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Monsieur Ouine


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Singularly ambiguous, mysterious, and highly paradoxical

About the Author

Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), one of the twentieth century's most powerful and idiosyncratic writers, was also the most original Roman Catholic writer of his time. Singularly ambiguous, mysterious, and highly paradoxical, Monsieur Ouine was first published in 1943. Of Bernanos's eight novels, it was the one that he himself dubbed his "great novel." This is the first English translation of the definitive 1955 French edition. William S. Bush is a professor emeritus of French at the University of Western Ontario and is known internationally for his volumes in both French and English on Georges Bernanos.


"This is a savage morality tale that depicts the dying of the landed aristocracy and a wartorn civilization's larger 'innocence' with sharp imagery, precise characterizations, and commanding intensity. All of Bernanos's fiction ought to be available in English translation, and William Bush looks like the right man for the job."-Kirkus * Kirkus *
"Dark currents ruffle the waters of a small village in northern France. . . . Cryptically symbolic of a country in distress after WWI, Bernanos's novel revolves around insoluble enigmas."-Publishers Weekly * Publishers Weekly *
"The University of Nebraska's publication of Monsieur Ouine is a major literary event, offering the first chance most Americans have had to wrestle with what the author of Diary of a Country Priest designated as his 'great novel' . . . . It is this corrected text (the 1955 edition) that . . . Bush, professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario and an international authority on Bernanos, has masterfully translated into English. . . . Bush's introduction is immensely helpful in teaching us how to read Monsieur Ouine, of which critic Germaine Bree wrote, 'Bernanos may well be the precursor of a new approach to the novel, an innovation produced by the sheer intensity of vision on which his world rests' . . . . Disturbing and opaque as it is, Monsieur Ouine is a powerful and lyric narration that should be read by anyone interested in Bernanos or the modern novel. Even better, read it twice!"-National Catholic Reporter * National Catholic Reporter *

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