The Impostor

Georges Bernanos,J. C. Whitehouse

The Impostor is a searching account of the torment that besets Father Cenabre, historian of mysticism and controversial star of the Parisian clergy, when his faith suddenly deserts him. As the priest struggles to cope secretly, he crosses paths with associates on the complex margins of a Church facing modern politics in the early twentieth century. Georges Bernanoss compelling and dark portraits of that shadowy worlds inhabitants throw into stark relief the determination of a humble priest, Father Chevance, who alone knows Cenabres secret and struggles to save him. By turn touching and scathing, The Impostor explores the delicate balance between redemption and damnation and illuminates the fragility of our constructed selves. Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), one of the twentieth centurys most powerful and idiosyncratic writers, was also the most original Roman Catholic writer of his time. The Impostor, the second of his novels published in French, is the last to be translated into English.