The Serpent of Stars
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The Serpent of Stars

By (author) Jean Giono , Translated by MS Jody Gladding

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"Giono has created his own private terrestrial domain, a mythical domain . . . It is a region over which the stars and planets course with throbbing pulsations. It is a land in which things happen to men as aeons ago they happened to the gods . . ."--Henry MillerIn "The Serpent of Stars," the narrator encounters a potter's family, whose way of life is slowly revealed to us. The novel culminates in a large gathering where a Shepherd's Play--a creation myth including in its cast The River, The Man, and The Mountain--is enacted. This novel leaves the reader believing in the animals, the terrain of which they are part, in the people who tend to them in life.

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  • Paperback | 117 pages
  • 152.9 x 177.3 x 9.1mm | 176.9g
  • 01 May 2004
  • ARCHIPELAGO BOOKS
  • New York
  • English
  • 097286928X
  • 9780972869287
  • 404,001

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Author Information

Jean Giono was born in Manosque, in southeastern France, in 1895. He was largely self-taught. His experiences serving as an infantryman in World War I set the stage for his pacifism in World War II. In 1939, Giono spent two months in jail for pacifist activities. He was blacklisted by French Liberationist writers, although Andre Gide came to his defense, and in 1954, he was elected to the Academie Goncourt. Jody Gladding is a translator and poet. Her translations include Sylviane Agacinski's Time Passing (2003) and Pierre Moinot's As Night Follows Day (2001). Her Stone Crop appeared in the Yale Younger Poets Series. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award in poetry.

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Review quote

Giono has created his own private terrestrial domain, a mythical domain...It is a region over which the stars and planets course with throbbing pulsations. It is a land in which things happen to men as aeons ago they happened to the gods. Pan still walks the earth. The soil is saturated with cosmic juices. Events transpire. Miracles occur. --Henry Miller [Giono's] phrases behave like the wild grasses and the beasts he speaks about. They are sap breathing and moving across the page...Jody Gladding translates as a poet...and that is the only way to translate Giono. --Cecilia VicuIa What good luck to have this portion of Paradise, with its shepherds and music, rivers and mountains, magic and mystery, lovingly translated into English. --Christopher Merrill

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