Clisson & Eugenie-Napoleon Bonaparte, Peter Hicks (translator) and Emilie Barthet (translator)

Clisson & Eugenie
Napoleon Bonaparte, Peter Hicks (translator) and Emilie Barthet (translator)
Gallic Books, Nov 19 2013, $12.95
ISBN: 9781906040277

From birth Clisson felt an affinity towards war. Still a boy, he joins the Revolutionary National Guard and quickly moves up the ranks. His demeanor was perfect especially in combat, which led to glory accompanied by superior officers’ envy. Tired of the pettiness attacking his character, Clisson quits the military where he no longer was happy but felt rudderless with no purpose in life. At a spa in Alles, Clisson meets teenagers Amelie and Eugenie. All the men love Amelie like a popular fine piece of music, but Clisson is attracted to Eugenie who is a musical masterpiece. They marry and raise a family until the military recalls Clisson. While he is severely injured in battle, Eugenie and military aide Berville are attracted to one another.

Though a short-short story pieced together from partial drafts, most of the book deals with a comparative analysis to a young Napoleon and to how the text was transformed. Though this is not the Emperor’s finest hour, readers will find fascinating the accompanying premises by the two translators and Armand Cabasson’s Introduction and Afterward that suggest Clisson & Eugenie as a what if “autobiographical” fiction.

Harriet Klausner


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