PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Translator: Christine Donougher
Le Calvaire is a thinly veiled autobiographical novel, which recounts the tortured and traumatic coming-of-age of the narrator Jean Mintie. It paints a nightmarish picture of late nineteenth-century French society. Mintie's progress through life is a descent into Hell, a plumbing of the lower depths, the martyrdom of a godless man in a godless age.
The publication of Le Calvaire in 1886 marked a brilliant beginning for the Angry Young Man of the Age, who went on to flay the Establishment in Torture Garden and The Diary of a Chambermaid.