刺猬的优雅 | The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

    刺猬的优雅 | The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

    A moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

    We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.

    Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

    Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

    妙莉叶·芭贝里著的《刺猬的优雅》故事发生于巴黎左岸政商名流频繁往来的高级地段,格勒内勒街七号,一栋高级公寓。帕洛玛从不是个安分的女孩。她很聪明,甚至可以说是天才。生于富裕家庭、父亲是个国会议员的她,小小眼睛已经看透成人世界的虚伪与空虚。因为常常躲起来思索存在问题,而被老爱大惊小怪的妈妈误认为精神异常。面对荒谬的外在世界,她为自己订了个人生目标——在十三岁生日当天自杀,并放火烧了父母的豪宅。

    同时,人见人不爱的门房勒妮,二十七年来在这栋住满达官显贵、精英分子的高级公寓,过着隐形人般的生活。装笨、扮丑、耍粗俗,是她每天必须谨守的本分。在掩人耳目的背后,她的心灵密室塞满胡塞尔现象学、弗洛伊德、中世纪哲学……她保守着自己的秘密,告诉自己——我必须对我的一切缄口不言,而且绝不能把脚踩进不属于我的世界,我得小心翼翼地和他们打交道……

    直到五楼的美食评论大师过世,住进一位退休的高级音响日本代理商小津先生,他的日本作风,在住户间掀起一阵波澜。他的出现,暴露出帕洛玛和勒妮柔软又脆弱的内心,瓦解了她们身上伪装的尖刺,挖掘出勒妮不为人知的过去。她们将随着公寓发生的事件,慢慢地,摆脱孤独,蜕变,重生……

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