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Pierre Boulle

Author: Lucille Frackman Becker
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; London : Prentice Hall International, ©1996.
Series: Twayne's world authors series, TWAS 859.; Twayne's world authors series., French literature.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Pierre Boulle's oeuvre is unique in French literature. There are few contemporary writers whose novels reflect in such faithful detail the spirit and structure of our time. But his work is much more than a reflection on the fate of the individual in the great political, social, and intellectual upheavals of the modern world; it is also a philosophical inquiry into the mystery of human existence. In Pierre Boulle,
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Becker, Lucille Frackman.
Pierre Boulle.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; London : Prentice Hall International, ©1996
(OCoLC)605306418
Named Person: Pierre Boulle; Pierre Boulle; Pierre Boulle; Pierre Boulle
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Lucille Frackman Becker
ISBN: 0805782729 9780805782721
OCLC Number: 32854152
Description: xiii, 145 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.
Series Title: Twayne's world authors series, TWAS 859.; Twayne's world authors series., French literature.
Responsibility: Lucille Frackman Becker.

Abstract:

Pierre Boulle's oeuvre is unique in French literature. There are few contemporary writers whose novels reflect in such faithful detail the spirit and structure of our time. But his work is much more than a reflection on the fate of the individual in the great political, social, and intellectual upheavals of the modern world; it is also a philosophical inquiry into the mystery of human existence. In Pierre Boulle, Lucille Becker analyzes this diverse body of work. She traces in the author's three autobiographical works the background of his fiction as well as the source of his major themes. Becker shows how Boulle's early adventures as a rubber planter in Malaya in the 1930s and then as a member of the French Resistance, a secret agent, and a prisoner of war in Indochina during World War II supplied the background and atmosphere for the novels that he sets in Southeast Asia.

The best known of his works, and the most outstanding, is The Bridge over the River Kwai, which was awarded the Prix Sainte-Beuve in 1952. In this novel all of the elements of the writer's literary art converge against the background of Southeast Asia. Boulle's skill as a storyteller is nowhere more apparent than in this remarkable novel, where we find, together with certain autobiographical elements, variations on several of his most important themes, among them the transformation of a man under the pressure of circumstances, the inevitable corruption of all human enterprise, and the relativity of good and evil. Boulle's scientific education inspired a series of science fiction novels and short stories - which Becker places within the context of the genre - the most acclaimed being Planet of the Apes. Here, as in her discussion of The Bridge over the River Kwai, she provides in-depth analysis of the relationship between the novel and the film adaptation.

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