By William Makepeace Thackeray
Quittant l’Irlande à l. a. suite d’un duel qui tourne mal, Redmond Barry s’enrôle dans l’armée anglaise alors en guerre contre los angeles Prusse. Après avoir été fait prisonnier par l’ennemi, il sera contraint d’espionner un sure chevalier de Balibari pour le compte des Allemands. Coup de théâtre : celui-ci n’est autre que son oncle ! Tous deux prennent alors los angeles fuite et deviennent, avec succès et moyennant quelques tricheries, joueurs de cartes professionnels.
Ambitieux, Redmond parvient à se marier avec los angeles comtesse Lyndon, une riche veuve. Mais leur relation se révèle houleuse. En plus de dépenser sa fortune, Barry se comporte en mari tyrannique. Jeune arriviste débauché, libertin, il est l’archétype de l’opportuniste à l. a. recherche de los angeles gloire et de l’argent…
Dans un type grinçant, le narrateur des fake Mémoires de Barry Lyndon décrit avec ironie les travers de los angeles haute société cosmopolite d’un XVIIIe siècle décadent.
En 1975, Stanley Kubrick healthy de cette oeuvre, qu’il tira d’un relatif oubli, une magistrale variation cinématographique.
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Additional info for Barry Lyndon
In one of the strangest turns in literary history, Hardy at the age of fifty-five turned to poetry, which he continued to write until his death in 1928 at the age of eighty-eight. In letters to close friends he pretends a somewhat jaunty indifference to the negative response to Jude, but in an essay entitled 舠The Profitable Reading of Fiction,舡 which appeared in the journal Forum in 1888, Hardy舗s defensiveness about readers suggests the effect the reception of his novel would have upon him:A novel which does moral injury to a dozen imbeciles, and has bracing results upon a thousand intellects of normal vigor, can justify its existence....
Jude舗s decision to kill the pig swiftly, rather than let it bleed slowly to death to ensure a higher-quality meat, puts him at odds with Arabella, who unsentimentally declares, 舠Pigs must be killed舡 and later, 舠Poor folks must live舡 (pp. 66, 67). The tragedy of consciousness that plagues Jude is behind most of his failures, from his difficulty in walking so as not to kill earthworms to his inability as a working-class man to become a scholar at Christminster. The tragedy of the contemporary everyday man, the novel seems to suggest, would also partake of a tragedy of restlessness.
Page 71) Weary and mud-bespattered, but quite possessed of his ordinary clearness of brain, he sat down by the well, thinking as he did so what a poor Christ he made. (page 128) She looked into his eyes with her own tearful ones, and her lips suddenly parted as if she were going to avow something. But she went on; and whatever she had meant to say remained unspoken. (page 180) He knew he should go to see her again, according to her invitation. Those earnest men he read of, the saints, whom Sue, with gentle irreverence, called his demi-gods, would have shunned such encounters if they doubted their own strength.