The Charlatan

Titre original
  Le Guérisseur

© Collins


Titre de la traduction


The Charlatan

Éditeur Collins
Lieu d'édition Londres, Grande-Bretagne
Année de l'édition 1959
Année du copyright 1958 (Fayard), 1959 pour la traduction anglaise (Collins, Londres, et Dutton, New York)
Langue Anglais
Genre Roman
Présentation du livre par l'éditeur

Christine Arnothy's second novel The Charlatan is a powerful study of an unscrupulous Rumanian doctor in Paris who sensationally realises his ambitions through a rich neurotic mistress, Isabelle Grosjean. Its underlying theme is avidity and de desolation to which it leads. Dr. Constantin is avid for success; Isabelle Grosjean longs for power and admiration; her arrogant sister-in-law, Aurélie, living alone in her Breton manor, wants to acquire the very sea and sky which surround her land. Remorselessly, but with humour and touches of dry pity, Christine Arnothy builds up the suffocating atmosphere of the Grosjean household, in which the violently selfish wife, the fastidious, gentle, yet subtly destructive husband and the unhappy daughter are strangling each other in their coils. Ironically, it is Constantin's design to substitute the attractive daughter Corinne for her mother that indirectly releases them from their claustrophobia and drives the girl to take refuge with her aunt in Brittany. Here, through an old priest (the scene between the persistent, demanding girl and the worn-out man is one of the finest in the book) Corinne finally discovers the real disease that is corroding her family and the only cure for it. The book ends with a sense of peace and relief, like awakening from an oppressive nightmare. The only final despair is reserved for the charlatan.

Christine Arnothy, the brilliant young Hungarian writer, who first displayed her gifts in her autobiography I am Fifteen and I Don't Want to Die, shows rapidly maturing power in The Charlatan. Once again Antonia White has perfectly caught the atmosphere of the original in her translation of Christine Arnothy's work.

© Collins et Christine Arnothy
© Christine Arnothy