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The Unsaddled (The French List)

The Unsaddled (The French List)

Current price: $24.50
Publication Date: November 10th, 2023
Seagull Books
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Feb 27 5:58pm
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A captivating and wide-ranging interpretation of accidental dismounting.
In Pascal Quignard’s writing, philology hunts for wild game in a dark forest. The Unsaddled, which features horses as its central figure, is no exception. Taking off from puns, multifarious imagery, and metaphorical meanings—“to be baffled,” “to be thrown”—that the book’s title provides, Quignard focuses on life-changing moments. We meet George Sand (whose father died after being thrown from his horse), Saint Paul, Abelard, Agrippa d’Aubigné, and countless other writers, philosophers, theologians, or kings who fell off their horses—not to forget Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was knocked over by a dog. Being “unsaddled” can also be associated, as Quignard shows in regard to Nietzsche, with an “overturning” of values. Scenes of war, hunting, “fleeing” or sexuality—“When lovers have a horse ride, they gallop in another world”—come before our eyes, each time from those unsettling vantage points that Quignard knows how to find. As ever, he ranges far and wide in his intense quest, taking examples from across human history, from the neolithic age to his own childhood memories of postwar Le Havre in northern France.

About the Author

Pascal Quignard is the author of more than sixty titles and is widely regarded as one of the foremost literary French writers today. In 2002, he won France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, with The Roving Shadows, the first work of nonfiction to win the prize.

John Taylor has translated several French writers and poets into English. He is the author of several books, including the three-volume essay collection Paths to Contemporary French Literature, as well as The Apocalypse Tapestries and If Night Is Falling.