The Shape of a City

The Shape of a City

by Julien Gracq


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Julien Gracq, the most important writer in France, is also the only living writer whose complete works appear in a volume of the prestigious Pleiades editions. The most original of his later works is this book about Nantes, which is Gracq’s personal and profound response to Proust’s synthesis of memory, reverie, and realism.

The work begins with a quote from Baudelaire: “The shape of a city, as we all know, changes more quickly than the mortal heart.” The author writes of a child’s experience of the hierarchy of urban spaces: the radial avenues walked during school recreation periods, the districts between the axes, and the relationship to Nantes of those who lived there, including Breton and Rimbaud.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781885586391
Publisher: Turtle Point Press
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Julien Gracq (1910-2007), born Louis Poirier in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, was one of the greatest French writers of the twentieth century. His work included essays, criticism, fiction and journalism. He won but refused the Prix Goncourt in 1951 for his novel Le Rivage des Syrtes (The Opposing Shore). This retiring and misunderstood figure said he wrote "to settle a score with expression itself, to give form, stability, precision to things that are vague in the mind."

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