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Cluny Media

Thérèse: A Portrait in Four Parts

Thérèse: A Portrait in Four Parts

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Thérèse: A Portrait in Four Parts presents in full the tragedy of Thérèse Desqueyroux. Acquitted of the attempted murder of her husband, Thérèse escapes one prison only to find herself enclosed in another: a wretched life of envy and frustration. Beginning with the eponymous novel, and moving quickly through the novellas Thérèse and the Doctor and Thérèse at the Hotel to its harrowing terminus at The End of the Night, François Mauriac completes his emblem of “that power, granted to all human beings…of saying ‘No’ to the law which beats them down.” Technically outstanding, the Thérèse stories employ early cinematographic devices to create their alternatingly restive and stifling atmosphere, adeptly presented in English here by Gerard Hopkins’ translation.

Her charm—so the world had said once—was irresistible.

Perhaps more so than any of Mauriac’s other characters, Thérèse Des­q­ueyroux embodies his artistic raisonnement: “My characters do not perhaps all believe that God is alive, but all of them have a conscience which knows that part of their being recognizes evil and could not commit it. They know evil. They all feel dimly that they are the creatures of their deeds and have echoes in other destinies.”

François Mauriac (1885–1970) was a French, Roman Catholic novelist, poet, critic, and journalist. Critically acclaimed and respected, Mauriac received the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française for his novel The Desert of Love; was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur; and was named laureate of the 1952 Nobel Prize in Literature.


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