"Jean Giono's story of a man's generosity to nature-and through nature, to other humans-surely belongs among the most moving and endearing statements of our hope. The story-vision and parable and manual-correctly opposes the tree-planter, the earth-husband, to the makers of war. In the figure of Elzéard Bouffier, Giono summaries the best that can be said of our species. It has given me much joy to reread this story."--Wendell Berry
The Man Who Planted Treesby Jean Giono, Michael McCurdy
The narrator, journeying by foot across the barren plains of the lower Alps, has his thirst assuaged by the well water drawn by the shepherd Elzeaerd
Jean Giono's beautiful allegorical tale is legendary. Written in the 1950's, its message was ahead of its time, inspiring readers to rediscover the harmonies of the countryside and prevent its willful destruction.
The narrator, journeying by foot across the barren plains of the lower Alps, has his thirst assuaged by the well water drawn by the shepherd Elzeaerd Bouffier. Here begins the subtle parable which Giono weaves of the life-giving shepherd who chooses to live alone and carry out the work of God. Over forty years the desolate hills and lifeless villages which so oppressed the traveler are transformed by the dedication of one man. All with the help of a few acorns.
Giono's hope was to set in motion a worldwide reforestation program that would rejuvenate the earth. The Man Who Planted Trees is a hymn to creation and a purveyor of confidence in man's ability to change hisindeed the world'slot.
- Chelsea Green Publishing
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Meet the Author
Jean Giono (1895-1970), the only son of a cobbler and a laundress, was one of France's greatest writers. He was a pacifist, and he was imprisoned in France for his beliefs during the Second World War. He wrote over thirty novels, scores of short stories, plays, poetry, essays, and filmscripts. Giono won the Prix de Monaco (for the most outstanding collected work by a French writer) among other awards.
Michael McCurdy is one of America's finest wood engravers. He has illustrated nearly 200 books for trade publications and special fine-press editions. His prints and drawings are also shown in galleries throughout the country. McCurdy lives in Springfield, Mass.
Wangari Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in restoring the environment and promoting economic well-being by planting of millions of trees in East Africa through her Green Belt Movement.
Norma L. Goodrich is Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at the Claremont Colleges and author of Giono: Master of Fictional Modes.
Andy Lipkis is the founder and president of TreePeople.
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