Jack: Volume 1

J. M. Dent and Company

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Publisher
J. M. Dent and Company
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Published on
Dec 31, 1890
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Pages
709
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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Alphonse Daudet
As Julian Barnes writes in the introduction to his superb translation of Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou, the mostly forgotten writer nowadays “ate at the top literary table” during his lifetime (1840–1897). Henry James described him as “the happiest novelist” and “the most charming story-teller” of his day. Yet if Daudet dined in the highest company, he was also “a member of a less enviable nineteenth-century French club: that of literary syphilitics.” In the Land of Pain—notes toward a book never written—is his timelessly resonant response to the disease.

In quick, sharp, unflinching strokes of his pen, Daudet wrote about his symptoms (“This is me: the one-man-band of pain”) and his treatments (“Mor-phine nights . . . thick black waves, sleepless on the surface of life, the void beneath”); about his fears and reflections (“Pain, you must be everything for me. Let me find in you all those foreign lands you will not let me visit. Be my philosophy, be my science”); his impressions of the patients, himself included, and their strange life at curative baths and spas (“Russians, both men and women, go into the baths naked . . . Alarm among the Southerners”); and about the “clever way in which death cuts us down, but makes it look like just a thinning-out.”

Given Barnes’s crystalline translation, these notes comprise a record—at once shattering and lighthearted, haunting and beguiling—of both the banal and the transformative experience of physical suffering, and a testament to the complex resiliency of the human spirit.
Alphonse Daudet, présenté par Didier Hallépée
Alphonse Daudet est n� � N�mes en 1840, mort � Paris en 1897. Il est particuli�rement r�put� les histoires qu'ils nous a cont�es dans les � Lettres de mon moulin � (comme La Ch�vre de monsieur Seguin, Les Trois Messes basses ou L'�lixir du R�v�rend P�re Gaucher).Son enfance fut berc�e par le chant des cigales dans la r�gion n�moise avant qu'il ne suive sa famille � Lyon.Apr�s des d�buts comme pion � Al�s, il monte � Paris o� il fait connaissance du po�te m�ridional Fr�d�ric Mistral. Il collabore � plusieurs journaux puis devient secr�taire du duc de Morny, demi-fr�re de l'empereur Napol�on III et pr�sident du corps L�gislatif.A la mort du duc de Morny (1865), Alphonse Daudet se tourne d�finitivement vers le journalisme et la litt�rature.Le soleil du midi jaillit des oeuvres d'Alphonse Daudet qui, avec Fr�d�ric Mistral, incarne le meilleur de la litt�rature de cette r�gion.Les histoires cont�es dans les Lettres de mon Moulin et les Contes du lundi font partie des contes les plus populaires et ont berc� l'enfance de nombreux fran�ais.Le moulin en question est le moulin de Saint-Pierre, situ� sur une hauteur du village de Fontvieille (situ� entre Arles et Tarascon).Construit en 1814, ce moulin fut l'un des derniers � fonctionner. Il cessa de tourner apr�s un si�cle de bons et loyaux services en 1915. Ce moulin situ� au pays de son enfance servit de titre au recueil de contes m�ridionaux d'Alphonse Daudet. Plus tard, la l�gende affirmerait � tort que Daudet y avait habit� et que c'est l� qu'�tait n�e son oeuvre.Didier HALL�P�E, grand lecteur aux mille passions a s�lectionn� ces oeuvres pour vous.
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