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The Journal of Jules Renard

The Journal of Jules Renard

“Here’s a book that demands its place alongside the journals of Kafka, Susan Sontag, and John Cheever. The Journal of Jules Renard is full of raw, unedited aphorism on par with Karl Kraus and Sarah Manguso, alongside vivid images, epiphany, doldrums, humanizing anxieties, and cantankerous complaint about the everyday. Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget breathe modern life into this 131-year old artifact. The result is a translation worthy of cult status and a gift for writers and literary folk alike.”

Spencer R.

See all my recommendations »

Author Jules Renard
Publisher Tin House Books
Publication Date 2017-11-14
Section Biography / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Spencer R.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781941040812

Spanning 1887 to a month before his death in 1910, The Journal of Jules Renard is a unique autobiographical masterpiece that, though celebrated abroad and cited as a principle influence by writers as varying as Somerset Maugham and Donald Barthelme, remains more of a cult object in the United States. Throughout his journal, Renard develops not only his artistic convictions but also his humanity as he reflects on the nineteenth-century French literary and art scene, and on the emergence of his position as an important novelist and playwright in that world. Through a mix of aphorisms and observations, short scenes, gossip, jokes, and meditations on life and art, Renard portrays the details of his personal life?his love interests, his position as a socialist mayor of Chitry, the suicide of his father?that often appear in his work. In recent years, the fragmented memoir has grown in popularity, and there’s been a resurgence of diary as an artistic form. Once again, Jean Paul Sartre’s assessment that “directly, or indirectly, Renard is at the origin of contemporary literature” rings true. In a new introduction, Sarah Manguso?whose groundbreaking nonfiction incorporates elements of diary and aphorism?both contextualizes and celebrates Renard’s seminal journal.

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