Item description for Island of the Dead (Green Integer Books:) by Cole Swensen Jean Frmon...
The various characters that inhabit Paris's Jardin des Plantes share their researches and knowledge with one another, just as they share petty jealousies, admirations, and dislikes of one another. Through the eye of the unnamed narrator, Frmon creates a world of what often seems like random bits of knowledge but is, in fact, an interconnecting skein of ideas-philosophical, scientific, religious, and literary-that questions and searches out the meaning of everyday life and, just as importantly, how each of us experience it. Or, do we experience it? Are we each lost in our own conception of things? With wit, humor and a profound sense of intellectual curiosity, Frmon explores just these issues.
Director of the famed art gallery, Galerie DeLong in Paris, Jean Frmon is the author of numerous works, including Le jardin botanique (The Botanical Garden), L'Exhibitionnisme et sa pudeur, and, in English, Painting and Proustiennes.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.06" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2002
Publisher Green Integer
ISBN 193124331X ISBN13 9781931243315
Reviews - What do customers think about Island of the Dead (Green Integer Books:)?
Ironic and moving May 1, 2003
I like books that count on the reader's intelligence and here's one. Many stories intersect along the pages, but as the author rather focuses on the traces left by events in the narrator's mind than on events themselves, the book reaches beyond the sum of its tales to undertake a meaningful questioning of reality's status, i.e. the notions which support our sense of identity and allow us to interact with the world. Of course the narrator, curator in Paris's Jardin des Plantes, is a good "no action heroe" and so doomed to search life's touchstone in the archives of knowledge -often as dusty as amazing! And one of his most enjoyable features is that he hardly states directly what he feels-confusion, love, boredom, jealousy, desire, fear, disgust. Instead he lets the reader recover and develop this emotions through his notes on natural curiosities -the mammal's sexual behavior, the birds's ability to imitate one another, the plant's properties and sensitive reactions- and his comments on human artifacts: music, art, literature. As the reading goes on, all this loose facts weave a very personal causality and thus a true novel -ironic and moving- takes shape in each reader's mind.
A rare delight Apr 22, 2003
Subtle, ironic, sharp, tender, philosophical, funny, intelligent, melancholic... this novel is a rare delight. The ghosts and the living, irrevocably intertwined inside a Natural History Museum, show us everything we long for, everything we flee from. With delicacy and wit, Frémon explores our intimate relationship with art, literature, music and, above all, with our own emotions, to make us rediscover our being in the world.