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Occupation Journal by Jean Giono
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Occupation Journal

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Occupation Journal by Jean Giono
Paperback $18.00
Mar 20, 2020 | ISBN 9781939810564

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  • Mar 20, 2020 | ISBN 9781939810564

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  • Apr 21, 2020 | ISBN 9781939810571

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“For Giono, literature and reality overlap the way that waves sweep over the shore, one ceaselessly refreshing the other and, in certain wondrous moments, giving it a glassy clearness.”–Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic

“Giono’s voice is the voice of the realist; his accents are the accents of simplicity, power and a passionate feeling for a land and a people that he must love as well as understand.”–The New York Times

“The journal gives a vivid sense of the French countryside during the war years, the physical beauty of Provence moving through the seasons, contrasted with the fears and unease of occupation. Giono himself, erudite, questioning, refusing to allow himself to be buffeted by the opinions of others or steered off a course he personally felt to be morally right, comes across as courageous and decent, a writer who fell just on the wrong side of the enduring French debate about les années noires, but who lived to see himself recognized as one of the finest writers on the natural world.” — Caroline Moorehead, Times Literary Supplement

“Jean Giono’s Occupation Journal is a fascinating record of life under Nazi occupation in France, and an insight into the daily reading and writing practices of a dedicated author…To a timely effect, many of Giono’s reflections also tackle the problem of isolation, of drawing upon inner resources, and of the consolation of literature…The journals in their entirety compose a captivating account of a sensitive, dedicated writer’s quotidian life, and an insight into how he faced both the exterior and interior struggles of his time.” — Sarah Moore, Asymptote

“The importance of this volume is the depiction of the time with difficulties, unpleasantness and compromises often shown in minute detail . . . visceral and personal, it will raise questions in readers’ minds as to how they would or could react in similar circumstances.”NB Magazine
“Curious and wide-ranging, his entries . . .  invite delight and interest, covering a broad range of topics at a pace that begs to be savored . . . Occupation Journal is a gem of a historical memoir that includes blasts of beauty, art, and human observation.” — Susan Waggoner, Foreword Reviews

“Elegantly translated by Jody Gladding, the book is a fascinating account of ordinary life during extraordinary times…As diary entries offering a captivating portrait of an artist at work, a man under pressure, and a country in turmoil, Occupation Journal is a compelling read.” — The National (UAE)

“There are certain books you feel you’ve needed without even knowing whether they exist; and when finally you read such a book, it becomes indispensable to comprehending the most haunting insistences of human experience. I’m speaking here of Occupation Journal by Jean Giono, brilliantly translated by Jody Gladding. This journal is full of harrowing wartime incident, an almost desperate reliance on literature, the severest lyricism Giono needed to chronicle thinking and feeling deeply in a world gone mad.” — Howard Norman
“Giono’s Occupation Journal is a fascinating book. It juxtaposes the intense moral and ethical dramas of a world at war, replete with violence and surrounded by danger, with the inanity of the every day. Despite the war, grandiose dramas play out – scheming and petty neighbours trying to pull one over each other; lovesick servants and farm workers entangled in romantic triangles. All of the everyday comedy and drama of the small French village play out while bombs fall overhead and collaborationist priests are gunned down in their chapels…Translator Jody Gladding does a superb job of it, retaining Giono’s nuanced sarcasm and sense of humour.” — Hans Rollmann, Pop Matters

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