Paris: Gallimard, .
First edition, one of 210 copies on velin pur fil Navarre (numbered 31-230, this being no. 214). 398,  pp. 1 vols. 8vo. His Most Celebrated Novel. Original printed wrappers. Fine copy Item #345678
Giono’s most celebrated novel, Le Hussard sur le toit [The Horseman on the Roof], is set in the aftermath of the revolutions of 1830 and follows the life of Angelo Pardi, who is pursued by Austrian agents afterr fleeing Italy for southern France in the midst of a cholera epidemic.
The Horseman on the Roof is, writes Edmund White “anything but a harrowing or even gloomy novel. Though there are painful scenes of disease and death, the feeling one comes away with is of lightness, giddiness, pure pleasure. What becomes clear is that, contrary to Aristotle, metaphors that compare one dreary or frightening thing to another can have a dulling effect, whereas those that are striking, powerful, and vivifying contradict the spirit, while echoing the material reality, of what they are illustrating. Giono’s brilliant Horseman on the Roof is a perfect illustration of this paradox”.
Le Hussard sur le toit was filmed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez, and released in 1995.
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