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Record 21856

Reading Experience:

'In his copy of Vigny's "Chatterton" he marked the sentence, "En toi la reverie continuelle a tue l'action", and in Renan he marked a comment that the Celts knew how to plunge their hands into a man's entrails and bring out secrets of the infinite. What he always thought of as his Celtic strain would have been fascinated by "La Tentation de St Antoine", in which Flaubert meticulously describes the saint's visions of strange and dreadful beings. Owen read the book with care, underlining frequently. Tailhade had also marked it, writing "cretin!" against a criticism by the editor of the novel's "grands defauts". Evidently agreing with Tailhade, Owen went on to read at least two more of Flaubert's novels, "Madame Bovary" and "Salammbo". "Flaubert has my vote for novel-writing!", he exclaimed to Gunston in July 1915, and he told his mother that he was reading "Salammbo" "with more interest than the Communiques".'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 20 Aug 1914 and 31 Jul 1915
Country: France
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Wilfred Owen
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Mar 1893
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: tutor, later soldier and poet
Religion: none
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: France
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Ernest Renan
Title: Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse
Genre: Autobiog / Diary
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned
gift from Tailhade


Source Information:

Record ID: 21856  
Source - Print  
  Author: Dominic Hibberd
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Owen the Poet
  Place of Publication: Basingstoke
  Date of Publication: 1986
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 39-40
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Dominic Hibberd, Owen the Poet (Basingstoke, 1986), p. 39-40,, accessed: 31 May 2023

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)