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One success story !

Updated on October 4, 2012
Alain Fournier in 1905
Alain Fournier in 1905 | Source
Tombstone of Alain Fournier in Saint Remy la Calonne, France
Tombstone of Alain Fournier in Saint Remy la Calonne, France | Source

 

 

We all like to write ! We wouldn't be part of Hubpages otherwise. And we would all like to write a successful, interesting story. Some of us will succeed, some others won't. But we do keep trying and that's what's important. Because the more we write, the more chances we get to produce something really good that will lead to wider recognition and success. There are exceptions, though. There was a French writer named Alain Fournier, born in 1886 and killed in 1914 during the very first weeks of World War I. In his short life of only 28 years, Alain published only one novel (1913) called Le Grand Meaulnes. He died only 10 months after the publication of his book. Le Grand Meaulnes is a love story, inspired by a real life experience when Alain Fournier was 18. The book was an immediate success in France, and after the death of its author, became no less than a legend. There are no exact records of its succes but just one edition published in pocket book in 1971 sold 5 millions copies, in French language alone. Seven reprints were published between 2008 and 2010. There have been at least 6 translations in English language : The Wanderer (1928), Big Meaulnes (1933),The Lost Domain (1959), Le Grand Meaulnes (1966, !968), The Wanderer of the End of Youth, The Lost Estate (2006). Besides, the book has been translated in German Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and more. Two motion pictures have been produced (1967, 2006). The title of the book was mentioned in songs written by Michel Sardou and Renaud, both extremely popular French singers. Michel Bosc wrote a symphony called Le Grand Meaulnes. Rudolf Escher, a Dutch composer, wrote a "Hymne du Grand Meaulnes" (1951). Needless to say, the story has also inspired numerous other writers. When he was killed in action on September 22, 1914, Alain Fournier had written seven chapters of a second novel that remained unfinished. According to a poll conducted in 1999 for the daily newspaper Le Parisien, le Grand Meaulnes was voted one of the 10 most influential books of the 20th Century, alongside Antoine de Saint Exupery's The Little Prince, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and Albert Camus's The Stranger

It is fair to say that this is one story that is not going away anytime soon. One possible reason of its succes over time is due to the fact that anyone can identify with one of the characters. But it is also a proof that it is not the quantity of one's writing that counts most, but the ability to touch people. Lino Ventura, a French actor was once asked by a journalist what it takes to make a great movie and he said : "It only takes three things : a good story, a good story, a good story...


Copyright 2012 by Austinhealy, his heirs and assigns

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