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The Origin of the Worldby Pierre Michon
Synopses & Reviews
A twenty-year-old takes his first teaching job in a sleepy French town. There, he falls under the spell of one of the town’s residents, an older woman of transcendant beauty.During a season of rainy days and sleepless nights, the young teacher learns first hand about the most ancient of urges and the most brutal of realities. The Origin of the World is a devastating exploration of the destructive powers of passion, and the consuming need for love.
Pierre Michon, "one of the best-kept secrets of modern French prose" (Publishers Weekly), is a widely-acclaimed author in France and Europe. He is the winner of numerous prizes, including the Prix France Culture for his first novel, Vies minuscules; the Prix Louis Guilloux for The Origin of the World; and the Prix de la Ville de Paris for his body of work (1996). His novels and stories have been translated into German, Dutch, and Italian. He lives in France, where his ninth book will be published this fall.
Wyatt Alexander Mason’s first translation, Pierre Michon’s Masters and Servants, was a finalist for the 1997 French-American Foundation Translation Award. His most recent translation, Rimbaud Complete, will be published in March 2002 by The Modern Library. He is currently at work on two new translations: the complete correspondence of Arthur Rimbaud (Counterpoint) and Dante’s La Vita Nuova (Modern Library). Also a critic and illustrator, Mr. Mason lives in New York City.
Also Available by Pierre Michon and translated by Wyatt Alexander Mason
Masters and Servants
TP $14.95, 1-56279-103-6 • CUSA
A major French writer blows the lid off desire in an erotic tour de force.
Fiction. Translated from the French by Wyatt Alexander Mason. Pierre Michon is one of the foremost contemporary French writers. He has won many prizes, including the Prix de la Ville de Paris. In THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD, a twenty-year-old takes his first teaching job in a sleepy French town. Lost in a succession of rainy days and sleepless nights, he falls under the spell of one of the town's residents, Yvonne. "Everything about her screamed desire, something that people say enough that it's almost meaningless, but it was a quality that she gave of generously to everyone, to herself, to nothing, when she was alone and had forgotten herself, setting something in motion while settling a fingertip to the counter, turning her head slightly, gold earrings brushing her cheek while she watched you or watched nothing at all; this desire was open, like a wound; and she knew it, wore it with valor, with passion. But what are words?"
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