Author(s): Simon Leys
With Stendhal is a delightful composite portrait of one of the world's great novelists. Simon Leys introduces and translates into English for the first time three linked pieces- the recollections of Stendhal's famous friend Prosper Mérimée, the impressions of novelist George Sand, and a recently discovered piece by Stendhal himself, a whimsical list of the supernatural powers he wished he possessed. Together they illuminate the life and mind of a colourful hyper-romantic, given to duelling, bantering and falling in love, for whom boredom was a sin and hypocracy a crime.
Simon Leys is a writer, sinologist, essayist, literary critic and author of Other People's Thoughts, The Death of Napoleon, The Wreck of the Batavia and Prosper. Leys studied law at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Louvain), Chinese language, literature and art in Taiwan. He went to Hong Kong, before settling down in Australia in 1970. He taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University, where he supervised the honours thesis of current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and later was Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney, from 1987 to 1993. In 2004 he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.