elegance of the hedgehog by muriel barbery

My thoughts have softened after the finish, but I hated the first 2/3. It might be that I’m reading too subjectively, letting my opinions of the characters as people affect my comprehension of the work, but I don’t really think it has a whole lot to say.

Two characters, both insufferable. They live secret, internal lives and seem totally blind to the possibility that others within their world might be doing the same thing. They elevate art above humanity and abase themselves before it. At times the prose is so flowery, so philosophically saccharine, mostly just from one character. The other is more tempered but, still, exhausting in her pursuit of the “profound.”

This opinion stems, probably, from my almost total impatience for all things philosophy.

About 2/3 in it improves. Our two intellectuals finally come into contact and affect the other’s outlook for the better. The end is pretty stupid.

It might mean more to me if I knew more about French culture.


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