“Europa” by Romain Gary (read in French)

This is a book I skimmed through, not reading every word but looking through for gems. It is the story of the French Ambassador for Rome, Danthes, who mourns for an imagined baroque 18th century, pre-Revolution Europe “le siècle de Raison.



Malwina von Leyden, a clairvoyant, claims to have known the Médicis, Nostradamus and other characters from history. Could she be telling the truth or is she suffering some kind of schizophrenia, since being paralysed in a car accident, the car driven by her lover Danthes, who after the accident becomes more interested in her daughter Erika?

Danthès explains … ” C’était l’auto de votre mère et c’est elle qui tenait le volant, lorsque ce maudit camion apparut soudain de nulle part… Je fus à peine blessé, votre mère eut la colonne vertébrale brisée. J’avais été son amant de quelques jours je ne l’était plus…

From her childhood Erika never doubted the supernatural powers of her mother.

As the title suggests there is a lot about “Europe” but the Europe is a Europe of the characters dreams,

“L’Europe de ses reves ne pouvait coexister pacifiqement avec la souffrance, l’abetissement et la misere physiologique d’un milliard d’etres humains pour lesquels le mot meme de “culture” etait une insulte et une provocation.

To enjoy this you need a view of Europe slightly detached from reality. Overall it is slightly disorienting, but fascinating in parts.

My rating 3 out of 5


About jimholroyd365

Hi, my name is Jim, I am an Englishman living in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. I started this blog to share my interests, my photos and to make sense of my world. I take a lot of photographs of various subjects, some of which I intend to share here. I collect diecast cars and get the same thrill at 50 as I did when I was 8, when I find a car I'm searching for, Don't worry, I have a separate blog for this hobby. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on what I blog. I am quite new to this blogging, I was inspired by reading a book, which began as a blog of a London Ambulance Driver: "Blood, Sweat and Tea". I hope my blog will be entertaining and amusing, I did try stand up comedy in the UK and had seven gigs before I left to teach English in Georgia. I love reading and so the blog will include book reviews of books as I finish them.I don't know about which direction this blog will go, I am a great believer in serendipity...let the journey begin...
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