Sylva : A novel by Vercors ; Translated from the French by Rita Barisse ~Jean Marcel Bruller
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1962. Hardcover. 256 pages ; 21 cm. $4.00 dust jacket. Lots of rips and tears to jacket edges. Pages are age toned. Binding is firm. No markings within book.
SYLVA : A NOVEL BY VERCORS
In Sylva, Vercors has created as appealing and beguiling a heroine as can be found in contemporary fiction—and in this bizarre, sophisticated, fantastic, evocative, wonderfully charming book which bears her name, he has written a novel to be placed beside his internationally famous Silence of the Sea and You Shall Know Them.
Vercors, a name first known during the Resistance, is the pseudonym of Jean Briiller, artist and author, who, during World War II, founded the French publishing house Les Editions de Minuit, and himself contributed a number of works to the literature of the Resistance, the most famous being his short classic, Silence of the Sea. His full-length novel, You Shall Know Them, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in the United States, further enhanced his international reputation, as have a number of more recent works of fiction and non-fiction.
RITA BARISSE, Sylva's translator, is in reality Madame Briiller, and has rendered a number of well-known French books (including all of her husband's) into English.
Advance notices for SYLVA
"Vercors' best book since Silence of the Sea. . . . One can see in Sylva an image of humanity, and her adventure is thus an abridgment of human history since the age of the caveman. One also sees " in her a new Galatea, and thus the theme of the sculptor in love with his work. One can find in the novel, if one wishes, a satire on psychoanalysis, and is it not also a hymn to the glory of the senses, rid of all intellectual and social impedimenta? It is that also. But it is much more and much less; it is quite simply a charming love story." —Arts
"It has much charm. Vercors is a skillful renovator of the fable and a master at blending moral and fantastic elements in a purely written tale. Sylva is one of his most deft and most ingeniously suggestive productions." —HENRI PEYRE
"Is it Vercors' chef-d'oeuvre? Perhaps. Sylva is, in any case, along with You Shall Know Them which is in the same vein, his most representative work. With such ease does his ingenuity take us— and at such speed—with such skill does he build his arabesques around his theme! . . . People will be reminded of Voltaire, of Swift, of The Revolt of the Angels." —Les Lettres Frangaises
"As soon as one accepts the fiction of this philosophical tale, in which Vercors rediscovers the vein of You Shall Know Them, one is carried along by its charm ... for its charm lies in the story, and in the art of the storyteller. As extraordinary as the story may be, Vercors contrives to interest us in it for its own sake, and in this book it is the fable that I love, even more than its significance . . . and above all this adorable long-legged, almond-eyed girl, half-animal, half-woman . . ." — Le Monde
"Vercors' writing is crystalline, pitilessly pure and fragile like the wild water of a forest stream. His novel, based on the fantastic story of a fox changed into a woman, touches from the beginning something exquisitely sad and sweet in the bottom of the soul, and the fascination one feels throughout in reading his book must be related to that charming deadly nostalgia which enchains sailors who fall in love with sirens, sirens who themselves are halfway between human and animal state." —Le Canard
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