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Restless Youth (Autobiography 1922-1929)

Restless Youth (Autobiography 1922-1929)

by Julien Green, Euan Cameron (Translator)
In this installment of his [autobiography], Julian Green is now back at home in the Paris of the 1920s, caught in the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. [gay men][literature]


In this installment of his [autobiography], Julian Green is now back at home in the Paris of the 1920s, caught in the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. [gay men][literature]

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this eloquent volume, Green (b. 1903) evokes the years he spent as a young man in Paris after he returned from studying at the University of Virginia. During that time he finally acted on his sexual feelings toward men and began a writing career. Although born to American parents, Green was brought up in France, and his first published work, an attack on the lack of religious fervor in France, was written in French, as is the rest of his immense literary output. During those years, Green was tormented by the conflict between his religious convictions and his sexual feelings, which he satisfied in passionate encounters with men he met on the streets of Paris. Haunted by the love he felt for Mark, a fellow student in the U.S., Green was still unable to declare himself when Mark visited Paris. Green's unhappiness was temporarily relieved by the publication of his first novel, Mont Cinre. (Mar.)
Donna Seaman
Green, a truly remarkable man of letters, has woven the luxurious cloth of his journey from childhood to manhood with jewel-hued yarns. In the final volume, he returns to his beloved Paris after graduating from the University of Virginia. It's the 1920s, and Paris is a disconcerting garden of delights for this budding young writer, aesthete, and sexual adventurer. Green portrays himself as striving for balance in conflicting and colliding worlds: the realm of the spirit and of the flesh, heterosexual expectations and homosexual desires, and art versus reality. As he takes his place among the literati with his first published works, Green struggles to reconcile his lust, Catholicism, and ambition. Evidence of his success is found in his magnificent and diverse oeuvre, one that deserves more attention in the U.S. than it has received.
Kirkus Reviews
In this fourth and final volume of his autobiography (Love in America, 1994, etc.) Green, American expatriate and member of the Académie Française, recalls with customary candor the years in which he not only became a writer but wrestled with the homosexuality that threatened his equally vital spiritual needs as a devout Catholic.

Published first in France in the mid-1960s, this volume picks up with Green's return to his family in Paris after three years at the University of Virginia, a seminal time in his long life. For there he not only enjoyed romantic friendships with other men and fell passionately in love, but also met the family of his beloved southern mother. Back in Paris he took long walks, read widely, and attended Mass daily. While his remarkably tolerant father did not pressure him to find work, Green was aware that he should find something. Writing turned out to be his true métier, and by the end of the volume he's part of the literary crowd surrounding Jean Cocteau and André Gide, has published three novels, and has won the 1929 Harper and Book of the Month prize for his novel Adrienne Mesurat. But while from then on literature would be the absorbing work of his life, his struggle to overcome his intense attraction to male physical beauty equally dominated those years. Though convinced that being pure in both body and soul was essential, Green could not refrain from furtive, anonymous one-night stands or falling in love with handsome young men. By 1929 he was a successful writer but of "the war between the body and the soul . . . had everything still to learn."

A fitting conclusion to one man's scrupulously accounted-for journey of self-discovery that, like the best of confessional literature, transcends the individual to become universal.

Product Details

Boyars, Marion Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
Autobiography , #4
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.81(h) x 1.15(d)

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