Anatole France took an old legend about the conversion of a beautiful woman in Egypt, about A. The central character is Thais, a sought-after Alexandrian singer-dancer and courtesan, who will eventually leave behind her life of luxurious material possessions and ongoing adoration of hundreds of male admirers and clients , convert wholly to Christianity, trek Anatole France took an old legend about the conversion of a beautiful woman in Egypt, about A. The central character is Thais, a sought-after Alexandrian singer-dancer and courtesan, who will eventually leave behind her life of luxurious material possessions and ongoing adoration of hundreds of male admirers and clients , convert wholly to Christianity, trek across the Egyptian desert, enter a cloistered convent, then die in the ectasy of religious visions.
The really interesting character, though, is Paphnuce, a Christian monk from a desert monestary who travels to Alexandria because he is obsessed with converting Thais. Lewis, Paphnuce is just a little too impressed by his own religious fervor, which makes him ripe for a fall. Also, we readers guess early on that his motivations for wishing to travel to Alexandria and convert Thais may not be entirely pure. As the book moves to its end, we see that Thais eventually will rise to much higher spiritual level than Paphnuce ever knew, and that he will eventually fall to much lower depths of degradation than she ever knew, even as a courtesane.
Jules Massenet turned this story into a breathtakingly beautiful opera. Every aria is exquisite, but it's worth the whole ticket just to hear "Meditation," the hauntingly beautiful instrumental piece between Acts 2 and 3, during which Thais is struggling to make her decision whether she will leave her life of luxury behind and follow the Christian promptings of her heart. Aug 06, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it liked it.
Anatole France named the beautiful principal female protagonist here "Thais. To those who don't like her, she's but a prostitute, albeit a high-class one. Enter the monk who had her once before he turned to God. He wants to save her from perdition. In the end, the monk realizes that it is Thais or her thighs? This was my first Kindle-read book no book cover, no blurbs so I have no idea what this novel is supposed to be. I then just went direct to the story. And I finished it like a race because I did not know how Anatole France ended it, and was eager to find out, even as I was imagining all sorts of possible endings, from the prurient to the sublime.
I do not know why he did not entitle this "Paphnutius", after the monk, since it was he who did most of the agonizing here. Mar 09, Absinthe rated it liked it. Anatole France is the most clever satirist I have known, and I have known many. The writing is not my style, but it cannot be denied that he is gifted.
Of course if you are well versed in the Christian faith, you will likely predict something of the ending well beforehand, but truly this story is written as if it were a cautionary tale of the new testament. If, as you are reading, you find yourself vexed or infuriated with Paphnutius, fear not, he will reap what he sows.
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Nov 17, Alex Schmidt rated it really liked it. This book was fun.
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I wish I could read books like this on an average basis. In fact, I should.
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He is very similar to Voltaire. Both authors I believe are similar to that of Dylan and Guthrie. You could learn how to live just by reading all of their books. May 10, A. Thais is a very beautiful lyrical song. Anatole France tells the story of Thais ,a very beautiful courtesan,who dances in Alexandria,and whom every one of all steps of life ,loves and admires.
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Paphnutius ,a holy monk ,who years ego had been in love with Thais,again remembers her and her beauty,and hates the idea that she gives pleasure to other men. Through his journe Thais is a very beautiful lyrical song. Through his journey ,not every one buys his preachings and his claims of salvations. And if I were to compare your life with mine,I could not say which is preferable in itself……you will return to your cell where,leaning like a tame camel,you will ruminate on- I know not what- formulas of incarnation you have long chewed and rechewed …well my dear friend ,in accomplishing these acts,so different apparently,we are both obeying the same sentiment,the only motive for all human actions;we are all seeking our own pleasure, and driving to attain the same end-happiness,the impossible happiness.
Finally Paphnutius finds Thais,among her admirers. At first she despises him,"God? But later,Thais, being tired of the sensual life she had led for many years ,and tired of all the men who had just admired her in order to possess her , yields to his spiritual offers and accompanys the monk to the desert and settles in a convent. After leaving Thais, Paphnutius ,returns to his cell ,but he thinks of Thais all the time, and realizes that his real self desires her desperately. He dreams, and in his dream a spirit approaches him and tells him :"Look.
I am mysterious and beautiful. Love me…. I am the beauty of woman. Whither do you think to fly from me,senseless fool? You will find my likeness in the radiancy of flowers,and in the grace of the palm trees, in the flight of pigeons, in the bound of the gazelle, in the rippling of the brooks, in the soft light of the moon;and if you close your eyes you will find me within yourself….
A very beautiful book. Thank you dear Helga,encouraged to read it through you! Jan 14, Helga rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , classics , french. Since He has created us, He can be neither angry nor surprised to see us as He made us, and acting according to the nature He has given us. A good deal too much is said on His behalf, and He is often credited with ideas He never had. You yourself, stranger, do you know His true character? Who are you that you should speak to me in His name? Nov 04, Quirkyreader rated it really liked it.
This was an interesting well written story with a few surprises. As I mention in a comment, it might have inspired Clive Barker. Shelves: literature. Thankfully, high school required the reading of a lot of literature.
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Since then most of my reading has been either nonfiction or science fiction--and, of late, even the sf reading has become exceptional. The rare literary indulgence must be justified by other factors. Perhaps a friend gives me a novel, creating a virtual obligation; or perhaps its an historical novel by an expert historian; or perhaps its science fiction by a literary figure not identified with the genre. The reading of Thais was Thankfully, high school required the reading of a lot of literature. The reading of Thais was typically overdetermined.
Anatole France, a Nobel Prize winner, is a major literary figure. I'd read his Penguin Island as a child. Thais is a historical novel about the desert anchorites. I'd been interested in them since having some exposure to the phenomenon in seminary. Thais is also about a courtesan and the juncture of a desert father with such a one, especially seeing that the Church had put France's works on the Index Prohibitorum, promised to be amusingly provocative, and not a little salacious.
I wasn't disappointed. View 1 comment. I just couldn't finish this book. I tried to read it 3 times but I just couldn't get into it: Very dull. May 09, Ahsalah rated it liked it. Its end is very stereotypical that makes it funny rather than melodramatic. I loved it though not greatly touched by it. Jan 24, Deanne rated it liked it Shelves: books The story of a saint from Alexandria, Thais starts life as a young woman used by the adults in her life. An actress on the stage, and we all know what that means.
Apr 12, Gabino G. Ocampo rated it really liked it.
Very good book. Available for free in the Gutenberg Project. There are a few problems with logic and how things work, but those are due to the time it was written.
Thais by France, Anatole
This really reminds me of the Bunuel film Simon of the Desert. I don't know if he based the Film on this book, but they do seem very similar. Anatole France. I read this novel by France about forty years ago in an old Modern Library edition. Reading about this book, I learned that it was supposed to be based on the life of St. Thais of Egypt from the 4th century.
Even if you can speak no other words of Thai, most European and American visitors to Thailand will quickly become familiar with the Thai word farang often mispronounced even by Thais as falang - farang with a slightly trilled 'r' is the correct pronunciation. It's basically used to describe caucasians, though African-Americans will sometimes also be known as farang or as farang dam 'black farang '.
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Farang is also the Thai word for the guava fruit, so you can expect to hear farang eating farang 'jokes' if you happen to purchase any. Other Asians are generally known by their country of origin e. Kairk is used to describe even fluent Thai speakers of Indian descent who have been living in Thailand for generations and consider themselves as Thai - obviously being referred to as a 'guest' in these circumstances, while not particularly offensive, is not exactly complimentary either.
Some people get very offended at being called farang , but whether it's an insult should or not really depends on the context. A few Thais who are uncomfortable with using it will say kon dtahng bpra-tayt 'people from other countries' instead, but this is still pretty rare. Farang is basically a neutral word, but people who respect you or who should respect you will not use it - if you hear a work colleague, for example, refer to you as farang they probably mean it as an insult while a taxi driver or market vendor doing the same is unlikely to mean any offense at all.
September 13, History. By Anatole France. Go to the editions section to read or download ebooks. Want to Read. About the Book. Taiqisi , Wen yuan shu dian. Lane, Dodd, Mead. Thai s , Calmann-Lev y. Libraries near you: WorldCat Library. Libraries near you: WorldCat.