Title: 03: A NOVEL - Scarce Pristine Copy of The ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: None, As Issued
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 85 pages. Published in 2010. The author's second novel and first work to be translated into English. One of the most important literary events of our time. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a softcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jean-Christophe Valtat's "03" in a felicitous English translation. His second novel. The title is the departmental code of Montperilleux, the novel's fictional French suburb. The novel itself is a long, introspective monologue, "written in one unbroken paragraph, about a teenage boy's unrequited love for a mentally handicapped girl he sees every day at the bus stop. It roars, from the shallows of the dreariest French suburb, against such received ideas as the religion of childhood 'innocence', the comforting notion that we all 'grow' and 'develop', and the solace, offered by our teachers and our parents, that if we observe the proper rites, our futures will be meaningful and wholesome" (James Wood). Wood favorably compares Valtat to Thomas Bernhard and Albert Camus, which is pertinent because Valtat is writing in a rich European literary style that is virtually non-existent in the Anglo-American tradition. Our fiction is largely "narrative" (plot, characters, development, climax, The End) even if it comes with often perceptive "commentary" on outer reality. Valtat's daring is de rigueur in France: The telling of one individual's excruciating inner life, in all of his particular pain, longing, questioning, and at best, tentative resolution. James Wood is right not to see a similarity between Valtat and any of his English-writing counterparts because there is none (J. D. Salinger was the last American literary "philosopher" of the pain called adolescence). The love that the unnamed narrator feels for the retarded girl is not about compassion but identification: For all his obvious intelligence, he is just as "retarded" as she is, and in Valtat's hands, his inner life comes fully to life: "Don't we all discover at some stage or another that there are some things we'll never get any better at, even though we have no idea why and hardly ever notice it when it happens, even though we may have enjoyed these things and might not have been lagging behind last time we checked? Something in each of us was broken beyond repair" (Jean-Christophe Valtat). An absolute "must-have" title for Jean-Christophe Valtat collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed and dated (shortly after publication) in black pen on the title page by the author: "Jean-Christophe Valtat 09/22/2010". This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed and dated copy of the First American Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. "03: A Novel" was selected as one of the Best Books of The Year 2010 by the New Yorker Magazine. One of the most brilliant new voices in contemporary literature. A fine copy. ISBN 0374100217. Bookseller Inventory # 15821
"From the bus stop across the street, it was hard to tell, but suddenly I understood, seeing the passengers in the van that picked her up every morning, that she was slightly retarded."
A precocious teenager in a French suburb finds himself powerfully, troublingly drawn to the girl he sees every day on the way to school. As he watches and thinks about her, his daydreams--full of lyrics from Joy Division and the Smiths, fairy tales, Flowers for Algernon, sexual desire and fear, loneliness, rage for escape, impatience to grow up--reveal an entire adolescence. And this fleeting erotic obsession, remembered years later, blossoms into a meditation on what it means to be a smart kid, what it means to be dumb, and what it means to be in love with another person.
03 is a book about young love like none you have ever read. It marks the English-language debut of a unique French writer--one of the great stylists of his generation.
About the Author:
Jean-Christophe Valtat teaches comparative literature at Clermont-Ferrand University. He is the author of two novels and a story collection.
Mitzi Angel is the publisher of Faber and Faber, Inc.
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