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Anatole France

Book Overview: 

The fourth century ascetic Paphnuce, journeys from his remote desert hermitage to urban Alexandria determined to locate the stunningly beautiful and libertine actress, Thais. He earnestly desires that she convert to Christianity. Gaining an audience by deception, the hermit passionately speaks to the actress of eternity. Remarkably, Thais repents and retires to a convent for the rest of her days. The hermit however, cannot rid his mind of her charms, not even with the help of the most severe austerities. After years of anguish the monk learns of Thais' immanent demise and hastens to her side. There he confesses the unspeakable.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .God and those produced by evil angels. Such discernment is useful to the hermit, who lives surrounded by apparitions, and who, in avoiding men, is sure to meet with spirits. The deserts are full of phantoms. When the pilgrims drew near the ruined castle, to which the holy hermit, Anthony, had retired, they heard a noise like that which goes up from the public square of a large city at a great festival. The noise was made by the devils, who were tempting the holy man.

Paphnutius remembered this memorable example. He also called to mind St. John the Egyptian, who for sixty years was tempted by the devil. But John saw through all the tricks of the demon. One day, however, the devil, having assumed the appearance of a man, entered the grotto of the venerable John, and said to him, "John, you must continue to fast until to-morrow evening." And John, believing that it was an angel who spoke, obeyed the voice of the demon, and fasted the next day until the vesper hour. . . Read More

Community Reviews

While staring at my bookshelves dedicated to literature Nobel Laureates (and a bunch of other books that didn't fit anywhere else), Thais fell into my hands.

I wasn't impressed with the book at first since I took it for yet another one of those conversions of the sinful woman by a holy man - and an a

Thaïs = Tais, Anatole France

Thaïs (Tais) is a novel by French writer Anatole France, published in 1890. It is based on events in the life of Saint Thaïs of Egypt, a legendary convert to Christianity who is said to have lived in the 4th century. It was the inspiration for the opera of the same name b

This review is dedicated to T.R.G.T.

This novel presents the parallel story, of some sorts since it is intertwined, of a double metamorphosis.

On the one hand we have a beautiful courtesan. Thaïs, transforming from a state of golden splendor in which she relishes in her glamour and smiles to the plea

Nem tudom, olvastam-e már olyan regényt, amelyik az i. sz. 4. században játszódik. Alexandriában vagyunk, illetve nem is vagyunk, hanem a regény játszódik ott, de engem azonnal beszippantott, ezért mégis helyénvaló azt mondani, vagyunk. Pontosítva, valahol az egyiptomi sivatagban vagyunk, és „Ebben

يبدو أن ارسطو كان محقا حين قال " الحب الذي ينتهي ليس حبا حقيقيا" ..فها هو بافنوس بعد سنوات من الرهبنة يحن إلى تلك الفتاة التي تعلق بها قلبه ( تاييس) فيجوب الصحار و يسافر ، بدافع من الرغبة فيها أخفاه وهم القداسة التي سولت له واجب انتشالها من مستنقع الفجور و الآثام التي تغرق فيه ، و هدايتها إلى الله .

I absolutely loved this novel. At first, I wasn't too crazy about it for I found the 'spiritual' protagonist, the monk, more than a bit annoying. However, even at the very start, I was impressed by the intelligent writing filled with philosophical passages, gentle irony and subtle wit. It is rare th

حكاية الراهب بافنوس كاهن بلدة أنصينا تقع في صعيد مصر والغانية الحسناء تاييس التي تعيش في الإسكندرية. بطلا الرواية. التي تجري وقائعها في القرن الرابع الميلادي يمثلان للوهلة الأولى ثنائية الخير والشر أو الخطيئة والطهارة غير أن أناتول فرانس لا يهدف إلى تبيان هذا الفرز الحاد بقدر ما يسعى إلى استكشاف ألغ

"But why should we offend Him? Since He has created us, He can be neither angry nor surprised to see us as He made us, and acting according to the nature He has given us. A good deal too much is said on His behalf, and He is often credited with ideas He never had. You yourself, stranger, do you know

" الناس يتألمون لأنهم محرومون مايظنونه خيرا ، وإذا نالوه خشوا أن يفقدوه .. أو لأنهم يعانون مايظنونه شرا ، فإذا بطل كل اعتقاد من هذا القبيل زالت جميع الشرور "

الرواية تناقش فكرة : الايمان الذى لم يختبر . اذا لم نوضع فى تجربة و نجتازها لن نعرف أبدا حقيقة أنفسنا و هويتنا. وحدها التجربة هى التى تكشف لنا و تزيل الغموض عن كينونة أنفسنا

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