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Distributed for Seagull Books

The Roving Shadows

There are few if any voices more distinct in contemporary French literature than that of Pascal Quignard, a prolific writer of rare erudition and elegance. Essayist, critic, translator, novelist and musician, Quignard attempts here an ambitious amalgam of his many artistic styles in a fragmentary work that defies the idea of genre. And his daring was rewarded in 2002 when The Roving Shadows became the first non-novel in more than sixty years to win the Goncourt Prize, France’s most prestigious literary award.
The first book in Quignard’s Last Kingdom series, The Roving Shadows can be read as a long meditation on reading and writing that strives to situate these otherwise innocuous activities in a profound relationship to sex and death. Writing and reading can in fact be linked to our animal natures and artistic strivings, to primal forces and culturally persistent fascinations. With dexterity and inventiveness, Quignard weaves together historical anecdotes, folktales from the East and West, fragments of myth, and speculative historical reconstructions. The whole, written in a musical style not far removed from that of Couperin, whose piano composition Les Ombres errantes lends the book its title, coheres into a work of literature that reverberates in the psyche long after one has laid it down.
The Roving Shadows is a rare and wondrous tour de force that cements Quignard’s reputation in contemporary world literature. Available now for the first time in English, this boldly adventurous work will find a new and welcoming audience.

240 pages | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2011

The French List

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

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Table of Contents

1. (The Young German Woman)
2. (The Shadow of Sexual Bliss)
3. (The tertium)
4. (Buddhas of Bamiyan)
5. Norstrand
6. (We)
7. The Nursling
8. (Last Kingdom)
9. The Ewer
10. (The Absent One)
11. Cras
12. (The Horse)
13. The Bark
14. (The Dark Sky)
15. Shadows
16. List from the Year 2001
17. (Television)
18. On the Arrest of Monsieur de Saint-Cyran on 14 May 1638
19. (Pluto)
20. (Mogador)
21. The Snuffers
22. (Ubi)
23. (The Region of Dawn)
24. (Dawn Mist)
25. (Banks of the Yonne)
26. The Immortal King of the Ages
27. Saint Bartholomew’s Day
28. Last Farewell
29. Han Yu
30. The Vestals
31. (Mud)
32. Churches of Leyden
33. Post tenebras
34. Perditos
35. (The Keep at Vincennes)
36. The Barefoot Teacher
37. Terror
38. (The Bassin du Roi at Le Havre)
39. (Saint-Cyran)
40. (Lancelot)
41. (Monsieur de Merveilleux)
42. The Brouette
43. (Monasteries)
44. (Going from Bergheim to Frankfurt)
45. (Dream)
46. (The Hunter)
47. Emily
48. History
49. (Right of Asylum)
50. (Shoreline)
51. On the River that Flows into the Flowers
52. (Marc Antoine Charpentier)
53. The Other Kingdom
54. (Kingdom of Jerusalem)
55. Sofiius’ End

Translator’s Notes

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