BN.com Gift Guide

The Child (New York Review Books Classics Series)

Overview

The Child is a story about growing up that is comparable in humor and humanity to Great Expectations, even as its unflinching exposure of violence and hypocrisy foreshadows the nightmare realsim of Louis-Ferdinand C?line. Jules Vall?s, an anarchist and a bohemian, dedicated his book "to all those who were bored stiff at school or reduced to tears at home, who in childhood were bullied by their teachers or thrashed by their parents," and it tells the (autobiographical) tale of a young boy constantly scapegoated ...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.37
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$15.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $9.05   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The Child is a story about growing up that is comparable in humor and humanity to Great Expectations, even as its unflinching exposure of violence and hypocrisy foreshadows the nightmare realsim of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Jules Vallès, an anarchist and a bohemian, dedicated his book "to all those who were bored stiff at school or reduced to tears at home, who in childhood were bullied by their teachers or thrashed by their parents," and it tells the (autobiographical) tale of a young boy constantly scapegoated and abused, emotionally and physically, by his peasant mother and schoolteacher father, whose greatest concern is to improve their social status. But the young hero learns to stand up to his parents, even to love them, in time, and for all the intense pain the book registers it is anything but dreary. To the contrary, Vallès’s book is one of the funniest in French literature, a triumph of insubordinate comedy over the forces of order and the self-appointed defenders of decency.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Vallès] is a more reliable witness of his society, or at least certain sectors of it, than many more renowned but less involved writers of his age."
— Walter D. Redfern, Times Literary Supplement

"Essentially autobiographical, Vallès’s 19th-century novel charts the author’s experience of growing up in an emotionally distant family obsessed with social status."
The Guardian

"The author of The Child is one of the masters of French prose. There’s no denying that. But his work shouldn’t be considered an exercise in virtuosity. It has an exact and terrible significance. His work stands as an act of liberation. Vallès is the man who liberates us from the family, who liberates us from our father and our mother, who says to us: 'judge them and, if there is cause to, condemn them'.”
— Maurice Barrès

"A true book, a book composed of the most exact, the most poignant human documents. It’s been ten years since a work has moved me to such a degree."
— Émile Zola

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590171172
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Vallès (1832–1885), French writer and revolutionary, is most famous for his trilogy of autobiographical novels: L’Enfant (The Child), Le Bachelier (The Graduate), and L’Insurgé (The Insurgent). Through Vallès’s alter ego, Jacques Vingtras, the books describe the writer’s difficult childhood as the abused son of a schoolteacher, his rejection of his classical education and growing admiration for the peasant class, and finally his bohemian life in Paris as a militant journalist and pamphleteer. Vallès grew up in the provinces and came to Paris to study as a young man. Forced by his family to return home, he soon rebelled against his socially ambitious father and returned to the capital. There Vallès associated with other young radicals and published articles in various left-wing newspapers under a series of pseudonyms, which nevertheless failed to protect him from government persecution. Vallès led protests against the repressive policies of Napoleon III and played a significant role in the Paris Commune of 1871; his newspaper, Le Cri du Peuple (The Cry of the People), became the mouthpiece of the revolt. After the defeat of the Commune, Vallès was exiled for nine years, which he spent mostly in London, writing articles and composing his autobiographical trilogy. Upon his return to Paris, he resurrected Le Cri and spent the last five years of his life working furiously on articles, pamphlets, and the last book of his trilogy.

Douglas Parmée (1914–2008) was a lecturer in modern languages at Cambridge and a Lifetime Fellow of Queens’ College. He translated many works of classic and contemporary literature from French, Italian, and German, receiving the Scott Moncrieff Prize for French translation in 1976. NYRB Classics publishes his translations of The Child by Jules Vallès, Afloat by Guy de Maupassant, and Nature Stories by Jules Renard.

Read More Show Less

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)