Book picks similar to
Palafox by Éric Chevillard


fiction
french-literature
france
literature

Witch Grass


Raymond Queneau - 1933
    Witch Grass (previously titled The Bark Tree) is a philosophical farce, an epic comedy, a mesmerizing novel about the daily grind that is an enchantment itself.

Hecate and Her Dogs


Paul Morand - 1954
    The narrator, sent to an African country to run a branch of a large French bank, begins a liaison with Clotilde, only to discover in her unexpected and shocking depths of perversity. Tense and bleak, Hecate and Her Dogs is a novella of high literary quality and disconcerting power.This elegant novella of disturbing eroticism was the book with which Morand returned triumphantly to the literary scene in 1954. Paul Morand’s Venices and The Allure of Chanel are also available from Pushkin Press.Pushkin Collection editions feature a spare, elegant series style and superior, durable components. The Collection is typeset in Monotype Baskerville, litho-printed on Munken Premium White Paper and notch-bound by the independently owned printer TJ International in Padstow. The covers, with French flaps, are printed on Colorplan Pristine White Paper. Both paper and cover board are acid-free and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

The Supermale


Alfred Jarry - 1902
    Jarry's equally revolutionary novels form the cornerstones of a science he named "Pataphysics," a method for the rational disordering of rationality that has influenced countless subsequent artists and writers, from Marcel Duchamp to Wim Delvoye, Andr� Breton to J.G. Ballard. The Supermale elaborates a carnal Pataphysics: Andr� Marcueil, gentleman and scientist, believes that human energy has no limits, and demonstrates his belief by undertaking a 10,000-mile bicycle race with a locomotive, followed by an indefinite bout of lovemaking. After 82 acts of intercourse, doctors finally hook him up to a machine, with whom he merges in the book's--and the Supermale's--final climax. Like a mock Jules Verne, Jarry describes these deranged proceedings in a calm prose, crisply rendered here by Barbara Wright, one of French literature's finest translators.

Black Forest


Valérie Mréjen - 2012
    A woman returns early from a lovers' retreat to a bottle of pills at home. And how should you explain the nuances of contemporary Paris to your mother, twenty – five years dead? Valérie Mréjen 's Black Forest is a book of mourning that isn't morbid or sentimental, but rather an elegant and wryly humorous brace against the void. With a paradoxically detached intimacy, Mréjen follows death's dark and twisted path through the lives it touches, wringing out every possible meaning — or non–meaning — along the way. A writer at the height of her career who draws comparisons to Georges Perec and Nathalie Sarraute, Mréjen has cemented her status as an auteur with a singular voice, guiding us through the Black Forest of ghosts that populate her subconscious.

L'Abbé C


Georges Bataille - 1950
    Charles is a modern libertine, dedicated to vice and depravity, while his twin Robert is a priest so devout that he is nicknamed L'Abbé'. When the sexually wild Eponine intrudes upon their suffocating relationship, anguish, delirium, and death ensue.Other works by Georges Bataille published by Marion Boyars include Blue of Noon and My Mother Madame Edwarda and the Dead Man.

Count d'Orgel's Ball


Raymond Radiguet - 1924
    His wife, the Countess, is beautiful and pure, and loves her husband more than anything in the world. But from the moment the d'Orgels meet and befriend the clever young François de Séryeuse backstage at the circus, all three of these supremely civilized and witty people are caught up in an ever more intricate and seductive dance of deception and self-deception. At Count d'Orgel's masquerade ball, the real disguises are those of the human heart.Completed just before Raymond Radiguet's death at the age of twenty, Count d'Orgel's Ball is a love story that is as disturbing as it is delicious.

A Night of Serious Drinking


René Daumal - 1938
    Like Daumal's Mount Analogue it is a classic work of symbolic fiction. An unnamed narrator spends an evening getting drunk with a group of friends.; as the party becomes intoxicated and exuberant, the narrator embarks on a journey that ranges from seeming paradises to the depths of pure hell. The fantastic world depicted in A Night of Serious Drinking is actually the ordinary world turned upside down. The characters are called the Anthographers, Fabricators of useless objects, Scienters, Nibblists, Clarificators, and other absurd titles. Yet the inhabitants of these strange realms are only too familiar: scientists dissecting an animal in their laboratory, a wise man surrounded by his devotees, politicians, poets expounding their rhetoric. These characters perform hilarious antics and intellectual games, which they see as serious attempts to find meaning and freedom.

Colas Breugnon


Romain Rolland - 1919
    It is an "autobiographical" novel, the story being told in the first person by Colas, who reviews his fifty years of life, and describes all its joys and sorrows. The story is gay and humorous, and full of wise observations about life. --- "Colas Breugnon is the jovial Burgundian, the lusty wood-carver, the practical joker always fond of his glass, the droll fellow. Before everything, Colas Breugnon is a free man. He loves his king, but only so long as the king leaves him his liberty; he loves his wife, but follows his own bent; he is on excellent terms with the priest of a neighboring parish, but never goes to church; he idolizes his children, but his vigorous individuality makes him unwilling to live with them. He is friendly with all, but subject to none; he is freer than the king; he has that sense of humor characteristic of the free spirit to whom the whole world belongs.

Rose Mellie Rose


Marie Redonnet - 1985
    She has since acknowledged the crucial influence which Beckett's work has had upon her literary work. And yet she is also notably different from the great master of modern literature. "Where Beckett's characters slide almost inevitably toward extinction, resignation, and silence," Stump points out, "Redonnet's display a force for life and creation that borders on the triumphant. . . . [They] retain even in the darkest situations a remarkable persistence, openness, and above all hope, a hope that may well be, however unspectacularly, repaid in the end."

Hell


Henri Barbusse - 1908
    Alternately voyeur and seer, he obsessively studies the private moments and secret activities of his neighbors: childbirth, first love, marriage, betrayal, illness and death all present themselves to him through this spy hole. Decades ahead of its time, "Hell" shocked and scandalized the reviewing public when first released in English in 1966. Even so, the New Republic praised "the beauty of the book's nervous yet fluid rhythms... The book sweeps away life's illusions."

Locus Solus


Raymond Roussel - 1913
    One by one he introduces, demonstrates and expounds the discoveries and inventions of his fertile, encyclopaedic mind. An African mud-sculpture representing a naked child; a road-mender's tool which, when activated by the weather, creates a mosaic of human teeth; a vast aquarium in which humans can breathe and in which a depilated cat is seen stimulating the partially decomposed head of Danton to fresh flights of oratory. By each item in Cantarel's exhibition there hangs a tale - a tale such as only that esteemed genius Roussel could tell. As the inventions become more elaborate, the richness and brilliance of the author's stories grow to match them; the flow of his imagination becomes a flood and the reader is swept along in a torrent of wonder and hilarity.

With the Flow


Joris-Karl Huysmans - 2003
    It is published here with the short story The Retreat of Monsieur Bougran. M. Folantin is a government employee who is overwhelmed by the quotidian misery of life. The story follows his quixotic quest for enjoyment as he goes to a restaurant, to the cinema, and to a prostitute—but ultimately finds that nothing can relieve him of his disgust and boredom with the business of living. Joris–Karl Huysmans, art critic and author of Against Nature, is a leading figure in France’s Decadent Movement.

The Unmade Bed


Françoise Sagan - 1977
    Now he is an acclaimed young playwright whose star is in the ascendant and suddenly she is attracted to him."

Pere Goriot/Eugenie Grandet


Honoré de Balzac - 1835
    This fine example of the French realist novel contrasts the social progress of an impoverished but ambitious aristocrat with the tale of a father, whose obsessive love for his daughters leads to his personal and financial ruin.

Jean Barois


Roger Martin du Gard - 1913
    Jean Barois looks back at the “liberated” figures of bygone France and tries to find his own freedom, but when he chooses to give up his ideals for comfort, it results in his dramatic fall from grace.