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Fumiko follows him, head bowed, hands in her raincoat pockets, a small bag hanging from her right wrist. People start looking in different directions, and a thousand meetings die as soon as they are born. The big wheel of the funfair turns in the night like a multi-coloured eye. Madame Violetta is breathing hard. Behind her, the hysterical cries from the merry-go-rounds are gradually dying down. She has put on her black sequinembroidered dress and placed a knitted shawl over her shoulders, and she is walking towards the station with a bundle of white laundry in her arms.

Her hair is long, her lips are red and her hands are gripping the bundle of white laundry as if it were the full moon that she had to carry into the night. She crosses through the traffic without once turning her head. The car headlights are shining on her legs and the rustle of her dress. Madame Violetta walks straight on and goes into the station. A few metres behind her, Fumiko is sitting opposite Jean. They have ordered two coffees. Fumiko has taken off her raincoat, and her arms are pretty in her s dress, but she is shivering as she plays with the packet of sugar she has left unopened.

Jean is watching the travellers as they come and go. He can no longer remember which sailor taught it to him …. Fumiko is telling herself that her mother in Kyoto had been right. A relationship has scarcely begun before we start thinking about saying goodbye. Fumiko drinks a sip of cold coffee and forces a laugh.

She covers her mouth with her hand. Only a month ago Jean was so fond of this gesture that he would gently move away her fingers to slide his mouth there and kiss her. Fumiko lets her hand melt on her chin, smudging a bit of lipstick on to her skin.

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Fumiko watches him disappear into the throng of people leaving and arriving. It is over now and everything is beginning, she thinks, slipping her address into her pocket. She takes a sip of cold coffee and sees the gypsy moving towards the toilets with her white bundle.


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  7. She notices that the lady from the caravans has wet hair and realises that night has fallen and that rain is falling on Nantes. The lines by Izumi Shikibu, the poetess from ad, spring immediately to mind: Shinoburan mono to mo shirade ono ga tada mi o shiru ame to omiokeru kana. I believed my life sorrows were known only to the rain. She has never felt such a strong desire to burst open her belly and have done with it as on that stormy night. In the station toilets, Madame Violetta has put her bundle of white laundry in the washbasin. Some raindrops are emerging from her still-wet hair and melting on the cloth that instantly absorbs them.

    There is a shudder, a scarcely perceptible jolt, but the gypsy knows everything and is breathing for two. She is clasping the bundle tightly to her chest. Her heels clatter like a metronome pendulum. In the left luggage office, she waits for some sailors to go. Locker 29; why this number? Yes, she will take twenty-nine steps before jumping from the butte Sainte-Anne and the river will bear her away. Her movements are as calm as final heat-waves, although the sweat is running along her temples and multiplying in cascades like eels growing out of her head.

    Lisa Bresner. The locker door is closed, the bundle is inside and the ticket is lying on the ground. There is no longer anyone around when Fumiko enters the left luggage office. She takes a ticket out of her small bag, and notices the one that is flickering on the ground. She picks it up and looks at the number. Fumiko looks at the number and her eyes widen in terror. Locker 29, her cheek quivers, she presses her ear to it. She can hear, there on the other side of the steel, the little life that is beginning and fading in suffocation.

    Fumiko rushes towards her locker and takes out an old suitcase. The thin curved blade grinds the slit in the locker. With both hands on the hilt, Fumiko perseveres at the opening mechanism. On the other side of the door, the cries stop. Fumiko drives her sword in harder than ever. With a sound like a gunshot, the blade gives way. The locker is still closed like an inviolable tomb and the sword has snapped in two. Fumiko calls from a phone connected to the emergency services. The silence behind door number 29 is terrifying her.

    She drops her broken sword and moves her mouth towards the steel door. From the depths of her childhood rises an ageless voice that sang her a lullaby to the turn of a silk spinning-wheel. Nen nen okororiyo, boyawa yoikoda nenneshina, boyano komoriwa dokoe it ta? Anoyama koete satoe it ta. Sato no miyage ni nani morata. Sleep, my child. Sleep now. Do you know where your nurse has gone? What will she bring for baby when she comes back? A beautiful flute. And a thundering drum. The first movements of the tiny life that is beginning and the last of the other life that is ending.

    The doctors arrive, and the head doctor; everyone is asking questions at once. Fumiko takes a red scarf with a white flower from her pocket and bursts into sobs. The superintendent lights a cigarette. In front of the station are some police cars and an ambulance; the headlights glare, the sirens cry and Fumiko starts reeling with vertigo. Some hands are putting a blanket over her; others are passing her a cup of water.

    The crowd has stopped in front of the station; some people are watching through the bay window. Among the onlookers, the mother and her child with the drum are waiting for the final instalment. The mother turns her gaze towards the stranger. She does not know, but she feels such a strong urge to reply to that man. That is how they start talking to each other and the mother does not feel her son letting go of her hand.

    The little boy with the drum has recognised the Japanese woman from the funfair. Ready to force the door, the doctors are waiting for the signal. The officer switches off his walkie-talkie. The head doctor reaches inside, picks up the newborn baby and runs towards the ambulance. In spite of the rain, all the passers-by remain motionless. Alone, Fumiko walks over to the ambulance and gives the piece of paper with her address and her red scarf to the head doctor. She notices the small bundle of white laundry half-unrolled on the stretcher.

    Fumiko stands on tiptoes to look at him one more time. A few months later, in a hospital ward, Fumiko sees the large red portico of Kumano temple from her window. She smiles and turns towards her baby. He is wearing small striped pyjamas like a sailor suit. At the top of the shopping centre is a swimming-pool covered with a glass dome. People swim there with a view of the sacred mountains. Fumiko sits up straight and smiles. They spat out the stones taking aim at limpets clinging to the granite of a house they would never be able to afford.

    Fumiko notices that he is wearing a sort of black lace round his wrist. Fumiko takes off the pyjama hood and the baby gives a small sigh.


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    Behind his viewfinder, he methodically begins to take shots, but some beads of sweat are running from his temples and freezing his skin. My Traitor is the story of Antoine, a Parisian instrument-maker who discovers Ireland, the land of the fiddle. He knows nothing of Northern Ireland. No matter. His heroes are bow-smiths, legendary builders of great instruments.

    So far, the war has passed him by, then one day it asserts itself. For the people of Belfast, Antoine will become Tony, because he will see them living, suffering and fighting, and because they will love him like a son in return. Then there is Tyrone Meehan. Ireland is his battle. He drinks, sings, hugs you, takes you by the arm to talk to you in whispers.

    He has made a life-long commitment and nothing will betray him. He is the man beyond suspicion. Tyrone is not Denis, the real person behind the character called Tyrone. The look in their eyes is similar though. Sorj Chalandon is not Antoine, but their pain is the same. He was killed with a shotgun, in the small family cottage where he was hiding.

    No one has been arrested so far. I did not recognise him. He was standing with his back to me in the middle of the street, his hands in his pockets and the hood of his midnight-blue parka pulled down over his eyes. He was speaking in low tones to two men. When I passed close by he called out to me. He smiled and winked at me, with that slight movement of the head that people around here use as a form of greeting. People greeted our group from all around.

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    It was early afternoon. It was raining. Hundreds of nationalists were arriving on the Falls Road. Men in their cheap Sunday best, women all dolled up. In their hair little girls wore ribbons in the colours of the Irish Republic. It was the first time that I had celebrated the Easter Rising of The year before I had left before the procession began. Tyrone Meehan was watching the demonstration as it assembled. A tall young man with slight stoop, lean face and very pale eyes.

    He was constantly on the alert and he kept glancing to right and left. The other man, Tom Devlin, was speaking quickly. Soon, like everyone else, I would be calling the IRA that. At one point Tyrone moved towards a group of men leaning against the wall of a pub. He got near to the group.

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    He lowered his head. He went up close to another man who said a word. Tyrone then nodded, and with a wink asked me to go and wait at the corner of that street. On the corner I found Mike again, talking to an old woman who held him by the arm. The Republicans were coming from all sides. Whole families, dozens of prams. I gazed at every face, every smile, every flag, and every lapel with its paper lily, the emblem of the rebels. My Easter lily was crumpled and stained and showed the hole made by the pin last year, but I did not want another one. An old man had given it to me.

    It was his. Because I was French and leaving before the procession. The rain had stopped. In the middle of the street, thousands of Irish people were waiting patiently, packed on to the pavements, standing on posts, railings and roofs. When the British armoured vehicles appeared the crowd booed them. That was all. Today was not a time to be throwing stones. People were just honouring James Connolly and his starch-collared comrades. A policeman in a Land Rover announced over a loud-hailer that the gathering was illegal.

    Men spat on the ground. Children held up two fingers. It was pure routine. The British reiterated that the march was forbidden but they did nothing to stop it. Too many children, too many old people, too big a crowd to be dispersed by force. The vehicles moved off to the roar of diesel engines and the rattle of armour-plating. Just as I was turning my back to the street a huge clamour broke out. The crowd were loudly applauding something behind me which I could not see. Flags were being waved vigorously, men were punching the air, hundreds of children were screaming with delight.

    The first. He was the first. I would see others, many others, but he was the first. He was wearing a black beret, dark glasses, a black tie, a black jacket with a broad white belt, black trousers, a white shirt and white gloves. He was marching at the head of his company, some twenty men and women who, one behind the other, in threes, were going up the little street.

    Left, right, left! My fists were clenched, my eyes blurred, my mind blank. I was gazing at the joy, the laughter, the waving hands and this warlike march. I went with the flow. Were it not for the black uniforms and the hurried pace the crowd might have been greeting a carnival parade or a cycle race, or cheering a popular singer. Nothing conveyed the drama. The street had changed. The whole district. Behind the small troop the people lined up for the procession, in threes, like the secret army.

    Three long lines, without banners or slogans. Silence reigned. The crowd was stern, solid, proud and fair. When confronted by British armoured vehicles they had seemed so fragile with their brandished fists, childish insults and angry looks. But when the paramilitaries took the lead, they raised their heads high. On the pavements the children had stopped talking. I looked at them: they were motionless, staring open-mouthed at this wonderful present. Cathy and Jim had not arrived. Like hundreds of others they were waiting at the corner of their street to join the procession as it passed by.

    And even today, many years after that Sunday, I still feel a tingle running down my spine whenever I recall the ceremony repeated every twelve months to celebrate the seizure of the General Post Office in Dublin. The stubborn crowd moving up the Falls Road, joined in silence from every side street by many others, many, many others. He faced the IRA soldiers. Standing to attention, his hand raised, he ordered them to keep in line. Other men were there in the crowd, tense, caps and hoods pulled down over their eyes, standing in small groups and appearing to be on the look-out.

    I moved along the procession which was still stationary. In front of the company and its captain, four soldiers carried the colours of the Irish Republic. Seven large flags under the wind and rain. I was familiar with the first, green, white and orange, the national flag. I knew too those of the four provinces of Ireland. The red hand of Ulster, the three crowns of Munster, the golden harp of Leinster and the sword-brandishing arm of Connaught.

    Jim explained the other banners to me. Behind the IRA the former prisoners had taken up their places, hundreds of them, in threes. Women, men, people scarcely more than children, grey and white hairs. I knew some of them. They met up at the club to talk in low tones that became louder as the beer flowed. I stayed a long while in front of this sad humanity. In those ranks everyone had the. I lowered my eyes as I met theirs. There was something in them of the veils of mist that linger of a morning, something sad and weary.

    The women wore headscarves to cover their hair in the rain. I moved from one to the other. I was merely skimming past. A girl looked at me for a long time. Like the others she wore a crown of flowers. She made a gesture. A sign with her eyes to indicate that all would be well. That I was not to worry. War, poverty, prison, death.

    That you had to have confidence. I was crying. Neither the stinging sensation before tears start flowing, nor their streaming down my cheeks, nor their sad taste. I looked at those morose shadows, those muddy clothes, that untidy hair, those orphan mouths, those weary backs, those eyes deprived of sky. And I began to cry. I needed to. It was my way of cheering them on. I wiped my eyes on my sleeve. The crowd had moved forward. A slow, meandering shuffle between the low houses, the bricks, the sagging pavements, the walls and the walls.

    I got up on to a concrete block. The populace stretched as far as the eye could see. I thought of an impoverished army. Then I followed the procession on the pavement. Two helicopters hovered overhead, keeping an eye on our progress. Nobody spoke. They marched as one does, to the accompaniment of warlike fifes and drum. He was gathering a hundred or so women together in front of the memorial to the Republican dead. Cathy had joined them. Jim walked beside me between the leaning gravestones and the weeds. At close of day, when the Irish sky turns grey and black, when the wind, when the rain, when a sliver of sunlight cuts through the sooty clouds, it looks like a wasteland.

    A jumble of Celtic crosses, of brambles and muddy earth sloping down to the lowest part of town. I leaned against a granite angel. A man with a microphone was speaking of Dublin, of the seizure of the post office by the rebels, of the defeat of the uprising, of James Connolly wounded, shot seated on a chair on 12 May And of the others, the Republican leaders, dragged one by one to the stake in the yard of Kilmainham Prison. The five IRA soldiers clasped both hands together and raised them towards the sky. The women around me put their hands over their ears. Old men pulled their heads down between.

    I had never seen firearms being used. A shotgun, perhaps, but not a real weapon. The officer gave an order. The soldiers fired. Once, twice, three times. I saw the metal glinting in the palms of their white gloves. I jumped violently, and bit the inside of my cheek.

    At his command they suddenly opened their umbrellas. All together. A hundred outstretched umbrellas. Some help up to the sky, others held out like a screen. Cathy was opposite us. Her red umbrella held out in front of her hid her face. The IRA men left the line and hurried to join the women behind the umbrellas. Mothers pushing prams followed them. Under the clouds the helicopters hovered lower. The umbrellas closed. The Republican soldiers had vanished.

    In the midst of the pushchairs and laughing women there were only local people. No guns. No uniforms. A father pushing a pram. Three friends ribbing each other. An old grump putting his cap back on. A couple clinging to each other as if leaving the pub. And the crowd around them moving back to the cemetery railings which had gobbled them up, hidden them, and then taken them back, one by one.

    Waking up the day after. Walking in the street, this April Looking at the sky for no reason. Bumping into others who did not know. I was different. I had another self. I had another world, another life, other hopes. I had a taste of bricks, a taste of war, a taste of sadness and of anger too. I left useless music so as to play only that of my new country. I started to read. Everything about Ireland.

    Only about Ireland. I searched for the name in newspapers, books, I read it on lips, in eyes, everywhere. I died my hair green. I discovered the penal laws, the Great Famine, Home Rule. I read in English about the war of independence, the civil war, the war in the North. Synge, Swift. I tried to read Joyce. I cut out a poem by W.

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    I stuck it on the wall of my workshop, next to James Connolly. Downhearted with this birth, Adolf Hitler committed suicide shortly afterwards. An actor, distinguished translator from English, with a preference for contemporary American writers, and author of ten novels published by Le Mercure de France, his packed life will seem too short to him. In eight short stories, Pierre Charras stands out as a refiner of catastrophes and distiller of chaos, in slight and irremediable doses. Or a gulch of sludge.

    Our world is rotten, and his pen seeks out such moments of rupture. Deceptively, it is just such deceptions that skewer us. Welcome to the world of Charras, the great sharpener of malaises, king of disillusions, and layer of the landmine in the sandpit. During the bus trip, niggling worries flutter around his head like dead leaves. The closure of Le Balto for building work. A sudden shower making its terrace unusable. The layout of the tables having changed because of a whim of the boss. Or else? Quite simply the disappearance of Le Balto, why not?

    He would then have to improvise. Is it possible to improvise a copy of such a situation? He feels afraid. With the fear of a tenor when the orchestra strikes up the overture, and the stage-lights are already gleaming beyond the curtains. No, as usual, all will be well. In the sunlight, Le Balto is still set there as the backdrop to thousands of daily dramas. To make him give up. To make him go. He imagines that this stranger might become threatening or dangerous.

    Who knows, he might produce a knife and plunge it into his heart? You read of such things in the newspapers. But it has to be admitted that such a thing is more than he could hope for. But there could be nothing worse than. So, why wait? He might as well sort the situation out at once. Later on, he may feel nervy, whereas right now he could adopt a polite tone … I mean really, what difference would it make if this person wrote on a different table rather than this one?

    A story which I would certainly write myself, if only I knew how to set about it. He leans over. But the man has already raised his head. He stands up. He leaves. Its splashing partly conceals the exit of the metro, just opposite. He can see it, but through a haze. He misses the flowers. With a bit of luck, they would have been yellow, like the ones seventeen years ago.

    Never mind. He gradually feels that familiar void, that absence, open up inside him.

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    That terrifying hope for approaching happiness. That apprehension of a beginning. But that day, it was a real date. Even more … How to put it? Well, not exactly. And, at that very moment, instead of being thrilled at the idea of possessing her, he suddenly felt scared of losing her. Nor her precise address. He felt a sort of dark premonition. Then he shook himself. He went down to buy some flowers. By his home at that time. He took the necessary time to pick the ideal place to see Laure when she would appear, lifted up from the earth by the escalator of the metro.

    He practised examining the heads that appeared in groups, after each train, every three or four minutes. And he knew that just the sight of her mop of black hair, right there, on the other side of the yellow flowers, would make a thud in his chest. So, he would start to read his newspaper. He would let her cross the square, approach, say his name, or sit down in silence beside him before raising his eyes and smiling quietly. His only fear was that the noise of the ceaseless traffic that Saturday afternoon would not be enough to drown out his heart beat. He would also have to kiss her without showing too much impatience, even though kissing her already was his only thought.

    That day, his greatest enemy had seemed his impatience. Even when he would get Laure home at last, he would still have to appear calm and reassuring. But he would need to be so reassured himself. She was still young, or nearly. Did he in fact have enough experience of women to be able to convince her without putting her off? Suddenly, he had his doubts. It was such a lovely day. Would he in fact feel such an imperious desire?

    Little by little, he built up short scenarios in which his failure began to seem more and more dreadful. He felt his body become heavier as if something from the spirit world had just rushed into him, adding its weight, with a density that took his breath away. Heads continued to appear, in bouquets, beyond the flowers. Twenty minutes later, Laure was no longer late but quite simply absent. His simple desire was to possess her as his mistress right then.

    A sort of rage bit obstinately into his calmness. When there was nothing left, he noticed that his hope had also been devoured. He was already no longer waiting for her and, under the apparently ironic gaze of the waiter who came over to renew his order, he convinced himself that she would not be coming. But his entire life was made up of such petty meanness, which would have ended up appalling Laure.

    She had in fact never really had the intention of coming to his place. This let down had been horribly calculating. She must have. With someone else, perhaps? Then, one day, quite simply forget her. It took him nearly a week to master his anger, his pique and all those sharp, prickly feelings that had built up around his love. He tried to convince himself that once freed of its protective shell, that this love would soon evaporate.

    But the opposite happened. Those days of rancour had purified his memories of Laure until they became as hard and as sharp as a diamond. He dredged his memory for the street name she had once mentioned to him. He set off to explore. He felt strong enough to conduct a long investigation.

    But his adventure ended as soon as it began. On coming out of the metro, he went quite by chance into a bakery, just because he had to start somewhere. He started describing Laure, trying to be as objective way as possible. Yes, I know who you mean. So what do you want to know about her? The woman looked at him for a moment. She suddenly seemed more hesitant. And your date was last Saturday? She apparently thought this over for a while, before looking down and muttering: Come with me.

    Just sorry. She lives on the corner of the street. He often felt amazed at having survived that day. He marvelled at the fact that he still managed to laugh, that he did not want a life that was different from his, that he could be happy. At first, for a long time, he avoided the neighbourhood. But for the past ten, or eleven, or nine years, he has no idea anymore, he has been incapable of stopping himself from coming back to this square, on the anniversary of his failed date with Laure.

    He stays there motionless, for a few hours, looking for her among the people that crop up like flowers on the opposite pavement. He waits for something. A miracle. He buys a bouquet of flowers. He opens the door of the flat. When he hands her the flowers, Laure smiles at him from the armchair. But sometimes he has the impression that she knows. She obviously prefers to leave the initiative to him. Whatever happens, he could never suggest such a thing.

    She might take it as a reproach. All he wants to do is wait. To grant himself an instant of folly. To make that tram go backwards. Seventeen years ago, he was staring with all the hope in the world. And it is just now that his hope is so hard to hold together. But he still runs towards it. A group has just blossomed, over there, beyond the fountain. Then split apart. Another group has appeared. He looks at the heads of hair and, suddenly, gets to his feet, as though lassoed by a wild horseman. She looks around, raises a hand then sets off, with that obstinate gait of a puppet.

    It will take her a long time to walk round the square. He sways from one foot to the other like a child being handed a present. He waves an arm. He laughs. And yet tears are. He waits. Point her out. Make them laugh with him. And cry. But, in the end, what would be the point? The fucking cretins would probably just see a cripple. Pierre Charras.

    A sleeper agent, he has long since lost contact with the world of espionage when a coded postcard summons him to be in front of a specific painting in a wellknown museum, on a specific day at a specific time. There, he finds his former superior, Premrose Troper, waiting for him, and is given a mission the implications of which he finds hard to comprehend: to locate and bring back, as discreetly as possible,.

    A tense, funny, dazzling novel. Chapter 1 Calling the tune, the croupier cuts the cards, places them in the shoe, and reminds the players from time to time of the rules of the game. So to contact Travis they used an old ploy, hoping that he would understand, or rather that he would remember. You send a postcard showing a famous painting and a fanciful date: for example, a young girl by Greuze and December 11th The person who receives it knows that he has to be in Room xvii of the Louvre on the 11th of the following month, at twelve noon.

    Aunt Irma. He wondered who had chosen it. That would be just like Troper. He always put a personal slant on whatever he did for the service. He very nearly threw the postcard away, but then set off obediently for the museum in Hadley Street. There was never anyone there, in what had once been the private residence of a rich tea merchant: Travis remembered it as a microcosm of everything money can buy. He bought a ticket, turned right, and stopped in front of a ceremonial bed which had been used by Napoleon. The bed seemed very small. The kind of man mentioned in the situations vacant columns of the newspapers.

    A lot of people like the Water Lilies. But Postwhite did not rise to the bait. He looked at his watch, turned to the main staircase, and gestured to Travis to follow him. They walked past tapestries which no one ever looked at. Postwhite took out a map, and realised he was holding it upside down. Together they managed to find Room A man was standing at the door.

    The man opened the door to them, then closed it again carefully. They were in what could have been a conference room or a trade union office: Travis opted for the union office. There was a small poster advertising a holiday in the Maldives for seven hundred pounds, provided the reservation was made by January 5th. The thick blinds which stop the sun from damaging the works of art in places like this had been carefully drawn, and the indirect lighting made all the faces.

    Troper was the third man on the right. He was wearing his usual light-coloured suit and pastel tie: everything perfectly in place. Had he ever known it? It had to be a thrusting kind of name, like Harry or Patrick.

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    And his neighbour, from Operations. The other two could have been anyone. None of them looked like a museum director. Premrose did tell us that, but, well, there are always imponderables. Travis looked at Troper, who blushed. He remembered now: Premrose Troper. Silence ensued, as if they were not sure of their roles.

    You must still have the old spirit, eh? What could he have said anyway? That the world had become a bit too complicated for him? The Americans will never agree to it. We agreed on a Temporary. No further. About the details of the mission, I mean. Man to man, you might say. The fat fellow must be here to make up the numbers. The assistant who raises objections at the right moment, I suppose. Old loyalties and all that. In my opinion, the best way to understand human nature is in what ties us to the past.

    On the whole, they felt proud and happy that Travis had agreed, the fat silent man most of all. In the old days, Travis thought, we would all have had a drink: they always used to give their instructions over a drink, as if they were anxious to observe an age-old ritual. Even in places like this, they made sure the traditions were maintained. They kept up appearences. No drinks, he thought, but headlines. Troper, he also thought, must be delighted. Troper gave a shrug and looked at his watch.

    The first of these movements meant that he was relieved that the Chief was out of the way, and the second that he had a lunch appointment with one of his important contacts in the. His knowledge of restaurants was restricted to Piccadilly: he had the feeling that if he got too far away he would lose sight of the future for what might turn out to be the crucial five minutes. The fact is, this is a strictly internal matter.

    We thought an old friend would be the right person for the job. Travis felt as though a kind of mist was creeping up to his waist. A big store, for example, the household linen department, the electrical goods department, the cafeteria, the underground car park: everything in its place, and Troper patrolling the aisles. It had served him well in his profession but he could not completely conceal his emotions: a particular scene manifested itself on his face without anyone being able to define it precisely.

    The truth was rather different: his reflexes had been aroused, and he was waiting to see how Troper was going to tackle this. Travis knew that for Troper friendship was synonymous with efficiency. He had also spoken in the past tense. You know how it is. Always moving around. Travis was certain it was not meant for him, but for Dearlove. You could hardly do without him. You must have been green with envy before you retired him. People were still consulting him behind your back and all you could do was sign his expense claims.

    Completely against the rules. Things have changed a lot, you know. No firebrands, no prima donnas. But Dearlove … well, he does whatever he pleases, damn it! He might have been trying to gain time, but a shrewd observer would have said he was simply trying to satisfy his curiosity.

    A remarkable character. Exceptional record. An incredible career, as I was saying to the Director only this morning. In my day, there was a mysterious classification, called Orion, I think. This issue includes "Milton's synopsis of each book "the Arguments" of Books , his defense of "the Verse," and a list of errata, adding sixteen pages of preliminary matter to the book. Simmons's note to the reader states that he had procured this explanation from Milton because readers of the poem had "stumbled" on first encountering it, asking "why the Poem Rimes not.

    His chosen meter, although no longer fashionable by , was the dominant mode of Shakespeare's plays and is the closest to the natural rhythms of English speech. Samuel Johnson later commented sarcastically that, "finding blank verse easier than rhyme, [Milton] was desirous of persuading himself that it is better. Shelved Dupont Bookstore. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 2. Folio, pp. Healey's rendering of the Latin is loose but competent, and his rhyming verse translations of the Latin poetry quoted in text and commentary are quite attractive He undertook the project at the instigation of William Crashaw' Oxford DNB , father of the poet, who would later revise the text for the second edition The apparatus is translated from that of Juan Luis Vives, who had dedicated the first edition of his commentary to Henry VIII Henry's letter to Vives and Vives's reply are part of the preliminary matter here.

    Healey had travelled through Europe in , where he embraced the Catholic Church before returning to England as tutor to the children of the recusant Carnaby family in Northumberland. The latter was dedicated to the Earl of Pembroke through the influence of another great translator, John Florio. A year later his 'magnum opus', Of the Citie of God, was also dedicated to Pembroke. The dedication, by Thomas Thorpe, speaks of Healey as 'your late imaginary, but now actuall Travailer, then to most-conceited Viraginia [one of the lands in Mundus alter et idem], now to almost-concealed Virginia'.

    This has often been mis-interpreted to suggest that Healey had died during printing; he seems in fact to have lived until around , though his time in Virginia, if any, must have been so brief as to avoid record. Language: English. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 3.

    About this Item: Printed by William Hunt, Small 4to. Elaborate allegorical engraved half-title by T. Cross, engraved frontispiece portrait of the author by W. Faithorne, title within woodcut border, numerous woodcuts throughout and the added leaf with woodcuts on verso and recto after p. Elegantly bound in antique-styled full dark chocolate brown blind-stamped morocco, raised-bands, simple gilt-stamped spine title, all edges yellow with black-speckling. Second and best edition, the first illustrated. The work was originally issued in in 12mo and with pages.

    Bulwer treats in this fascinating account, the whole human body and its various parts, by different nations, both in ancient and modern times, stressing the deformities and freaks both natural and artificial. Bulwer discusses the curious fashions in hair, heads describing artificially produced square heads, long heads, round heads, dog heads , headdress, foreheads, "eyebrown rites," eyes, noses long, shovel-shaped, or even lacking a nose , ears, "mouth fashions and oral monstrosities," lips lip-rings, lip-spikes, etc.

    There is an interesting chapter about "Strange inventive contradictions against Nature, practically maintained by diverse Nations in the ordering of their Privie parts," descriptions of various circumcision rites men and women. The moral agenda is uppermost in this work, with a pronounced emphasis on the natural as morally superior to the artificial. Those "New World" inhabitants are discussed at length.

    Among the monstrosities described are giants, dwarves, and two-headed people. Bulwer's approach to the monstrous body echoes the themes of the polemical literature of the time in Europe, especially with its studies on the head. A large section, including 15 of the 23 sections of the text, are concerned with deformations or modifications to the head or face. They are being judged by Nature, Adam and Eve and a body of disapproving magistrates including the ghost of Galen for transforming their bodies, while the devil flies above them laughing and saying, "In the image of God created he them!

    But I have new-molded them to my likeness. Bulwer , English physician and early Baconian natural philosopher, resided in London, is best known for his work on the methods for communicating knowledge to the deaf and dumb. Osler notes the priority of Bulwer over Wallis in this regard. He continued to work and live in London until his death in October Although information about his education is unclear, he was probably educated in Oxford no degree in the s, and later, between and , acquired a Medicinae Doctor M.

    In he married a woman known only as the "Widow of Middleton. Later in life Bulwer would adopt a girl named Chirothea Johnson, and, as he states in his will "bred her up from a child as my own. Not in Sabin. See: Elizabeth P. Archibald, Ask the Past: Pertinent and Impertinent Advice from Yesteryear, Hachette, mentioning "how to cure pimples; how to groom your eyebrows; how to grow a beard, etc.

    Peter G. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 4. Vendeur : Bromer Booksellers, Inc. About this Item: Henry Rhodes, London, Octavo, viii , , iv , , ii. Engraved frontispiece by F. First complete edition in English, translated by Archibald Lovell. Cyrano was influenced by the revolutionary ideas of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. He created utopian societies to illustrate the satirical points of his political treatise. Several of these fantasy societies were to influence Swift fifty years later.

    One of the more remarkable passages in the book appears on pages of Part One, in which Cyrano describes a machine which seems virtually identical to an iPod: "It was a Book, indeed; but a Strange and Wonderful Book, that had neither Leaves nor Letters: In fine, it was a Book, made wholly for the Ears, and not the Eyes. So that when any Body has a mind to read in it, he winds up that Machine, with a great many little Springs; then he turns the Hand to the Chapter which he desires to hear, and straight, as from the Mouth of a Man, or a musical Instrument, proceed all the distinct and different Sounds.

    The binding has been skillfully rebacked, preserving the original spine. Contemporary owner's signature on front free endpaper; bookplate to front paste-down. One of the most important precursors to the science fiction canon. Barron ; Wing C Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 5.

    About this Item: Antoine de Sommaville, Couverture rigide. Etat : Bon. Tchemerzine, V, Tchemerzine mentionne un portrait de Baro pour le volume V absent ici comme dans d'autres exemplaires. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 6. About this Item: Ioannem Ianssonium , Arnhem, Five parts in one volume.

    Text in Latin. Contemporary full brown calf with five raised bands, gold lettering and gold decorations on the spine, edges stained red, marbled pastedown endpapers. Leaves measure 27 x Calf shows some wear but overall in very good condition, the corner of one leaf is torn. The book was professionally restored. There are many differences between copies of this title which differ in number of plates included.

    Unless otherwise specified the title pages, etc. Title page blank on verso ; ii. Epigramma blank on verso. Chamelaea laureola with engraved garden on verso; ii. BOOK V. Title page with Ad Lectorem on verso; ii. Engraved plate Cognoscite Lilia; iii. IV, No. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 7.

    Etat : Very Good. First edition in English. And the plot, characters, settings, themes, costumes, and stage dressing used in the novels, plays, and movies that have created and fed that imagination are in large part derived, directly or indirectly, from the work offered here - a work that is also regarded by historians, although not uncritically, as an important sourcebook for the field now known as Atlantic history.

    Exquemelin's book is so packed with detail about the lives and customs of the buccaneers that it is not surprising that it proved popular" David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates. The frequent reprints of this work in the late seventeenth century attest to its influence and popularity. It is, of course, the English-language editions, starting from the one offered here, that have left their mark on the Anglo-American literature, drama, and cinema of piracy.

    Interestingly, the first two English editions were the subject of a libel trial brought by Henry Morgan, "a Welshman whose exploits on the Spanish Main became legendary. Whether Morgan was a pirate, a corsair, or a privateer is a matter of debate. The matter was settled out of court. On Alexander Oliver Exquemelin: "While our knowledge of Exquemelin's life is almost entirely limited to what he tells us in the narrative itself, the autobiographical narrative contained therein is gripping for its commentary on life at the edge of empire.

    Exquemelin left Europe for the Caribbean in as an indentured servant of the French West India Company, likely hoping to establish himself as a colonial planter or trader upon the expiration of his term. The collapse of the company ended those hopes and sent Exquemelin into the hands of a number of abusive pirate masters before his was able to purchase his freedom in Once he had gained his freedom, Exquemelin joined the buccaneer settlement at Tortuga, where he enlisted as a barber-surgeon and accompanied the buccaneers on numerous raids from " Payton.

    It is this first-hand knowledge that lends authority and color to Exquemelin's narrative. As stated by the unnamed tr. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 8. About this Item: Utrecht Johannes Waesberg, A collection of three influential imaginary voyages and works of utopian fiction, here first collected together: Mundus Alter et Idem by Joseph Hall in its third edition - first published in ; Civitas Solis, Ida Republic Philosophic by Thomas Campanella in its second edition - first published in ; and Nova Atlantis by Francis Bacon in its second edition - first published in Hall's work is the earliest utopia set in Terra Australis, and Campanella's City of the Sun and Bacon's New Atlantis were two of the most reprinted often together with More's Utopia and Harrington's Oceana of all the seventeenth century works on the ideal republic.

    The narrator of Mundus Alter et Idem sails in the Fantasia to the Southern Seas where he visits the strange lands of Carpulia, Viraginia, Moronia and Lavernia, countries populated by gluttons, nags, fools and thieves. The satirical depicition of London is thought to have provided Jonathan Swift with ideas for Gulliver's Travels and an early note to the front free endpaper reads: 'The first of these curious compositions is a pleasant invective against the characteristic vices of various nations, from which it is said Swift borrowed the idea of Gulliver's Travels'.

    Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 9. Vendeur : Sokol Books Ltd. Soft cover. Etat : Good. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut initials head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments. Age yellowing, some minor spotting in places, the odd marginal stain or mark, small worm trail at gutter of a few quires, just touching a few letters. A good, unsophisticated copy in contemporary speckled calf, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, red morocco label gilt lettered, a.

    Rare fourth edition of this most influential and popular first translation into French of the Exemplary Novels by Cervantes, with the dedication replaced with an interesting letter to the reader in which it is claimed that the work, in this edition, has been corrected by quel que homme qui en fust capable , as previous editions were so full of errors, almost to make the work nonsensical. These novels by Cervantes, alone would have given the author the foremost place among Spanish novelists; the twelve tales in the volume, contain some of the writer's best work.

    It is in the 'Novelas exemplares' that the chivalric tale of the Middle Ages is transformed into the modern novel, and the whole concept, manner of composition and style was Cervantes' invention. Cervantes claimed in his foreword to have been the first to write novelas in the Spanish language. Cervantes s influence on seventeenth-century European prose fiction was unique and exemplary. His writing was a catalyst, perhaps even paradigmatic, in the formation of the republic of letters itself.

    After publication, his stories were taken up, both within and beyond Spain, with unprecedented rapidity for works of vernacular prose fiction. I Palau y Dulcet C17, Brunet or Graesse. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur Lovell, A. Translator illustrateur. Comical History of the States and Empires. Very old binding tape repair to front and back hinges. Repaired title page closed tear to upper corner, repaired page 'A 2' closed tear to upper portion.

    Owners pencilings and an older owner's inked note to the front endpapers. In two parts. Full contemporary leather. No title to the binding. Published posthumously. From the collection of Barry R. Levin, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. About this Item: T. Small quarto, four parts in one volume part 4 with separate pagination , engraved frontispiece by J.

    Luiken dated and 16 plates repairs to tears in two plates, one with insubstantial loss at bottom corner ; a few upper margins a little short but a very good copy in full vellum antique. Very rare, the first fully illustrated edition of this seventeenth-century imaginary voyage to western Australia, based on the story of the wreck of the VOC ship Vergulde Draeck in The plates are thus early - if imaginary - depictions of the Australian coast, and include two coastal scenes depicting the first meeting with the local population, the Australian court, and the fabulous fauna.

    The importance of the detailed and inventive illustrations has been overlooked: after the various editions of Pelsaert, this is the second major work to depict life and conditions on the Australian mainland, however fancifully. This work also has an important connection with Vlamingh's exceedingly rare Journaal wegens de Voyagie of , as Vlamingh's very real voyage to Australia in only made it separately into print as a companion volume to the second Dutch edition of this imaginary work.

    The story is based on the wreck of the Vergulde Draeck, which ran aground on the coast north of modern-day Perth. Seventy-five of the crew and passengers made it ashore. The captain Pieter Albertsz despatched a crew of seven in a small boat to Batavia and a rescue expedition was mounted, but found no trace of the survivors; the possibility that some of the crew survived on mainland Australia was an enticing fiction.

    Vairasse openly used this real-life voyage as the model for his own, having the similarly named Goude Draak wreck in western Australia the same year as its namesake. After the ship founders, some seventy-four women and three hundred and seven men survive on the barren shore, from whence they journey to the land of the Sevarambes, an Australian utopia. The work, which also borrows features from the wreck of the Batavia, is one of the most important imaginary voyages to Terra Australis, and is cited as a direct influence on Swift.

    The book thus forms an important link in the long history of seventeenth-century Dutch exploration of the west Australian coast, not least because it dates from a time when the lines between imaginary and real voyages were blurred. This Dutch edition was translated by Gerard van Broekhuizen the same year as the French collected edition, and seemingly based on the French text.

    Guignard Vendeur : Roger Middleton P. Oxford, Royaume-Uni. Guignard, Hinges rubbed, small neat repair to top of upper hinge, pale browning and spotting to many pages, otherwise a very good copy. About this Item: Paris, Joseph Cotterau, First edition, rare, a loose translation by Antonio de Melo of the burlesque Della compagnia de Tagliacantoni , by Tommaso Buoni. Here Melo has extended Buoni's Italian original by six chapters and relocated the company from northern Italy to 'Arabia desierta'. A list of thirty-two adjectives to describe the company 'tremenda terrible elefantina diabolica' prefaces the work; the rules cover clothing, arms, mode of speech, even how to sleep naked, on a hard surface.

    A most respectable, unrestored first edition in English and French, bound in original leather with five raised bands, title printed in red and black, illustrated with ornamental woodcut headpieces and initials. Boards rubbed, spine and edges with areas of erosion, limited water staining to margins. Lacking rare frontispiece portraits and final blank page, all other pages present and intact. Misprinted page numbers and for and Rare in any condition, particularly when unrestored; French apothecary and reputed seer Michel de Nostredame December July issued his Les Propheties originally in and gained world-wide fame.

    About this Item: London, William Crook, Etat : Muy bien. Retrato, 2 grabados a toda plana y 3 vistas plegadas, todos grabados al cobre. Pergamino del siglo XX, lomo liso, tejuelo rojo. Perhaps no book in any language was ever the parent of so many imitations, and the source of so many fictions as this [Sabin] Exquemelin s book gives a very reliable account of the principal exploits of the buccaneers down to their final disappearence, with the notable exception of their adventures in the South Sea, of which he makes no mention.

    John Milton, Paradise lost. Blonnt" to title, some light waterstaining to upper edges, contemporary calf, stained black, scuffed, rebacked in modern morocco, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, folio [Wing M]. Streater for Livewell Chapman, London About this Item: J. Streater for Livewell Chapman, London, Full Calf. London: J. Streater for Livewell Chapman. Very Good. Condition: Very Good. Rebacked mid-nineteenth century in morocco; front hinge cracked.

    Queer but continuous collation: [xii], , [blank], ,[] [blank]. Occasional scholia in a light pen; general browning of the text; fore-edge corners bumped; general wear to boards. Nonetheless a handsome copy. A copy of the Commonwealth was bought by Thomas Jefferson prior to his departure for France. Kevin Hayes The Road to Monticello calls it the most important book Jefferson bought from the famous Byrd library for the formation of his political thought. Modest heraldic bookplate of William Ford.

    Geraldo da Vinha], [i. Vendeur : Richard C. Large woodcut vignette on title page. Woodcut and factotum initials. Small typographical vignette at bottom of fourth unnumbered preliminary leaf. Typographical headpiece on leaf 1 recto, Large typographical vignette on verso of final leaf. Dampstains throughout, mostly light, but somewhat darker in a few leaves. Occasional minor soiling. Final quire coming loose. Small irregular piece of about 1 cm. Paper flaw or small tear of ca.

    Despite all these faults, still in good, honest, unsophisticated condition, much better than either of the two copies in the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. Occasional old [contemporary? Mid-nineteenth-century blue and white paper label pasted on near head of spine with number "" [a shelf location? Leaf I6 wrongly signed I4. Leaf 25 wrongly numbered 52; 65 wrongly numbered 56; 86 wrongly numbered 73; 87 wrongly numbered 78; 98 wrongly numbered 89; wrongly numbered It was published at least four times in the seventeenth century, once in the eighteenth and several times in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    The second edition, Lisbon: Vicente Alvarez, , is even rarer than the first. None of the early editions are common. The second leaf, with licenses, is in Portuguese. The rest of the book is entirely in Spanish. There is evidence that he had been sentenced to eight years in the galleys previous to January 1, , and that the penalty had been commuted, but the nature of his offense is not stated.

    His novels, though written in a ponderous, affected style, display considerable imagination and insight into character. According to Ward, "His achievement was to blend courtly and picaresque elements into a genre which reacted against the more sordid situations then popular in fiction. His best works are the semi-autobiographical.