Jules Renard (1864-1910) was a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt, most famous for the works Poil de Carotte (Carrot hair) (1894) and Histoires naturelles (Natural Histories) (1896). Among his other works are Le Plaisir de rompre (The Pleasure of Breaking) (1898) and Huit jours a la campagne (Eight Days in the Countryside) (1906).
Jules Renard’s endlessly amusing journals are available again, and whether read straight through or dipped into at random, they””re a marvel to behold…readers of this work are certainly encouraged to laugh throughout at his singularly savage wit.
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Directly, or indirectly, Renard is at the origin of contemporary literature.
You are holding a secret book, which influenced many great writers. I received it first from Donald Barthelme who received it from Susan Sontag. Once you have found it, you will find again and again that many of the writers you love have read it. Renard’s way with the detail is unforgettable. I have never forgotten the starfish placed like a badge on a little boy’s swimsuit at the beach, his baby arms and legs wiggling like the starfishes. Renard writes about spiders, about the moon, and the poetry he makes from the things his eyes tell him is joyful, particular-the world in a detail.
—Michael Silverblatt, KCRW Bookworm
The irresistibly quotable Journal of Jules Renard, a record of Renard’s development as a writer in fin de siecle France, demonstrates his gift for quips, aphorisms, and striking observations.
Poetic, amusing, instructive, melancholic—Renard’s writing should find its way to the shelves of writers and lovers of fine writing. How ideal to have sentences like this at hand: ‘In the path, the caterpillar plays a soundless little tune on its accordion.’