The Age of Reason (Penguin Modern Classics)

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The Age of Reason (Penguin Modern Classics)

The Age of Reason (Penguin Modern Classics)

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This novel is set over two days during the lead up to World War II and is about how a guy named Matthieu is trying to get 4000 francs because he has accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant, and he doesn't want to either grow up or become a father (which generally entails growing up anyway). With the youth gone from his life again, reality hits home on the 34 year old and his predicament becomes ever-present. Mathieu is trying to raise money money for the abortion of a woman with whom he has been living for seven years, and at the same time he is obsessed with a desire for personal freedom.

Their sheltered frame of mind takes another knock when Ivich is groped by one member of a group of young builders who pass around them in the street. However, the catch is that while we may define ourselves, in many cases we are the only people who understand and respond to that definition because everybody else perceives reality differently, and in perceiving reality differently, we respond to reality differently.

Despite “tumult” and “public opinion” arriving due to the gruesome situation, the pair is led off by a kindly cloakroom lady who disinfects their wounds and applies bandages. His presence continues throughout the Roads to Freedom trilogy, but he’s never more present than in the opening novel. Yes, admirably Sartre tries to show, rather than tell -- but he doesn't quite show enough of, or look deeply enough into any of the characters for his fiction to attain much gravity. I read this book on a lovely sunny day and couldn’t help thinking that all the characters in it needed to get out more, to get a hobby, get some exercise, and generally get a life. One of the people Mathieu hits up for money is his older brother, Jacques, who went through his own dissolute stage ("he had dallied with surrealism", among other things) but now is entirely prim and proper.

He’s very unfair”, Boris informs Ivich whilst Delarue dashes into the cafe to ring Sarah and delay her renowned medical professional. It immediately becomes apparent Daniel, who is gay, is a duplicitous sort who seems set on playing with his victims for the hell of it. The novel, set in the bohemian Paris in 1938, focuses on three days in the life of philosophy teacher Mathieu who is seeking money to pay for an abortion for his girlfriend, Marcelle. But behind it all there is a threat, only half realized at the time of the coming catastrophe of the Second World War.Ivich gave a jump and uttered a piercing scream, which she promptly stifled by putting her hand to her mouth. Condition: This book is in good condition for its age other than some minor signs of wear and tanned pages, some of the pages were miss-cut when published so are sticking out the side slightly.

Marcelle Duffett is his mistress, a woman uncertain about her position in life and who has seemingly fallen into a convenient routine with Mathieu. Jacque says he is being childish, he is refusing to grow up – he has now reached the age of reason and he must choose to be an adult, to settle down, to marry, to accept that he has a nice government job (as a tenured professor at the Lycée Buffon) a nice government pension and a nice obliging mistress: in what way is he any kind of rebel or non-conformist? Meanwhile, left at the table together, Ivich and Mathieu spend some time loathing each other – why on earth did he kiss such a plain pasty prickly young woman, thinks Mathieu. Mathieu tries to make the situation better, but then, finally, admits – he doesn’t love her any more.Well that got old so one day when I was poking around the props (you know - how they set up the entire fancy-pants mock bedrooms?

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