This new study of Stendhal's novels takes its title from Stendhal's dictum `Un roman est comme un archet, la caisse du violon qui rend les sons, c'est l'âme du lecteur.' Its central theme is the relationship between novelist and reader, as orchestrated in Armance, Le Rouge et le Noir, Lucien Leuwen and La Chartreuse de Parme. From the author's analyses of these novels it emerges that Stendhal plays upon the reader's reactions
and makes him or her experience in the act of reading what his protagonists experience in the act of living. Well written, and without obscure theoretical terminology, Stendhal's Violin is aimed
at both the first-degree scholar and specialist reader. It contains full discussion of the views of other critics, and presents individual, challenging new interpretations of Stendhal's novels.
'The way in which Stendhal never lost his feeling for his public is brilliantly described in this new study.'
Michael Foot, The Independent
'a book written with great sensitivity to the author's feline sense of humour ... his book deserves to be included on any reading list on Stendhal.' Times Higher Education Supplement
`Roger Pearson's very good book is a study of Stendal's relations with his readers, or more precisely, of the kind of invitations his novels offer to his readers.'
London Review of Books
'a considerable achievement, written with grace and a fine ear for Stendahl's manner and concerns ... Pearson never fails to stimulate ... and few critics show themselves as able as Pearson to follow the fluctuations of his moods and opinions'
C.W. Thompson, Warwick, French Studies
'This brilliant account of Stendahl in terms of the 'reader response' theory shows, in contrast, how fruitful modern literary theory can be when applied with scholarship, sensitivity and discretion ... remarkably intelligent book.'
Philip Thody, Modern Languages
`the lessons of Stendhal have not been lost on Roger Pearson and like the novels he has examined this critical work leaves the reader the pleasure of choosing while at the same time providing a sound intellectual and rational basis and a delicate tone of suggestiveness qui fait rever.'
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