the Rue Honore, opposite the Oratoire and near the office of the Messageries, at the sign of the Amour peintre. The shop was on the ground floor of a house sixty years old, and opened on the street by a vaulted arch the keystone of which bore a grotesque head with horns. The semicircle beneath the arch was occupied by an oil-painting representing "the Sicilian or Cupid the Painter," after a composition by Boucher, which Jean Blaise's father had put up in 1770 and which sun and rain had been doing their best to obliterate ever since. On either side of the door a similar arched opening, with a nymph's head on the keystone arch glazed with the largest panesto be got, exhibited for the benefit of the public the prints in vogue at the time and the ...

Meet the Author

Anatole France ; 16 April 1844 - 12 October 1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Academie française, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his literary achievements.

France is also widely believed to be the model for narrator Marcel's literary idol Bergotte in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time.

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The Gods Are Athirst 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is horrible
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago