The book for this next week is Stendhal's The Red and the Black. Marie-Henri Beyle was born in Grenoble, France, 1783, and died in Paris in 1842. He wrote under several pseudonyms, but 'Stendhal' is the one that has lasted, due to two works, The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. I have a very nice Heritage Press edition (New York era) of The Red and the Black, which is, fittingly, all in red and black. It uses the C. K. Scott-Moncrieff translation of the French, so that's what we'll be going with.
Le Rouge et le Noir is a fictional account of events from 1826-1831, and is supposed be a satiricial novel, full of irony, dealing with the the contradictions, and thus hypocrisies (since hypocrisy is the way human beings deal with internalized contradictions), of France during the Bourbon restoration. The book was highly regarded by no less than Balzac, but it was a failure in its own day; Stendhal himself said that in writing and publishing it, he was gambling on finding an audience in 1935. Today it often makes lists of the greatest novels of all time, so Stendhal seems to have picked a good lottery ticket. I tend not to be a huge fan of very psychological novels, and satire is always hit and miss, so we'll see how well it goes; but this is a book I've been meaning to get around to for a very long time.