The Cattle Car: Including Letter to a Little Girl

Overview

In this first English translation of Hyvernaud's novel, the narrator, who has come back to France after imprisonment in Germany, is preoccupied with the near impossibility of writing a novel about his experiences; at the same time, he attempts to function normally in a world that seems to have changed radically. The Cattle Car is devoid of heroics, portraying the protagonist as a man without a future, "the ordinary guy who moves quietly among objects, without making any sort of commotion," a man who daydreams ...
See more details below
Paperback (Translated)
$19.00
BN.com price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $3.28   
  • New (4) from $11.54   
  • Used (3) from $3.28   
Sending request ...

Overview

In this first English translation of Hyvernaud's novel, the narrator, who has come back to France after imprisonment in Germany, is preoccupied with the near impossibility of writing a novel about his experiences; at the same time, he attempts to function normally in a world that seems to have changed radically. The Cattle Car is devoid of heroics, portraying the protagonist as a man without a future, "the ordinary guy who moves quietly among objects, without making any sort of commotion," a man who daydreams other people's lives. In "Letter to a Little Girl," which precedes The Cattle Car, Hyvernaud writes openly to his daughter of his own five years of wartime imprisonment. "It is proper that at least once in his life each [man] really experience the world's cruelty. That he touch bottom," he writes, refusing pity. "It is a right that one has, the right to know how hard it is, how difficult and dangerous, to conduct the human adventure. Those who must be pitied are those who are protected from everything, who elude everything - the men with gloved hands." As he tries to explain what happened in wartime Europe, he concludes, "Human beings are like that, a mixture of good and bad.... Believe in man and believe in life."
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The Cattle Car ( paper June 1997; 154 pp.; 0-8101-6030-7; paper 0-8101-6031-5): Another view of WW II and its aftermath, in the first English translation of a novel (originally published in 1953 in France) by a critic and teacher who therein turned his own experiences and his reflections on them into a seductive metafiction. We observe the would-be writer of a novel about the war observing his own friends and neighbors, noting their strategies for survival and quotidian priorities (such as the relief, so to speak, of access to public urinals) and musing over the difficulty of capturing in coherent fictional form the lives of people concerned with "fatigue and varicose veins, gas bills to pay and waits in line to speak to someone at city hall." But the book isn't at all hermetic: It is further enlivened by vividly drawn characters and a commonsensical appreciation of the mundane satisfactions of simply making do and getting by.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810160316
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/1997
  • Edition description: Translated
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (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)