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Journal of Jules Renard [Paperback]

Jules Renard

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Book Description

2 Oct 2008
Spanning from 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 largely undiscovered 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 the emergence of his position as an important novelist and playwright in that world, provides aphorisms and quips, and portrays the details of his personal life-his love interests, his position as a socialist mayor of Chitry, the suicide of his father-which often appear in his work.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Tin House Books; Tin House Books Ed edition (2 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979419875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979419874
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 559,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Jules Renard's endlessly amusing journals are available again, and whether read straight through or dipped into at random, they're a marvel to behold...readers of this work are certainly encouraged to laugh throughout at his singularly savage wit."--Tayt Harlin, "Los Angeles Times Book Review" "You are holding a secret book, which influenced many great writers. I received it first from Donald Barthelme who received it from Susan Sontag. Once you have found it, you will find again and again that many of the writers you love have read it. Renard's way with the detail is unforgettable. I have never forgotten the starfish placed like a badge on a little boy's swimsuit at the beach, his baby arms and legs wiggling like the starfishes. Renard writes about spiders, about the moon, and the poetry he makes from the things his eyes tell him is joyful, particular-the world in a detail."-- Michael Silverblatt, Bookworm, KCRW Radio "Directly, or indirectly, Renard is at the origin of contemporary literature."-- Jean-Paul Sartre "Poetic, amusing, instructive, melancholic--Renard's writing should find its way to the shelves of writers and lovers of fine writing. How ideal to have sentences like this at hand: 'In the path, the caterpillar plays a soundless little tune on its accordion."--Marilyn Dahl, "Shelf Awareness" "The irresistibly quotable "Journal of Jules Renard," a record of Renard's development as a writer in fin de siecle France, demonstrates his gift for quips, aphorisms, and striking observations."-- "BookForum" "The Journal of Jules Renard is likely to refresh, inspire, and amuse anyone, especially any writer, receptive to the exquisitely voiced discriminations of a tough mind."-- Ron Slate, "On the Seawall" ""The Journal of Jules Renard" is an artist's notebook of singular quality."--"The Oregonian" "Renard's Journal quickly became a touchstone for modern French literary sensibilities: tart, self-criti

About the Author

Jules Renard (February 22, 1864- May 22, 1910) was a French author and member of the Academie Goncourt, most famous for the works Poil de Carotte (Carrot hair) (1894) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Natural Histories) (1896). Among his other works are Le Plaisir de rompre (The Pleasure of Breaking) (1898) and Huit jours a la campagne (Eight Days in the Countryside) (1906).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the thing 6 Jan 2009
By L. Miller - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on a review in the L.A. Times. I love journals and thought it would be interesting. This turned out to be so much more. Reading here is like spending the day with a fascinating friend; entertaining, informational and comforting.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Human 10 Mar 2009
By Jim - Published on
A journal of quirky, idiosyncratic, colorful, cynical, practical, mundane, poetic, flimsy, ethereal and ultimately engrossing observations and aphorisms on writing, literati, peasants, nature, animals, politics, nonentities, love and life.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supreme intellect, captivating reading! 1 Dec 2009
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on
Jules Renard was another black beast of the French literature. Names like Rimbaud, Verlaine or Baudelaire would add with the years but somehow, Renard was according his own codes, a solitaire harbinger of the French existentialism, whose influence has been exerted over Sartre, Cioran or Camus.

This work carves in relief, a smart thinker of the human condition. And his clever reflections are a must-have for all those who love the literature.

Don't miss it. A must-have.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greatly looking forward to reading more 1 Sep 2010
By WritingGirl - Published on
I have only recently heart of Jules Renard, which is surprising for a writer who has been around as long as I have. I am 86 years old and have been a writer and lover of various writers all my life. I teach Lifewriting, in which I use a combination of autobiographical and journal writing to teach students how to turn the events of their lives into stories. Just reading bits of Renard's writing here makes me fall in love with the form all over again. What command of language, what brilliant detail, what wit, what mastery. Thank you Jules Renard and all the other brilliant writers who have come before us and shown just how beautiful words mangled with the human mind and our personal unique feelings can be. I am very much looking forward to reading even more.

Louise Cabral, author, "Islands of Recall: Write Your Life Story," [...]
5.0 out of 5 stars A daily read... 12 Mar 2014
By Daniel - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A few years ago, I read "The Razor's Edge" by Somerset Maugham and immediately realized I was born in the wrong literary era. Maugham had an ability to capture mundane details about the period of time he was living in that are often overlooked. It wasn't until I bought a 2 set volume of his complete short stories that I stumbled upon Jules Renard. Maugham references Renard's journal as having one of the most profound impacts on his literary style. I immediately bought the journal on Amazon and have not put it down since. I read a few pages a day, sometimes twice or three times. I give out copies of the book as Lagniappe during holiday seasons. Jules Renard writes about anything and everything, and there's a realness to it that most people can relate to. I highly recommend this book to anyone that's looking for a daily reading companion or for a treasure trove of one liners and thoughtful quips.
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