Rene Leys

Overview

In this entrancing story of spiritual adventure, a Westerner in Peking seeks the mystery at the heart of the Forbidden City. He takes as a tutor in Chinese the young Belgian René Leys, who claims to be in the know about strange goings-on in the Imperial Palace: love affairs, family quarrels, conspiracies that threaten the very existence of the empire. But whether truth-teller or trickster, the elusive and ever-charming René presents his increasingly dazzled disciple with a visionary glimpse of "an essential ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.69
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$14.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $6.81   
  • New (5) from $7.75   
  • Used (4) from $6.81   
Sending request ...

Overview

In this entrancing story of spiritual adventure, a Westerner in Peking seeks the mystery at the heart of the Forbidden City. He takes as a tutor in Chinese the young Belgian René Leys, who claims to be in the know about strange goings-on in the Imperial Palace: love affairs, family quarrels, conspiracies that threaten the very existence of the empire. But whether truth-teller or trickster, the elusive and ever-charming René presents his increasingly dazzled disciple with a visionary glimpse of "an essential palace built upon the most magnificent foundations."
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Strange and memorable...Segalen had seen the truth in his lies and has left them this beautiful endorsement." --The Japan Times

"An allegorical novel of Being [that] beneath the mask of irony Segalen poured into this book all the anguish of man in thrall to his limitations...this is the novel of the Impossibility of Knowing." --Henri Bouillier

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like many Europeans of his time, Segalen (1878-1919) became entranced by ``orientalism.'' A novice doctor, he visited the South Sea Islands in the wake of Gauguin, and later went to China as an interpreter. Segalen admitted that China provided him the screen on which to project his most exotic fantasies. The protagonist of the novel is a thinly disguised representation of Maurice Roy, a young Frenchman skilled in Chinese language and culture whom Segalen hired as a tutor while both were in Peking. This fictionalized account of their friendship is marked by the quaint and prurient attitudes Europeans revealed toward the inscrutable East. The narrator often rephrases the query, ``Can a normal, nubile European love a Chinese woman . . . above all, can he be loved by her?'' But Leys is already the Empress's lover, and is doomed. The narrator's tone sounds fussy and mannered, perhaps due in part to the translation. (Dec.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590170410
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 4/17/2003
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 1,047,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.09 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)