I have been searching for a copy of Jean Christophe, but it is not available in any of the bookshops in Bangalore. I found it in fabmart store, but it costs Rs.2500! I haven't read the English translation of this book yet. I had read a Malayalam translation when I was in school (I think that was in turn translation of the English translation). I remember how much I admired it that time.
If I remember correctly, there is an incident in the novel like this: The small boy, Jean Christophe is overwhelmed by the affection of his mother towards him. One day he sees an old, torn cap hanging from the roof of his house, and wonders whose it is. His mother tells that it is the cap of his elder brother, who had died long back. Jean Christophe thinks: his mother might have loved his elder brother as much as she loves him. He is no more now, still she is able to laugh and enjoy life as if nothing has happened!
Romain Rolland (or Jean Christophe the character) is definitely not suspecting the sincerity of the mother. But with few sentences, the author shows that time heals all wounds. And life flows like a river, through all the rocky areas, plain lands, snowy mountains, still uninterrupted. This optimistic note persists throughout the novel.
1. Herman Melville - Moby Dick
2. Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyaya - Pather Panchali
3. Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyaya - Aparajito
4. Hermann Hesse - Siddhartha
5. Romain Rolland - Jean Christophe
6. Cherukadu - Jeevithappatha
If I were asked to pick six of my favorite books, these are the books I will select. All these books have a special place in my heart.
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