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Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9788476516973A Winter in Mallorca is an autobiographical travelogue by George Sand published in 1842 It recounts a trip to Mallorca in 1838 1839 with Frédéric Chopin It first appeared in 1841 in the Revue des deux mondes


10 thoughts on “Un hiver à Majorue

  1. says:

    I just came back from a wonderful vacation in Mallorca and bought a copy on the island of George Sand's account I thought it was going to be a book about her relationship with Chopin and the island but the only references to the composer is that he is an invalid and he is never named Sand's descriptions of the island's beauty are spot on even two hundred years later I could imagine the places and the landscapes that she describes having just seen a lot of it myself I have never read George Sand before so I don't know what her novels are like In this book I found her to be a snobby French woman who is condescending and downright insulting to Malloruins even going so far as to call them monkeys Her wit and biting humor made me laugh despite myself but I always returned to feeling bad at the way she treated the islanders I think when people travel they need to be open to others and not expect or be disappointed that people have different customs and culture I have believed that Sand was an independent woman of her era yet she is just as stubbornly prejudiced as other European intellectuals of her time She did open my eyes to the nature of monasteries and monks When I was on the island I went to three former monasteries the one in Valldemossa is one of my favorite places on earthand I remember thinking how terribly sad it was when the monasteries were dissolved in the early 19th century I thought of monks as truly pious people who had the will to live a prayerful life I still admire this uality But there is a brilliant passage in the book where Sand creates a conversation between the ghost of a medieval monk and a young artist They have a philosophical conversation about the fallacies of the monks and their participation in the Inuisition The ghost spoke of the monasteries as a sort of prison and how the artist is naive to praise them Although this does not directly have to do with Mallorca there is a line where George Sand accuses people of loving the architecture of things like the pyramids or churches without considering the that these achievements were built on the backs of slaves or participated in persecutions and executions The strange thing about Sand's condemnations of the people of Mallorca is that she acknowledges that Spain is at war and Mallorca is inundated with Spanish refugees Sand recognizes this but then continues to pick on them for not having the kind of hospitality or accommodations that she is used to in France I hated Alexander Theroux's eviscerating attack on Estonians in A Ramble Through the Periphery published in the 21st century but Sand's portrayal of another culture is just as demeaning to the Malloruins I feel hesitant to read any other travelogues although Mark Twain's A Tramp Abroad is lovely The only reason I am giving this book three stars is for the uality of the writing the descriptions of the island and the thought provoking commentary on religion and what we appreciate at the expense of the realty of history


  2. says:

    “Life resembles a novel often than novels resemble life”Aurore Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin was an aristocrat who lived up to her famous statement She was born in 1804 and married in 1822 at the age of eighteen Casimir Dudevant with whom she had two children Maurice in 1823 and Solange in 1828 This “Normal” life came to an end in 1831 when she left her husband and children moving to Paris in modern terms to find herself She embarked on a series of affairs with prominent writers and musicians Her first lover Jules Sandeau helped her develop as a writer and co authored articles which they signed “J Sand” It was with the publication of her first novel Indiana in 1832 that she decided to call herself George Sands In 1835 she legally separated and took her children with herSands scandalised society not just by having affairs but also by dressing as a man earning a living writing and smoking in public Probably her most famous lover was Frédéric Chopin and “A Winter in Majorca” is the story of their search for peace and healing for his chronic chest problems It was published in a magazine in 1841 and as a book in 1842 The copy I have was published in 2014 It is a revised translation of the original by Shirley Kerby James I do not have the original translation to compare but would like to compliment Shirley Kerby James for an outstanding rendering of the original and the way in which she has preserved the mood and flavour of Sand's timeChopin had a weak chest and some modern authorities think he had pulmonary fibrosis In any event a friend suggested that spending winter in a warm climate would help him and proposed the island of Mallorca One must assume the friend had never been there because as the lovers were soon to discover the island's winter climate is far from warm or healthy They George Frédéric and her two children arrived in Palma on 7th November 1838 The first shock was to discover there were no hotels They managed to find a couple of rooms to rent and finally a country villa Added to their misery was the problem of Chopin's piano or rather the fact that the import duty was almost as much as its actual cost and they were forbidden from shipping it back to France without paying the duty At first they enjoyed their country villa despite having to buy furniture and life seemed good until it started raining It rained for two months; the villa was damp and that exacerbated Chopin's cough at which point they came up against Mallorcan superstition The owner of the villa furiously accused them of bringing a plague into his house and gave immediate notice for them to leave The locals decided that Chopin had TB and treated them all as lepers Sands rails against the primitive attitudes and inhuman treatment they received The Mallorcans in turn condemned the scandalous behaviour of a woman wearing men's clothes living openly with a man not her husband exposing her children to this sin and dressing her daughter like a boyIt was not a good start and relations never improved with Sands condemning the islanders as dirty ignorant superstitious mean spirited thieving idle scoundrels Indeed she claims that they only met two creatures during their stay that treated them with kindness A goat they bought to provide milk and a 16 year old girl who guided them to a beach Having been chased out of the villa they found refuge in Valldemossa at the charterhouse by then abandoned by all but one monk They took over the “Cells” of a couple that gladly sold their furniture as they were leaving the island in a hurry The cells are in fact two large rooms with a private garden and were their home until they left Mallorca in February 1839 Despite poor weather Chopin wrote some of his greatest works in ValldemossaWhat fascinated me mostly about this book apart from wonderful descriptions of nature are the underlying political and religious concerns she airs The Spanish inuisition had been abolished by Bonaparte in 1813 but reinstated a year later by the restored monarchy In 1826 Cayetano Ripolla a schoolmaster was the last person executed by the inuisition – his crime – teaching deism It was finally abolished in July 1834 Although the Inuisition's Casaa Negra Palma H had been attacked and destroyed by a mob in 1820 Sands records firsthand accounts of the misery the inuisition inflicted The second concern almost an obsession is that of proving that Napoleon Bonaparte was French that he was also the scion of a noble family She clutches at a variety of straws like a treasure hunter not sure which way up to hold the pirate's map Sands could claim to be the first feminist Certainly she had liberal views in respect of democracy and the place of women in society Her adoration of a man who in her lifetime had been responsible for the deaths of over six million seems at variance with those views and trying to prove he was not Italian extraordinarily oddDespite my comments on her Bonaparte fixation I found the book fascinating To often people view the world through the prism of “Now” rather than seeking to understand “Then” This book affords an opportunity to walk live eat and breath in early 19th century Mallorca The descriptions are wonderful and the observations acute This is history written as it happened and it’s still alive 175 years laterGeorge Sands was an extraordinary woman and having started with a uote I will end with one that I think she may if asked have chosen as her epitaph She craved love and seems to have only achieved her dream fleetingly Don't walk in front of me I may not follow Don't walk behind me I may not lead There is only one happiness in life to love and be loved


  3. says:

    ETA 1722012 Goodreads uote of the day Guard well within yourself that treasure kindness Know how to give without hesitation how to lose without regret how to acuire without meanness George SandShe should have employed some kindness here Letter from a reader to one that is thinking of reading In order to reconcile you to having been deprived of actual physical reading of George Sands's vitriolic attack on the largest of the Balearic Islands I am reviewing my journey through this book in the certainty that I shall arouse your compassion rather than your envy and that you will conclude that too high a price twenty seven pee can be paid for some outbursts and only two seconds of delight the lovely cover can be wrested


  4. says:

    I chose this because it is short and I had never read George Sand but it was mostly like watching a cat fight Robert Graves came to bury not to praise her in this apparently first English translation with his annotations copyright 1956 His flurry of footnotes never lets up No it was called and No the islands and Not true He knows Majorca well and objects to andor refutes most of what she says one way or another You do get some glimpses of Sand the woman and the writer and Chopin her companion that winter of 1838 but mostly it's a setup for Graves And he finishes Sand off with uadrado's long 1841 defense of the honor of Majorca which ends by saying George Sand is the most immoral of writers andthe most obscene of women


  5. says:

    Free download in French available at Project Gutenberg


  6. says:

    In a recent holiday to Majorca I visited the famous house that was home to author and notable figure George Sand her two children and her 'friend' Chopin in 1838 There visitors can see the piano used by Chopin various portraits and other personal belongings left by them and the gift shop includes a variety of copies of this book that was written about her experiences there by George Sand after her three month visit What is rather amazing is that her recollections and opinions of her time at Valldemosa are hostile and cruel; she appreciated the natural beauty of the island but wrote scathing descriptions of the local people who didn't seem to have made enough fuss of her Her book seems like what today's celebrities and reality show stars might twitter about the world as it appears to her self centred eye Majorcans could do better in finding tourist descriptions of their beautiful island


  7. says:

    When in Majorca why not read about George Sand a French novelist and memoirist who was Chopin's lover? So I did They spent the cold wet winter of 1838 39 on the island in an abandoned Carthusian monastery Sand's writing is a dense literary bouuet of sometimes scathing sometimes lyrical digressions opinions historical research geography and parable I particularly liked her descriptions of landscapes dotted with man's architectural thumbprint in sunshine and moonlight and storm I do not agree with her declarations on why we travel and on the false balm of solitude or with her privileged condescension of the natives molded by their isolated history


  8. says:

    George Sand wrote of a winter1838in Majorcawith her lover Frederick Chopin The book does not mention Chopin by name A few mentions of a piano a few mentions of an invalid traveling with her I found most interesting the footnotes by Robert Graves who corrects Sand's multi misrepresentations of geography and history Sand writes from the perspective of a bitter woman critical of the Majorcan people resentful of her role as Chopin's nurse and apparently that wintereven in Spaincan indeed be wet and cold


  9. says:

    I read this in a famous translation by Robert Graves unfortunately he took umbrage at George Sand's negative comments on Majorca and as he went on started to add enormous footnotes arguing with the text and pointing out inaccuracies These are sometimes amusing sometimes infuriating and make reading the book a slightly strange experience


  10. says:

    A very pointed little book about how backward the Malloruin are It was amusing to read while there however