2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
The novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" is called the pearl, the crown, the diamond of Alexandre Dumas' creativity. It stands apart from the mainstream of the writer's work, built on historical plots. This is the first literary work of Dumas about contemporary events and the most ambitious work of the writer. Almost 200 years later, the novel still captivates and captures the reader as it did in 1844. Alexandre Dumas managed to create the perfect algorithm for writing an adventure novel, which is often used today.
19th century soap operas
An honest and trusting young man in his nobility, a young man who has just entered adulthood. He is in love and loved. A capable and executive employee - his superiors appreciate him. Career prospects ahead, wedding, happylife. Everything is destroyed in one day by envy and betrayal. The protagonist goes through a difficult path of spiritual maturation, self-improvement, punishes offenders, restores justice and an honest name. Many TV series and modern novels are created in accordance with this plot.
Producers of television and literary serials are now using techniques discovered in the nineteenth century. One of them was invented by the Revue de Paris publishing house in the first quarter of the century before last. In each issue, in the most prestigious place, in the "basement", a part of the novel-feuilleton was printed with the key phrase "to be continued." The most successful novels-series brought thousands of new subscribers. The first reader reviews of The Count of Monte Cristo almost doubled the circulation of the Journal de Deba, where the novel was published.
The second important technique is the dynamics of the plot and the maintenance of intrigue. Since it was not supposed that the novel would be read all at once, there is no single line of tension in it, leading to a climax and a denouement. Modern readers in their reviews of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" note the undulating dynamics, by which, if desired, you can determine all 136 parts that appeared in the periodical press. The absence of long descriptions is only the minimum necessary to create a visual image. The plot develops through actions and dialogues. All this is close to the perception of today's readers, brought up on the long-running stories of modern television. The talent of the storyteller, A. Dumas, allows you to reada multi-page book about a mysterious count literally in one breath.
Talks and speculation about the true author of the novel began simultaneously with the printing of the first passages. It was difficult to believe that one writer could create a literary canvas of such a scale in such a short time. Dumas did not deny the presence of assistants, remarking good-naturedly: "Napoleon also had his own generals."
The names of the two "generals of Dumas" are well known to researchers of his work. The first is Viejo, whose talent lay only in the amazing resemblance of his handwriting to that of the great novelist. Publishing houses accepted original manuscripts only written by the author himself. Given the "line method" of work, it was almost impossible to do this, I had to use the services of Viejo.
Auguste Maquet - this name could well appear next to the name of Dumas on the book about the Count of Monte Cristo and on 17 other works of the great Frenchman. But the publishers (the laws of PR-promotion and marketing were in effect even then) rejected this proposal of the generous maestro. After all, the books of the brand "Alexandre Dumas" were more expensive than "Dumas and Co.". Using the amazing talent of O. Macke to find plots and facts, Dumas continued to sign literary creations with his own name: "A brilliant writer does not steal, but conquers." Working as an assistant, O. Macke did not gain fame as an author, but after the triumph of the novel by Alexander Dumas "The Count of Monte Cristo", according to contemporaries, he providedworthy condition. The master paid his apprentices honestly.
The plot of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo"
According to the famous author, there are stories everywhere and in everything. You just need to have the talent to see and transform.
A true story that happened at the beginning of the 19th century and was recorded in the police chronicle - almost a direct quote from the book "The Count of Monte Cristo". The young shoemaker Francois Picot, because of a slanderous denunciation concocted by his friends, ends up in Fenestrel prison for a long seven years. The bride, without waiting for her beloved, marries one of the traitors. In the fortress, he meets a priest who, before his death, reveals to him the secret of the treasure. Gold, precious stones, millions of francs - a fortune that Pico spent on the destruction of slanderers. The finale of the real story is tragic - Pico dies at the hands of one of the villainous traitors, before his death, telling in detail the dramatic story of his life, with the condition to hand it over to the French police.
Who got this story in the archives, Dumas or Mac, it doesn't matter. A. Dumas never denied the help of Auguste Macke in working on the plot. The main thing is that the talent of the writer breathed life and strength into each character in this story. Twenty-page raw material turned out to be a vivid canvas of the life of French society after two revolutions and in anticipation of a third. No, the author was not a revolutionary, but thanks to his gift to see the true, he felt and showed the tragic ups and downs in the destinies of those living in an era of change. New reviews aboutThe book "The Count of Monte Cristo" again speaks about the relevance of the confrontation between offended and persecuted careerists who have penetrated into power, scammers and upstarts.
Edmond Dantes - Count of Monte Cristo
The protagonist of the novel differs from his prototype not only in external description, but also in internal motives and justification of his actions. He does not take revenge, he feels like an instrument of retribution. The baseness of human nature gives him the right to do this: "Everyone thinks that he is more unfortunate than the other unfortunate who cries and groans next to him", "There is nothing that would not be sold when you know how to offer the right price", "Today's friends - tomorrow's enemies" - this is how cruelty is justified.
Own death also serves as an excuse and gives the right to retribution. After all, Edmond Dantes died in the castle of If. The Count of Monte Cristo emerged from the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. A man who had no childhood and love, who has only pain in the past. And in the future there are no relatives and friends, only revenge. Many in the reviews of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" emphasize the symbolism of the episode of the escape from the dungeon.
The character of the Count of Monte Cristo is a multi-faceted hero, in whose masks and incarnations one can get confused. The author does not talk about the feelings and experiences of the updated hero. Only actions and voiced observations. It is as if he is programmed to perform one task, so he does not have a personal life - he decides the fate of others. When the program is completed, it is not joy, not peace that comes - devastation comes:"The world is a living room, from which one must be able to leave politely and decently, bowing to everyone and paying their gambling debts."
Abbé Faria. Truth and fiction
The ingenious ability to intertwine fact and fantasy, real characters and fictional images is one of the ingredients of the French novelist's talent.
In the story of the shoemaker Pico, his cellmate was an unnamed priest, at the same time, Abbot Faria is in custody in the fortress of If. Jose Custodio Faria is a man whose fate is worthy of a separate novel. A descendant of Indian Brahmins, born near Goa, received a theological education in Rome, a professor at the Marseille Academy - it was he who became the prototype of the literary abbot.
In The Count of Monte Cristo, the description of a character leaves the reader wondering if he is a magician, a charlatan, or a scientist? Comprehensively educated, inventor, polyglot - Abbé Faria becomes a mentor to young Edmond. He helps him understand what happened: "There may not be a crime, but there is always a reason." And it is he who warns Dantes against revenge: "To pass the sentence yourself is burdensome for the body and destructive for the soul."
Strong and Weak
All characters in the novel are divided into strong and weak. The weak are those who have not resisted the temptations of vice. Having succumbed once to self-interest, fear or vanity, weak people continue to commit crimes in the future, until strong ones stand in their way. Those who quitchallenge circumstances and make history himself.
The content of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" is permeated with a constant opposition of the positions of strong and weak, their choice in similar situations and the results of the chosen path.
Swindler and greedy Danglars greed led to a complete collapse. The hunger torture at the end showed him the true value of money compared to human life by his own example.
Caderousse several times had the opportunity, with the advice and help of the count, to turn fate, to become strong. And each time he chose the path of a coward and a traitor. Dies at the hands of the same coward and traitor, his "friend".
The ambitious and vain Fernand, who gained fame and honor by murder, paid for it. Having lost everything he longed for and cherished, he was forced to kill himself.
Everyone in the final got what they started their path as a weak traitor.
Revenge or retribution?
When you ask readers what Dumas' novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" is about, you always hear in the reviews: about revenge.
But the main character Dumas does not take revenge, as in a vendetta - blood for blood, slander for slander. He, using the resources available to him, enhances or provokes the temptations of the main villains, pushing them to a new vice or crime. And each time they again make the choice of the weak and bring themselves closer to death. It is not revenge that is being committed, but retribution, a natural and fair result of committed deeds.
Readers of the novel throughout the book are asking questions: what would I do on the spotEdmond Dantes, where is the line between revenge and justice, does one person have the right to control the fate of another? Alexandre Dumas does not give complete and detailed answers. It only shows what a person turns his life and the lives of those who love him into, deciding to become the sole and sole judge of others.
Readers say that this is one of the best works of Dumas, from which it is impossible to tear oneself away. Twisted plot, great characters, simplicity of presentation are mentioned as virtues of the book.
Copycats and sequels
How many books "The Count of Monte Cristo" has been published over the past two hundred years, it is difficult to calculate. But readers did not want to part with their favorite characters and demanded continuation. How did the life of a fighter against injustice and faithful to Gaida develop further, what happened to the rest of the heroes of the novel: Alexandre Dumas did not write a sequel.
On the wave of interest, other authors appeared who used the heroes of the novel in their works. Ten years after the first edition of the original version, the most famous fanfiction sequel of the popular book "The Lord of the World" written by Adolf Mützelburg comes out. Until the end of the century, four more novels-continuations of different authors saw the light.
New interest in options for the continuation of the novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" appeared after the publication of the novel "The Last Payment" by the Slovo publishing house in 1990 in Russia. It was presented to the public as a lost novel by Dumas, articles in support of this version appeared in Izvestia and"Literary Gazette". The plot of the book was built around the consonance of the names of the protagonist Dantes and the names of the killer A. S. Pushkin. The book was written after A. Dumas visited the Russian Empire and described the investigation of the events that led to the duel at the Black River. The fake was quickly exposed and the real author was identified. It turned out to be Vyacheslav Lebedev, who was listed by the publisher as the translator of the novel.
The Count of Monte Cristo at the movies
In order to meet again with your favorite characters, you do not need to compose and look for continuation. The names of the heroes have long become common nouns, quotes from the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" dispersed into epigraphs of other works. Performances, musicals, films are staged, and each interpretation finds new colors and puts its accents in the presentation of the famous novel.
The film versions were made in the USA, Germany, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. In the homeland of the writer, the novel was filmed three times, with the participation of famous French actors: Jean Marais (1954), Louis Jourdan (1961), Gerard Depardieu (1998). The latest film adaptation to date is a joint project between the United States and France, released in 2002.
Most viewers consider the 1954 French version to be the best screen version of the novel. The creators, in the opinion of viewers and critics, managed to preserve the elegance of presentation and the atmosphere of France, transferring the plot of Alexandre Dumas' creation to film language as carefully as possible.
The popularity of the novel does not subside with time. Reviews aboutThe book "The Count of Monte Cristo" constantly appear from new fans of Alexandre Dumas. Tours are conducted in the fortress of If, showing the cell where the future Count of Monte Cristo spent 14 years in prison, and even the secret passage dug by Abbe Faria. The inhabitants of Marseille convince tourists of the authenticity of the described events and offer fish soup in restaurants "according to the Dantes family recipe." There is a project to create a reserve and a republic on the island of Monte Cristo with its own flag and coat of arms, which depict an anchor and a hunting horn. The writer's mansion, which he called the "Castle of Monte Cristo", has become a museum where literary and musical performances take place.
Alexandre Dumas' novel about his contemporaries came to us from the past and will remain in the future, defeating ruthless time with a talented word and a brilliant plot.
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