Read David Golder by Irène Némirovsky Margherita Belardetti Online


Quando, nel 1929, l’editore Bernard Grasset lesse in una notte il manoscritto di David Golder e, dopo aver perfino messo un annuncio sul giornale per rintracciarne l’anonimo autore, si vide davanti Irène Némirovsky, sulle prime non volle credere che fosse stata quella giovane spigliata ed elegante, figlia dell’alta borghesia russa rifugiatasi a Parigi dopo la rivoluzione,Quando, nel 1929, l’editore Bernard Grasset lesse in una notte il manoscritto di David Golder e, dopo aver perfino messo un annuncio sul giornale per rintracciarne l’anonimo autore, si vide davanti Irène Némirovsky, sulle prime non volle credere che fosse stata quella giovane spigliata ed elegante, figlia dell’alta borghesia russa rifugiatasi a Parigi dopo la rivoluzione, a scrivere una storia tanto audace, insieme crudele e brillante – un’opera in tutto e per tutto degna di un romanziere maturo. Al pari di lui, i lettori di oggi (che hanno decretato il successo di Suite francese) scopriranno con delizia quanto sicura e limpida fosse già allora la voce della Némirovsky, quanto sinistra sia la luce che lei getta sui retroscena dell’alta finanza e sul mondo scintillante e fasullo, patetico e pacchiano dei nuovi ricchi – un mondo che ben conosceva e sullo sfondo del quale si consuma il destino del vecchio e spietato banchiere ebreo –, e come, dalla prima all’ultima riga, sappia tenerci in pugno con il suo stile asciutto e acuminato, e la sicurezza del grande narratore....

Title : David Golder
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788845920523
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 180 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

David Golder Reviews

  • notgettingenough
    2019-02-10 19:26

    There are two camps on Nemirovsky. Those who see her literary worth as negligible due to her anti-Semitism. Those who see her as a victim of Auschwitz and of the highest literary merit. I must say, as the capitalist marketing machinery goes, it showed exceptional chutzpah in promoting a person who was clearly first and foremost an anti-Semite as a victim of the anti-Semitic Nazis. But what the hell. It worked. Westerners greedily lapped up the invented idea of Nemirovsky, one of the gas chamber fallen, without the least concern as to the fact that what she wrote about Jewish people could have been cut and pasted into Nazi propaganda, no copy editor needed.I am shocked at the disingenuity of the introduction of this book, the audacity of its spin.‘By underminding the assumptions of the anti-Semitic right, Nemirovsky was playing a skilful double game.’Just to be plain about what we are talking about, here is a description of ‘an old German Jew’, Soifer.Bankrupted by inflation, Soifer had played the money markets and won everything back again. In spite of that, he had retained a mistrust of money, and the way revolutions and wars could transform it overnight into nothing but worthless bits of paper. It was a mistrust that seemed to grow as the years passed, and little by little, Soifer had invested his fortune in jewellery. He kept everything in a safe in London: diamonds, pearls, emeralds – all so beautiful that even Gloria had never owned any that could compare. Despite all this, his meanness bordered on madness. He lived in a sordid little furnished room, in a dingy street near Passy, and would never take taxis, even when a friend offered to pay. ‘I do not wish,’ he would say, ‘to indult in luxuries that I can’t afford myself.’ Instead, he would wait for the bus in the rain, in winter, for hours at a time, letting them go by one after the other if there was no room left in second class. All his life, he had walked on tiptoe so his shoes would last longer. For several years now, since he had lost all his teeth, he ate cereal and pureeed vegetables to avoid having to buy dentures….It was only his gaping, spluttering mouth…that inspired a feeling of revulsion and fear.’Of course, I could have just pulled out a piece out of context, but this IS the context. The entire book is written like this. She sold her stories to anti-Semitic publications, it was how she made her living. Let’s say, enough said.But may we not put her anti-Semitism in a broader context? We have a special word for being negative about Jewish people in a way we don’t in general – a word like ‘racist’ doesn’t cover what we mean by it. And yet it is such a common thing when we think about the nature of her attitude rather than the label we put on it. Black people down on black people is an obvious example. My shrinking away in embarrassment in a pub here as I see Queenslanders being, well Queenslanders. Being in an émigré community and living with the sort of thing she deals with, the sponging, the people who are poor thinking their wealthier compatriots owe them something, even if just charity, the ones who are rich and sponge from you too. This is not a Jewish thing specifically, but she is writing about her community.Stereotypes? Absolutely. But stereotypes exist because they are based on the real world. I know a lot of extremely wealthy Jewish people, Nemirovsky made me picture friends and acquaintances of mine more than once. She IS writing about what she knows. That’s what most writers do, it is so much easier than having the imagination to move past that.Ruth Franklin wrote in the Guardian:In David Golder, an appalling book by any standard, Némirovsky spins an entire novel from that stereotype. The title character is an oil magnate who has sacrificed his life to his business and has nothing to show for it but money—money that his wife and daughter are constantly bleeding from him. His wife, Gloria, openly cuckolds him while expecting him to support her extravagant lifestyle. (When he enters the room, she hides her checkbook "as if it were a packet of love letters.") Their eighteen-year-old daughter, Joyce, forces him to gamble until he collapses to win her money for a new car. "It's just that I have to have everything on earth, otherwise I'd rather die!" she tells him. Golder, for his part, is alternately cruel and pathetic. In the novel's first scene, he mercilessly refuses to cut his own partner a break on the sale of some oil shares, showing no pity and offering no explanation: "'Business,' was all he murmured, as if he were naming some terrifying god."In the hands of Edith Wharton or Ford Madox Ford, these characters might have acquired some complexity—perhaps a redeeming quality, or just a kind word at some point to someone. But Némirovsky's portrayals are relentlessly one-sided. The women come off particularly poorly. After the partner's suicide, Golder overhears his wife, wearing an enormous pearl necklace, negotiating with the undertaker to downgrade the quality of his coffin. Gloria, too, will pursue a bargain at any cost: she haggles with a woman trying to sell a fur coat to help her boyfriend pay off his debts, but while she is waiting for the woman to agree to a better price, the boyfriend kills himself. (Gloria sees herself as the loser here, because now "of course she'll keep the coat.") I’m sorry, I beg to differ. This stuff all rang so true for me. The husbands, the wives, the daughters. For the men it is no different to have the compulsion to make money than it is for a tennis player to have a compulsion to play tennis. One-dimensional? Absolutely. The women live to spend it. One-dimensional? Yep.Extremely wealthy people are frequently like this, fullstop. Stereotypes are true.Franklin continues later on:David Golder appeared in 1929. Would it be too much to say that such a book published in such a year was complicit, as many similar books were complicit, in the moral degradation of culture that became one of the causes of the imminent genocide? It has been painful to watch Némirovsky's contemporary defenders tying themselves into knots to explain this racist travesty of a novel. In his introduction to the British edition of David Golder, Patrick Marnham sets the context with his first sentence—"Irene Némirovsky died in Auschwitz in 1942"—and argues that "Men like Golder existed, and no doubt still exist. They had come a very long way, just how long we discover in the novel's devastating climax." He makes the book sound like merely a Continental version of William Dean Howells. And what does it mean to say that David Golder is true to life? To which part of life, exactly—the harshness of the arriviste's lot, or the Jew's love of money? "Golder is Jewish because Némirovsky was Jewish," Marnham writes, persisting in his argument that the book's ugliness is nothing but realism, "but her choice of an unsympathetic Jewish character did not make Némirovsky an anti-Semite any more than Robert Louis Stevenson was anti-Scottish because he created the diabolical figure of Ebenezer in Kidnapped." This lets Némirovsky off too easy. For Golder's Jewishness is not simply one of his many traits; it is his defining trait, the very essence of his being, the root from which his character and his corruption grows. And he is hardly an isolated case: all the novel's primary characters are Jewish, and all are despicable.I completely agree with her, Marnham’s introduction is an embarrassment, but I take issue with her last sentences there. Why shouldn’t Golder’s Jewishness be a defining trait? Is it any great surprise that it would be? As a kid I spent a bit of time in Haifa and a local asked me what I was religiously and I said ‘nothing.’ Our conversation didn’t pick up after that because he had no conception of nothing. Jewishness isn’t just about religion in the way that we Anglo-Saxons pigeonhole our religion, if we have any. It isn’t something one does on Sundays, like religion is at best for us.But then, I also take issue with the idea that Golder is portrayed as a corrupt villain. He isn’t anything of the sort, he isn’t portrayed that way, he shouldn’t be seen that way either. Being a brutal businessman for whom the meaning of life is collecting money does not make you either a villain or corrupt. The characters are Jewish because she is writing about that community. They are despicable because it is a book about despicableness.So, Nemirovsky is anti-Semitic. The amazing thing is that in a book where she talks about Jewish pigs and Jews and dirt and Jews and greed and Jews and miserliness and – she still manages to strike a chord. The book is completely engrossing, the main character has you on his side, which is quite an incredible achievement given what we have so far observed here. I guess I’m trying to explain the impact of this book by suggesting that we have to view anti-Semitic attitudes as having colour and broadness to them, ‘anti-Semitic is not anti-Semitic is not anti-Semitic.’ I wish I had a more elegant way of putting that. In the end this is a book about a businessman we could so easily hate, but we don’t. That is a triumph for the author.Nonetheless, I remain extremely uneasy about liking this book for all the obvious reasons.

  • Cecily
    2019-01-31 20:48

    I didn't enjoy this, not just because Golder is such an unsympathetic character, and not just because I'd heard good things about Nerimovsky's writing that seemed unjustified, but because I constantly felt uncomfortable with the ways Jewish people are portrayed - even though I'm not Jewish, but Nemirovsky was. Also, the sections about finance and commodity trading, though not extensive, were somewhat tedious. Anyway, this short novel concerns the very wealthy, self-made (more than once) David Golder, in the 1930s, and his selfish, shallow, and avaricious wife and twenty-something daughter. They're all as bad as each other!The pressure of providing for their lavish lifestyle, though enjoying few of the benefits himself, takes its toll on Godler's health, and there is a painfully vivid section describing his physical collapse. There is heartbreak at the core of the book, but it's hard not to feel it is deserved. I don't mind a book with unsympathetic characters, but I like some light and shade.The descriptions of Jews are invariably harsh (and red hair is mentioned oddly often, though I don't know if that is significant), even when quoting the speech or paraphrasing the thoughts of Jewish characters. And if that weren't bad enough, the whole thing is based on longstanding negative stereotypes, particularly about the Jewish affinity for money and meanness. It doesn't pretend that all Jews are like that - and yet there aren't any in this book who are appealing characters.Overall, a strange, unpleasant and slightly boring book.

  • Arwen56
    2019-02-14 19:31

    Romanzo fortemente autobiografico e da considerare, come è già stato osservato, in stretta relazione ai tempi in cui è stato scritto. Infatti, l’accanimento con il quale David Golder persegue, sino all’ultimo, l’idea di fare denaro non per costruire qualcosa di duraturo, bensì semplicemente perché venga sperperato da persone spregevoli mi lascia alquanto perplessa. Si vede che l’etica protestante è proprio ben radicata dentro di me. :-)Tuttavia, la scrittura della Némirovsky è davvero molto espressiva, sia pur nella sua nudità. Benché voluta e frutto del suo stesso modo di essere, la disperata solitudine di David Golder mi ha, in un certo senso, commossa.

  • Shane
    2019-01-20 18:43

    If Suite Francaise was known more for its chequered 64-year journey of as a manuscript seeking a publisher, David Golder is the book that launched Nemirowsky's career and is a much more powerful novel.A short engrossing semi-autobiographical read, David Golder proves that good novels do not need sympathetic characters in order to entertain and enlighten. Everyone in this book is a pretty wretched person, almost caricaturish in their enslavement by money, except perhaps for the young Jewish man who is the last to see Golder alive, but even there we do not know if he will also "take the money and run" and not deliver on his promise to the dying anti-hero.Golder is a tragic character, unbscrupulous in his drive to acquire wealth due to his impoverished origins, but also the only one who sees through lucre's fleeting nature, and is weighed by the burden of the breadwinner, while his family members lavishly spend, cheat on him, and openly blame him for falling ill and not being able to keep the money machine running.I also liked the fact that the business deals that are central to Golder's character but could be boring in their minutia, were concluded off-stage, except for the final negotiation where Golder adopts Russian negotiating tactics (temper tantrums and threats to walk out) with his counterparts - the Russians themselves.Short chapters, incisive dialogue that resemble lines from a play as they paint action and character, a tight plot that moves to is inevitable end, and the gratings of Golder's failing heart, grip the reader in a page-turner.Having recently visited Auschwitz, the message was re-iterated while reading this book that the world lost many brilliant minds and artists in that holocaust - Nemirowsky: reluctant Jew, assimilated Frenchwoman and Catholic convert, included.

  • S©aP
    2019-02-16 18:25

    Un romanzo a tinte molto forti, la cui lettura non può prescindere da una contestualizzazione accurata. Uno degli aspetti più sorprendenti è che a scriverlo sia, all'inizio del secolo, una ragazza di soli vent'anni. Figlia di una famiglia facoltosa, che ha lasciato la terra d'origine (una Ucraina austera, dolente, ottocentesca e umana - si vedano altri scritti dell'autrice) per insediarsi nella Ville Lumière, la scrittrice è una giovane donna, singolarmente matura, cresciuta sola, pur se contornata da amici e da una certa goliardia abbiente, con cui spesso condivide feste, vacanze, e serate mondane. Contrariamente a quanto leggo in altri commenti, questo suo scritto di esordio ha - secondo me - il sapore della denuncia intima, prima che sociale. Vi si intuisce un richiamo privato, disperato, quando non un vero anatema, nei confronti proprio di quell'isolamento umano e di quella freddezza di rapporti che lei stessa sta respirando in casa sua, dai suoi stessi genitori e parenti; cui - non è un mistero - si ispira per tratteggiare i personaggi. E' credibile che il ritratto della protagonista diciottenne, Joyce, sia tratteggiato osservando bene... lo specchio. Un secondo aspetto da considerare attentamente è quello stilistico. Il romanzo viene pubblicato nel 1929, contemporaneamente al Fronte Occidentale di Remarque; o mentre Leblanc diverte i lettori dalle pagine de "Le Journal" con i romanzi a puntate del suo Arsène Lupin, ladro gentiluomo (La demoiselle aux yeux verts - Einaudi 2007 - è del 1926). Rispetto alla scrittura del suo tempo, lo stile della Némirovski è quasi lapidario: rapido, ma non frettoloso; privo di orpelli e riverenze, eppure musicale e fluido; diretto e poco compassato, seppure educato ed elegante. Senza per questo perdere un grammo di peso, o di profondità, nell'analisi introspettiva. Anzi, conferendo a questa un'incisività maggiore, proprio perché scevro da ogni compiacimento letterario. Uno stile innovativo per l'epoca; elegante e godibile ancora oggi, dopo tutto un '900. Coincidenza vuole che l'economia, la borsa, gli affari, la ricchezza e la miseria siano, oltretutto, argomenti all'ordine del giorno, nel 1929. Ciò sancisce il successo immediato del libro; che è certamente un buon romanzo, ma secondo me solo un lontano preludio rispetto alla Suite Francese, che da pochi anni conosciamo.

  • Paolo
    2019-02-05 15:40

    et voila un altro capolavoro di questa grandissima scrittrice. Per niente d'accordo sulle note di copertina circa il "grondare odio" di queste pagine. Semplicemente lo stile è adeguato alla materia trattata (i soldi !) e David Golder anzi, dall'odiosissima prima scena con il socio, si evolve fino ad essere quasi uno zio paperone, magari non da amare, ma da comprendere e compatire.La cosa che più mi ha impressionato è come un'autrice poco più che ventenne sia stata in grado di rappresentare le dinamiche emotive di un vecchio tra rimpianti, rimorsi e volontà di non arrendersi al declino ed alla fine. Stupefacente.Più la leggo e più mi incanta, specialmente (impossibile non farlo) se si contestualizza la sua opera nella vicenda della sua vita.Per gli estimatori della Nemirovsky segnalo l' imminente uscita del film tratto da Suite Francese, il cast (soprattutto al femminile) sembra promettente.

  • Antonella
    2019-02-11 15:52

    Che rabbia!Ah... il dio denaro! Odioso quando genera mostri di avidità, aridità, insensibilità, sterilità. Mostri assetati solo di potere, di dominio, di ricchezza, di lusso.Golder, è così... così... menefreghista, inumano! La moglie, una vipera! Il suo nome è Gloria. Un nome finto. Vana/gloria. Sfruttatrice all'ennesima potenza. La figlia, Joyce, viziata, ruffiana, buona solo a dire: "Lo voglio lo voglio lo voglio... Me lo prendi, papà???" Che ragazza adorabile...Mi hanno fatto rabbia, tutti, è vero, ma ancora di più mi fanno fatto pena. Tanta pena. Che povertà d'animo, che grettezza... Mentre leggevo, scuotevo il capo. Perché???Specchio del loro tempo, della vita della scrittrice? Mah... Ben misero, l'insieme, tutto sommato! Devastante amarezza.Golder, alla fine, pover'uomo, mi ha commosso e mi fa lasciato un gran senso di vuoto. Che brutto, finire così...

  • arcobaleno
    2019-01-30 15:51

    "Una grande Némirovsky"Dal commento di Ginny1807, che consiglio di leggere per intero:Radiografia spietata e dolente della vanità di una vita interamente spesa ad accumulare denaro. [...]Stupendo romanzo sulla solitudine, affilato come una lama e pervaso di struggente poesia nel bellissimo, amaro finale. Una grande Némirovsky.(grazie Ginny per il consiglio di lettura e... per il commento di cui mi sono appropriata!) :-)

  • Elida
    2019-01-27 15:43

    Min anmeldelse:

  • Nelson Wattie
    2019-01-25 20:39

    Reviews of David Golder on Goodreads and elsewhere have been so forceful and the controversy so vigorous that there must be something strong about the book to arouse such passions, and indeed there is.Its achievement is, in part, to take a fundamentally unlikeable character as its protagonist and to arouse the reader’s sympathy for him. But beyond that it is to show some of the causes of anti-Semitism without restraint but without justifying them. A ruthless Jewish financier who places the value of money above the value of people to such an extreme degree that the accumulation of extraordinary wealth—more wealth than any person can need or sensibly use—at the expense of love, affection, fairness and human decency is the kind of fictional character that is caricatured in anti-Semitic literature. But David Golder is not a caricature because he is seen by the author from deeply within his tortured mind. This makes things hard for the reader: a caricature would be easy to dismiss, but a depressed, confused and deeply troubled human being cries out for our sympathy.Neither is it simply the case that Golder is being deservedly punished for his merciless treatment of others. In that case we could say, “He got what he deserved,” and pass on to other matters. But in this case we are more likely to be haunted by him for days.In fact, Golder's treatment of others is not uniformly merciless. We might think so at first, in a kind of prelude, when he drives Marcus, a financier colleague, to a sordid suicide. But Marcus himself is not a figure deserving pity or even much sympathy. And as the story progresses we find that Golder loves at least one person selflessly: his daughter, Joyce. What he loves in her is the life force. She is full of energy and gaiety, so that her nickname “Joy” seems justified. On the other hand, unlike Golder, she has grown up surrounded by wealth, and her up-bringing has given her no skills for living with modest means, a fact that will lead to her downfall. Golder’s love for her is blind, but also unselfish: it is her good he wants, not his own, when he thinks of her. Even a doubt of his biological paternity does not cloud that selflessness in the long term.In fact his own background, and that of his wife, is grinding, cheerless poverty. It is poverty reinforced by anti-Semitism, of a kind that is hard to imagine for anyone who has not had to face it in a dreary village on the borderline between Europe and Asia. Golder’s psychological condition is not “love of money” but desperation at the fear of having to live in the hostile world and cultural vacuity that he knew as a child. There can never be enough money in his coffers to conquer that fear.Golder and his wife have shared this journey from rags to riches and there are touching moments of reminiscence and understanding between them. However, the journey has broken their relationship as it has broken so much else.At the heart of anti-Semitism is a fearful symmetry. Golder has the characteristics that turn predisposed people into anti-Semites, but it is anti-Semitism that creates the conditions for the development of those characteristics. In a vicious cycle the anti-Semites create the Jews that they hate. But it must be said that the cycle begins on the anti-Semitic side, not on the Jewish one. It would take a long historical account to demonstrate that in full, and this short review is not the right place for that. Irene Nemirovsky can use the symbolism of fiction to achieve much more.David Golder is short, but it covers so much ground so skilfully that it feels long. Not a word is wasted; everything contributes to the portrait at its centre, including the secondary characters, such as the miserly Soifer, who serves to show that miserliness is not at the heart of Golder’s condition, Joyce, who contrasts the child who grows up in wealth with the one who grew up in poverty, and the boy in the final pages who could be beginning the cycle again, the cycle of human development that his driven Golder’s life more powerfully than his own will.

  • Ginny_1807
    2019-02-13 17:44

    Radiografia spietata e dolente della vanità di una vita interamente spesa ad accumulare denaro. Una vita in cui principi e sentimenti vengono annullati dagli interessi materiali e le più abbiette meschinità sono un diritto conclamato, la naturale scansione del quotidiano esistere. David Golder è una macchina per fare soldi; e tale lo considerano le persone frivole, fasulle, calcolatrici, fredde, spietate e spaventate che lo circondano e vivono alle sue spalle. Divenuto un magnate della finanza dopo una giovinezza di stenti e di lotte, cade in rovina abbandonato da tutti e si lancia in una estrema avventura per tornare ricco. Per sfida, per orgoglio, per una figlia che non lo ama e che forse non è neppure sua. Grasso, flaccido e goffo, il volto devastato dal dolore e dai segni della malattia, confronta sgomento l’immagine che gli rimanda lo specchio con quella lontana del ragazzo che era, interrogandosi sulle alternative che avrebbe potuto offrirgli la vita. Ma avrebbe veramente avuto possibilità di scelta? Stupendo romanzo sulla solitudine, affilato come una lama e pervaso di struggente poesia nel bellissimo, amaro finale. Una grande Némirovsky.

  • Helen
    2019-01-30 19:30

    I really enjoyed this book! It's short, to the point and very readable. David Golder is a Jewish multi-millionnaire businessman, crawled up by hard work and determination. As his health fails, he realises that he had no need for wealth in his life and that it brought him no happiness. His mansion in Biarritz is full of hangers-on and his wife looks grotesque in her furs, make-up and jewellery. His only love is his daughter, Joyce, who does little but ask him for money and lots of it. This book is worth reading for its insight into the dubious pleasure wealth brings.

  • Pierre Menard
    2019-01-26 16:31

    I romanzi della Némirovsky tendono a dividersi fra romanzi corali e incentrati su singole figure: al secondo gruppo appartiene il bellissimo David Golder, a partire dal titolo stesso. David Golder è un ebreo russo, ex profugo, ora agiato uomo d’affari che si muove nell’ambito della finanza internazionale e tratta prodotti petroliferi: la sua occupazione principale sembra essere l’accumulo di ricchezza fine a se stessa, occupazione che ha svolto con dedizione, abilità, spietatezza e una forte dose di cinismo. Agli inizi del romanzo, tuttavia, si trova alle soglie della vecchiaia (ha oltre sessant’anni) e dall’intenso ritratto fisico che ne fa l’autrice (p. 15) capiamo subito che la sua ossessiva sete di denaro lo ha ormai indurito e devastato fisicamente e psicologicamente: i suoi affari stanno per subire un tracollo e la sua salute sta spegnendosi lentamente. Nonostante ciò, anziché fermarsi e riposarsi, egli continua a comportarsi come se nulla fosse, sicuro di poter superare ogni tempesta. Ben presto ci si accorge che la febbre del denaro che anima Golder (nomen omen) è la vera protagonista del romanzo: anche se fredda e inanimata, riesce a scatenare i peggiori istinti negli uomini e nelle donne che ne sono vittime. Intorno a Golder si muovono personaggi che come lui sembrano dominati dalla religione delle ricchezze: finanzieri, procacciatori d’affari, avventurieri, gigolò e prostitute, esponenti della nobiltà e della ricca borghesia, politicanti, parassiti e ruffiani etc. Nel romanzo si parla continuamente di somme che cambiano mano, di gioielli e preziosi, di beni mobili e immobili, di azioni e depositi, e ciò lo rende tremendamente attuale. L’ostentazione del denaro e il suo utilizzo a fini più o meno frivoli caratterizza i familiari di Golder, l’avida moglie Gloria e la spensierata figlia Joyce (anche questi nomi non sono scelti a caso), che pensano a lui come ad una specie di bancomat da cui prelevare quanto serve per sprecare inutilmente la propria vita. Se per la moglie, con la quale condivide le umili origini, Golder nutre ormai solo avversione, per la figlia manifesta un amore possessivo e morboso, quasi sensuale e certamente inquietante: è l’unica sua ricchezza che in qualche modo non gli provenga dal denaro, ma come le altre ricchezze non esita a cambiare proprietario quando si creano le condizioni giuste.Con il procedere della vicenda e con il peggiorare delle sue condizioni fisiche, finanziarie e materiali, il personaggio di David Golder acquista una statura sempre più tragica, che si concretizza nella solitudine umana e morale che lo attanaglia sempre più, e verso la quale tutto sommato egli sembra ben contento di dirigersi. Come tutti i grandi personaggi tragici finisce per doversi misurare con le proprie origini, incarnate da un giovane emigrante incontrato nel viaggio di ritorno per mare dal Caucaso verso Occidente, lo stesso viaggio che tanti anni prima egli stesso aveva affrontato. L’esito del confronto gli sarà ovviamente fatale: e terribili sono i suoi ultimi momenti, divisi tra il desiderio ossessivo di sistemare i suoi affari e la ripetizione del proprio nome (come sottolineava Rodari: “L’uomo il cui nome è detto rimane in vita”). Dice Golder (p. 176): “Alla fine si crepa, […] soli come cani, come si è vissuti…”.La narrazione procede per brevi scene, spesso incentrate su dialoghi o sul monologo interiore dei personaggi, intervallate da quelle che potremmo chiamare dissolvenze in nero, prendendo in prestito il termine dal linguaggio cinematografico, e che coprono ellissi temporali più o meno lunghe. Ciò è abbastanza tipico della Némirovsky (questo è il suo primo romanzo): l’autrice riesce a dipingere la vicenda con i foschi colori della tragedia senza mai però abbandonare l’essenzialità di una narrazione scarna e tagliente. Si percepisce sotto la superficie una forte partecipazione della scrittrice alle vicende narrate, e in effetti il romanzo è parzialmente autobiografico: la storia di David Golder è vagamente ispirata a quella del padre della scrittrice e il tema dell’ebreo che accumula ricchezze pur vivendo egli stesso nell’indigenza prende sicuramente spunto dalla realtà degli immigrati russi che Irène conosceva benissimo. Per opere come David Golder, alcuni critici hanno ravvisato nella Némirovsky una paradossale tensione all’antisemitismo e alla negazione delle proprie origini: certamente l’autrice è fortemente critica verso il mondo che descrive (e al quale anche lei appartiene) e di cui mette in risalto le contraddizioni, la meschinità e la volgarità. Lo fa con una notevole profondità psicologica: basta leggere il capitolo XXI, che mette in scena un dialogo fra la figlia di Golder e il suo amante, per rendersene conto. Fra l’altro questo è anche uno dei pochi momenti in cui la focalizzazione abbandona il protagonista, in modo abbastanza poco funzionale alla trama: mi sono chiesto il perché, e penso che questo cambio di prospettiva sia una sorte di intervento diretto dell’autrice a sottolineare la vacuità di questa giovane donna che appartiene alla stessa generazione della Némirovsky, contrapposta alla dura materialità della generazione dei loro padri.Consigliato a chi tende all’accumulo fine a se stesso.Sconsigliato a chi non ama i personaggi negativi.

  • Molinos
    2019-01-21 17:37

    Esta novela se parece muchísimo a El baile. Me gusta Némirovsky porque no finge que el ser humano es bueno, ni que tiene siempre un trasfondo de bondad y que son las circunstancias y el entorno el que lo hace malvado. Sus personajes malos lo son hasta el fondo de su alma, gente rastrera y despreciable, que el lector odia pero que, como ocurre muchas veces en la vida, se salen con la suya.Retrata una época casi impensable o quizá no tanto, quizás exista ahora mismo también, quizás nunca haya dejado de existir, en la que la sociedad vive solo para el dinero, el dinero lo es todo: tenerlo y ostentarlo. Da igual como se haya ganado, el trabajo que haya requerido, los esfuerzos realizados, lo que importa es tenerlo, poseerlo y gastarlo. En este caso el padre, David, un viejo judío acaudalado representa la ética y la épica del trabajo, con sus miserias y traiciones pero con cierto fondo honorable. Su mujer y su hija son despreciables, avaras, egoístas, miserables, irresponsables, malvadas, manipuladoras. No hay ni una concesión hacia ellas, ni un atisbo de algo que no provoque rechazo en el lector, un rechazo profundo y visceral.Es una novela terrible y muy cruel que contrasta en su fondo con el espacio en el que transcurre gran parte de ella, el feliz Biarritz de los años 20 con todo su lujo, frivolidad y superficialidad.

  • Joje
    2019-02-15 23:39

    I certainly agree with the 2 other reviews to date as far as the qualities of the book are concerned: concise, expressive, a clear point of view and narrative direction that is never halted by the dialogue or internal musings by Golder. All the action and thoughts that went before lead to the emotional end in all senses of 'going before'. The mood, Golder's final judgement, the Doppelgänger he meets, the reader's own moods and judgements, none are compromised. This brings to mind Mann's fable of an artist's fall, and some of the parallels are apt, as are the clear contrasts in personalities. This darker tale has little to alleviate the tone, unlike Death in Venice, and that is its strength, as is the style that leads it forth.My early and constant question about another source of the book's immediately popularity is only partially answered by the following entry in Wikipedia on Nemirovsky's attitude to her Jewishness: La polémique [modifier:]Plusieurs critiques et commentateurs ont soulevé des questions quant à l'attitude de Némirovsky vis-à-vis des Juifs, qu'elle décrit généralement sous des couleurs négatives dans ses écrits, de même qu'en ce qui concerne sa participation à des publications antisémites pour promouvoir sa carrière. Ainsi une revue de son œuvre publiée le 16 octobre 2007 dans "La République des Livres" disait ceci : « ... Le trouble vient d’ailleurs. De ce qu’il faut bien appeler la haine de soi juive, telle que Theodor Lessing la conceptualisa en tant qu’intériorisation parfois jusqu’au suicide du regard de rejet porté par les autres, cette prison originelle dont elle aimerait bien s’extraire, cette honte qui la poursuit et qu’elle manifeste dans la violence de la peinture de son milieu, toutes choses dans lesquelles d’aucuns verront une autre forme d’antisémitisme, Némirovsky apparaissant comme la version romanesque du dramaturge Henry Bernstein. Il est vrai que ses personnages israélites, comme on disait alors, sont caricaturaux, outranciers, souvent abjects ; ces cosmopolites échoués le plus souvent à Biarritz sont souvent des parvenus amoraux qui vouent un culte à l’argent-roi ; “Je les ai vus ainsi” dira-t-elle pour toute justification; n’empêche qu’ils ne surprendraient pas sous la plume du Paul Morand de France la doulce. Il est également vrai que, quoiqu’en disent Philipponnat et Lienhardt, elle a plus souvent écrit dans les colonnes de la presse d’extrême-droite à toutes ses époques et jusque pendant l’occupation mais sous un pseudonyme (Gringoire, Candide) que dans celle de gauche (Marianne); un Robert Brasillach la louera pour avoir réussi le prodige de “faire passer l’immense mélancolie russe sous une forme française”. Il est vrai enfin, qu’elle s’est convertie au catholicisme à la veille de la guerre, entraînant son mari et ses filles dans son sillage, dans le fol espoir de se soustraire au vent mauvais qui se levait avec la montée des périls, alors qu’elle était totalement agnostique. L’inquiétude religieuse lui était étrangère. »L'introduction de Myriam Anissimov à l'édition française de "Suite française" expliquant la haine de soi de Némirovsky par la situation qui était faite aux Juifs en France n'apparaît pas dans l'œuvre et le paragraphe en question a été supprimé dans l'édition anglaise.

  • Núria
    2019-02-05 20:36

    Quizás se pueda decir que 'David Golder' es como 'La muerte de Ivan Ilich' de Tolstoi pero con más sarcasmo y mala leche, y no tan triste y deprimente, aunque también lo es un poco a ratos. David Golder es el arquetipo del hombre hecho a sí mismo, el hombre que de niño se moría de hambre y que iba descalzo por las calles pero que ha prosperado hasta convertirse en un hombre de negocios sin escrúpulos y sin amigos. Tiene una mujer que es el prototipo de mujer rica, a la que sólo le interesa lucir sus joyas e ir a grandes fiestas, y una hija que es el prototipo de hija mimada y consentida, que hace mil monerías a su padre sólo para sacarle dinero por sus incontables caprichos. Un buen día, su socio muere y a él le fastidia un montón que se haya muerto precisamente ahora y que tenga que pasar por el engorro de ir a dar el pésame a la viuda y al entierro. Y cuando ve que nadie siente pena por el pobre difunto, se empieza a dar cuenta de que cuando él se muera, le pasará lo mismo, porque nadie va a llorar por él: toda su vida se ha partido el lomo trabajando y nadie se lo va a agradecer. Vaya panda de desagradecidos.Los personajes son exageradamente egoístas y notablemente despreciables, pero aún así acabas sintiendo pena como mínimo por Golder, porque Némirovsky retrata tan bien su sufrimiento, su dolor físico, su rabia, su frustración, y el miedo a la muerte. De entre los secundarios me ha encantado Hoyos, porque es muy lúcido, se lo toma todo como una broma y es un vividor ya entrado en años que va sobreviviendo como puede, incrustándose como un parásito allá donde puede. No me ha parecido tan buena como 'El baile', pero también me ha parecido buenísima. Es amarga y divertida a la vez. Némirovsky, otra vez, no tiene piedad en criticar las costumbres y las vilezas de los ricos. Y escribe con un estilo tan directo y tan fresco, tan vívido, y sabe crear personajes que, aunque son arquetipos, van más allá del tópico y destilan humanidad, aunque sea una humanidad llena de defectos. Y el final cíclico y regresivo, duro y desesperanzador, me ha encantado. Muy pero que muy recomendable. No sólo porque a mí me encanten los libros que se atreven a mirar la muerte frente a frente.

  • Rick
    2019-02-05 22:42

    The Golders are a very unhappy family. David is a hard-driving businessman, the best shark in the tank. Gloria is his wife, a pampered, grasping, greedy, selfish and financially dependent on her husband’s skills at money-making. Joyce is their spoiled daughter, beautiful, materialistic, incapable of imagine life without scads of money, parties, dancing, noble lovers. The Golder marriage is more than loveless, it’s a marriage of simmering to boil resentment, bitterness, and scorn. There is no one to like in the novel but Nemirovsky at least gets you to care about the characters, particularly the sick, brutal businessman who recognizes his failures and his one gift. He cannot make his wife care about him or make himself care about her. He accepts the responsibility to make money for her and his daughter because that is what he is good for. He knows, because he is shrewd and ruthless (his partner kills himself after Golder refuses to respond to his pleas for financial help) that his wife runs a household where many sponge (the titled poor, the salon famous, and society of new and old wealth), including one or more of his wife’s lovers. He knows his daughter has been raised to be dependent, on his wealth or the wealth and glamour of others. He suspects his daughter only cares about him, expresses affection, when she is in need of more money. He knows his wife despises him. A heart attack forces him to examine his life and to decide whether to retire and reshape his life or pursue more financial success even at risk of his life. This is a harsh novel of striving (both David and Gloria were poor Russian Jews who escaped poverty and pogroms to reinvent themselves) and its penalties, even when material success arrives. Written in 1929 when Nemirovsky was 26, David Golder, her second novel, is a strong indictment of what desperation for survival does to us, how it bends and twists us into dissatisfaction and a thirst for more. A slender novel, terse and unforgiving, it is unsurprising in its events but surprising at how touching it is in its end. Still, the grim characters and hopeless circumstances make it a novel easier to admire than like.

  • Sandra T
    2019-02-10 16:32

    Mi piace tenere in borsa un libro snello da leggere, anche solo poche pagine alla volta, quando sono in breve attesa. Preferisco leggere anche solo un breve estratto piuttosto che fissare il vuoto, il panorama arcinoto o fare peoplewatching. Questo romanzo si presta benissimo alle occorrenze di tal genere per la scrittura veloce e penetrante allo stesso tempo.Eppure in autobus, in mezzo al traffico, mi sono trovata a pensare che preferivo osservare lo scorrere delle strade e delle vetrine, con David Golder avrei peggiorato il mio umore già provato. Francamente, ho parecchio pelo sullo stomaco e i romanzi tristi, tra cui elenco anche 'David Golder', non bastano, in quanto tristi, a inibirmi. Cosa, di 'David Golder', mi ha demoralizzato più che in altri libri? Credo che sia lo squallore. Lo squallore nella ricchezza e nell'opulenza. Ho detestato la moglie e la figlia, di cui non riesco ad attenuare l'insensibile crudeltà con la sola giovane età, ho provato pena per Golder, il quale, d'altronde, non s'è mai imposto per farsi rispettare dalla moglie - o da un'altra donna - e per educare la figlia.Ho trovato il romanzo ammirevole e, allo stesso tempo, non è stato piacevole leggerlo. Questo contrasto mi è strano e ho voluto tentare di spiegarlo.Non capisco perché 'David Golder' sia descritto come grondante odio, come se fosse questo il sentimento dominante. A me sembra che l'amore sia il sentimento più forte nella storia. Un amore abusato e sprecato, tristissimo e pure ambiguo per la figlia ingrata. Mi sembra che questo sentimento sia il più forte, nonostante il linguaggio arrabbiato e stanco e deluso. La quarta di copertina di questa edizione mi sembra un po' ingiusta.E' impressionante che la Némirovsky abbia scritto 'David Golder' a venticinque anni. Fenomenale. Credo, però, che non sia un capolavoro come affermato da alcuni.

  • James
    2019-02-13 16:40

    The short novel that made Némirovsky's name – in her lifetime. The present translation came as a follow-up to the acclaimed posthumous publication of Suite française in 2004 (perhaps the earliest literary ‘event’ I can remember).David Golder is a tragedy in which the eponymous protagonist – a Jewish financier, an interwar Ozymandias – is scuppered, like Shylock, by his greed. As such, it problematises the initial reception of Suite française as the triumphant final testament of a Holocaust victim (Némirovsky died at Auschwitz before she could finish the latter novel).Like Suite française, David Golder isn’t an unqualified success. The protagonist’s fall from riches to rags, for example, has none of the psychological sophistication found in, say, a novel I re-read recently: The Mayor of Casterbridge, which charts a similar descent. Golder knows defiance and defeat, but never any all-too-human compound of the two (he’s a binary creation next to Hardy’s analogue Henchard). But what we have here is still a compelling book – even though or precisely because you find reasons to quarrel with it.

  • Luís Castilho
    2019-02-15 15:44

    Damn the Russians can write. "David Golder" is the sophomore novel of the recently (re)discovered Russian immigrant Irène Némirovsky (best known for "Suite Française"), first published in France in 1929 and soon to be forgotten in the aftermath of the nazi occupation (the author herself having died in Auschwitz). The book reads like a modern version of a Dostoievski novel, with the same enfaces on the tragicomedy relationship of the rich and the opportunists. It tells the tale of a ruthless and successful oil speculator who, in the last days of his life, slowly understood that his whole family (gold digger of a wife and spoiled daughter) only see him as a cash cow and that all his hard work did not pay of in the end in the sense that money can't buy you what you will, in the end, value most: love. It is the Citizen Kane of its time (did Orson Wells steal the idea from this book, both end in the very same way) ? All and all a well deserved classic.

  • Bianca Rita Cataldi
    2019-02-11 23:34

    Angina pectoris. E' la malattia che ha David ma contagia il lettore, pagina dopo pagina, crudeltà dopo crudeltà. Tachicardia e senso di soffocamento: ecco cosa provoca questo libro che, più che un romanzo, è l'agonia di un uomo che ha vissuto solamente per far soldi e farli spendere a delle sanguisughe. Joyce! Mio dio, il personaggio di Joyce è persino più subdolo e negativo di quello di Gloria che, se non altro, ce l'ha scritto in faccia quanto è stronza. E' una parabola dell'egotismo, questo libro, sin dalla prima pagina. Ogni personaggio pensa solamente a sé, a quanto potrà ricavare dal dolore degli altri, dal loro lento scomparire. E ciò che terrorizza il lettore è il riconoscersi, talvolta, in quello o quell'altro personaggio. Siamo davvero così disgustosi, anche noi? Sì, proprio così.

  • Alistair
    2019-02-01 16:54

    this a brilliant short novel in which a very rich jewish man loses his money and dies . not much else happens . it has something of " the great gatsby " about the story but less poetic . if the moral link of money and misery is a bit obvious , the bleak story is so well told that i at least , ended up feeling a bit sorry for David Golder who became trapped by his own greed and lost control of his life , to his wife , daughter and business competitors . at least he was miserable in comfort .i did not feel the need of the introduction and its explanation of possible anti- semitism in the book .

  • Claude Bertout
    2019-01-26 18:38

    L'histoire d'un "businessman" vieillissant que ses proches pensent tout juste bon à faire de l'argent. Un court livre d'une puissance et d'une justesse stupéfiantes sur la richesse et le désir. Les décors sont d'un autre âge mais le livre n'a pas pris une ride. Quel bonheur que la découverte d'un manuscrit inachevé et le prix qui l'a couronné aient sorti Irène Némirovsky d'un oubli injuste.

  • Diane Adam
    2019-02-19 23:38

    I read this because it's by Irene Nemirovsky and I really enjoyed her "Suite Francaise". This is an earlier novel, written before the war. It's very short but packs in a lot of detail about the lives of the wealthy French at the time. Worth reading I think.

  • alessandro - di questo libro e degli altri
    2019-01-25 17:47

    Leggi la nostra recensione su!

  • Cris
    2019-01-27 22:30

    O que surpreende desde logo é saber que se trata do primeiro romance da autora, uma jovem de pouco mais de 20 anos!Impressionante maturidade!

  • Pink
    2019-02-01 17:49

    I found this oppressively mean. I don't mind that in a story, but not a lot really happened to capture my imagination. Overall it was okay, but quite forgettable.

  • Katrina
    2019-01-26 16:26

    This isn't my favourite Nemirovsky but it is as ever very well written.

  • Marion Roux
    2019-02-01 16:38

    The book is about the pursuit of wealth in 1920's Paris. Davis Golder is a Jew born poor on the Black Sea. He creates mega wealth dealing in gold and oil. His health starts failing and his family life, finances and future look fragile. Does he choose revenge or altruism?

  • Amélie Brouillard
    2019-01-28 20:28

    i dont't know how a young woman could have written this book. the tough and rough life of an old man, who has spent all his life accumulating, losing and striving for wealth. so much effort to make people happy that don't really care about you.