Lately, I read "Les météores" (in english, the title seems to be "Gemini"), a french novel by Michel Tournier. It's about twins brothers and their perception of this bond, one of them trying to escape a sort of "twins fatality" but, in fact, the main character for the reader is obviously the uncle, a gay dandy, cynical and... well he's just awesome.
I really liked this novel because it's a bit different of what I'm used to read in French litterature. French classics are mostly about the writing style and "Gemini" has this incredible style of classics but it seems close to German litterature because of the philosophical aspect of the book. It reminded me of "The Magic Moutain" (Thomas Mann) in its kind of "philosophy and ideas first" way.
It was a really good read and not complicated or boring (despite my note above about philosophy). Catching story even, and beautifully executed.
So, after that, I wanted to read more books of that style, so I decided to start "The man without qualities" by the Austrian author Robert Musil. I read just the beginning of this very, very long novel (read 300 pages and the first book of two is 900 pages long). And it's great. It's about a man, Ulrich, who tried to be someone in the end of the Austrian Empire (so, just before WW I) ; he tried to be a soldier, was good but average, then a mathematician, still good but average, and it's all about the ending (imaginary or not) of an era. The era of a possible "absolute knowledge", of a man who can be a savior, and the start of the era of experts in very very specific fields, of desillusion and the triumph of modernity. And this character, Ulrich, with others (nobility, politicians, bourgeois, priests), will try to find the Idea that will change the world forever and ensure the power and enlightenment of the Austrian Empire. The absurdity of all of it, the fact that they're are thinking, in meetings, of ideas in order to find the Idea, it's delightful. The dawn of this era, before the war, just as in Proust's novel.
We also have the chance, in France, to have this book translated by a famous poet, Philippe Jaccottet.