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The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

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The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapors to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end within one year, Daguerre creates his Doomsday List — ten items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century.

In this luminous debut novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. Poets and dandies debate art and style in the cafes while students and rebels fill the garrets with revolutionary talk and gun smoke. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects.

Louis enlists the help of the womanizing poet Charles Baudelaire, known to the salon set as the Prince of Clouds, and a jaded but beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orleans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.

Review:

"Smith's clever but uneven debut novel peers into the mind of the eccentric 19th-century French genius who invented the daguerreotype. In 1846, the celebrated photographer Louis Daguerre, his brain addled by the mercury process that made him famous, has a vision of the end of the world, which launches him on a quest to record a series of 10 images before the apocalypse. The aged Daguerre enlists the help of bohemian poet Charles Baudelaire, and together they prowl Paris in search of Daguerre's subjects, including 'a beautiful naked woman ,' 'the perfect Paris boulevard,' 'the king of France' and Daguerre's childhood friend and long-lost love, Isobel Le Fournier, whose affections he seeks to reclaim. When Daguerre encounters Isobel's daughter, Chloe — now working in a Paris brothel under the name Pigeon — he sees a way to bring closure to his unfulfilled romance. In flashback, Smith stages a vivid re-enactment of the intellectual progress and persistent experimentation that led to Daguerre's breakthrough discovery, but he trots out clichs in the service of the sentimental love story between Daguerre and Isobel, most notably her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold daughter. Despite predictable plot twists, Smith renders a clear-eyed portrait of Daguerre and his thinking, against a backdrop of tumultuous times." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, Dominic Smith writes with an authority very few first-time novelists possess. He wonderfully evokes nineteenth-century Paris through a chemically addled consciousness — a formidable achievement that he manages with humor and grace. A remarkable debut." Mark Jude Poirier, author of Modern Ranch Living: A Novel

Review:

"A lyrical journey into the world of a man lost to nostalgia and undone by beauty. Dominic Smith has generously rendered an artist in desperate pursuit of the sublime." Paul Jaskunas, author of Hidden

Review:

"In this evocative novel, Louis Daguerre is a poet whose medium is light, a man for whom memory is as penetrating and fixed as his photographs. Dominic Smith's acute detail calls forth visions of a world and a man on the verge of transformation." Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mercy of Thin Air

Synopsis:

When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapors to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end within one year, Daguerre creates his "Doomsday List" — ten items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century.

In this luminous debut novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. Poets and dandies debate art and style in the cafés while students and rebels fill the garrets with revolutionary talk and gun smoke. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects.

Louis enlists the help of the womanizing poet Charles Baudelaire, known to the salon set as the "Prince of Clouds," and a jaded but beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orléans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.

Synopsis:

This unforgettable debut novel re-imagines the life of Louis Daguerre, one of the early inventors of photography, whose mind unravels from mercury poisoning as he strives to find the love of his youth before the world comes to an end.

About the Author

Dominic Smith grew up in Sydney, Australia and now l

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743271240
Author:
Smith, Dominic
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
January 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in 12.845 oz

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The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Washington Square Press - English 9780743271240 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Smith's clever but uneven debut novel peers into the mind of the eccentric 19th-century French genius who invented the daguerreotype. In 1846, the celebrated photographer Louis Daguerre, his brain addled by the mercury process that made him famous, has a vision of the end of the world, which launches him on a quest to record a series of 10 images before the apocalypse. The aged Daguerre enlists the help of bohemian poet Charles Baudelaire, and together they prowl Paris in search of Daguerre's subjects, including 'a beautiful naked woman ,' 'the perfect Paris boulevard,' 'the king of France' and Daguerre's childhood friend and long-lost love, Isobel Le Fournier, whose affections he seeks to reclaim. When Daguerre encounters Isobel's daughter, Chloe — now working in a Paris brothel under the name Pigeon — he sees a way to bring closure to his unfulfilled romance. In flashback, Smith stages a vivid re-enactment of the intellectual progress and persistent experimentation that led to Daguerre's breakthrough discovery, but he trots out clichs in the service of the sentimental love story between Daguerre and Isobel, most notably her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold daughter. Despite predictable plot twists, Smith renders a clear-eyed portrait of Daguerre and his thinking, against a backdrop of tumultuous times." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, Dominic Smith writes with an authority very few first-time novelists possess. He wonderfully evokes nineteenth-century Paris through a chemically addled consciousness — a formidable achievement that he manages with humor and grace. A remarkable debut."
"Review" by , "A lyrical journey into the world of a man lost to nostalgia and undone by beauty. Dominic Smith has generously rendered an artist in desperate pursuit of the sublime."
"Review" by , "In this evocative novel, Louis Daguerre is a poet whose medium is light, a man for whom memory is as penetrating and fixed as his photographs. Dominic Smith's acute detail calls forth visions of a world and a man on the verge of transformation."
"Synopsis" by , When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapors to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end within one year, Daguerre creates his "Doomsday List" — ten items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century.

In this luminous debut novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. Poets and dandies debate art and style in the cafés while students and rebels fill the garrets with revolutionary talk and gun smoke. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects.

Louis enlists the help of the womanizing poet Charles Baudelaire, known to the salon set as the "Prince of Clouds," and a jaded but beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orléans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.

"Synopsis" by , This unforgettable debut novel re-imagines the life of Louis Daguerre, one of the early inventors of photography, whose mind unravels from mercury poisoning as he strives to find the love of his youth before the world comes to an end.
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