How Many Years: A Memoir

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9780374173197: How Many Years: A Memoir
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The second volume of the French writer's autobiographical trilogy deals with Marguerite Yourcenar's father, recounting his turbulent youth, army desertions, affairs and marriages, gambling, and vagabond spirit, and recognizing the boldness, sensuality, and independence he passed on to her.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

From Booklist:

The late French novelist's last memoir follows a previous volume, Dear Departed (1991). Family history, not her own personal history, is Yourcenar's project; the former book dealt with her maternal forebears, this one her paternal line. To tell the story of her ancestors on her father's side, she looks far back--to prehistory--to describe the terrain from which her progenitors sprang, the Flanders region of northern France. Ancient times quickly give way to recorded history as Yourcenar then concentrates her focus on the social and historic contexts in which her family established itself and flourished. "Toward the beginning of the sixteenth century, a minor personage named Cleenewerck becomes visible, tiny from this distance like the figures that Bosch, Breughel, and Patinir inserted along the roads in the background of their landscape paintings to give a sense of scale." Middle-class privilege underscores tales of family lives over the centuries; then her narrative splendidly blossoms into two nearly full-length biographies as she presents her grandfather and her father. About those two men she has wonderful stories to tell, putting the reader in mind of the best French social fiction from the likes of Flaubert and Balzac; and the result is a very personable social and cultural history of nineteenth-century France. Brad Hooper

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780856282423: How many years

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ISBN 10:  0856282421 ISBN 13:  9780856282423
Publisher: AIDAN ELLIS PUBLISHING, 1995
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9780374524937: How Many Years: A Memoir

Farrar..., 1997
Softcover

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