Overview

The Serpent of Stars (Le serpent d¢étoiles, 1993; reprinted 1999 Grasset) takes place in rural southern France in the early part of the century. The novel’s elusive narrative thread ties landscape to character to an expanse just beyond our grasp. The narrator encounters a shepherding family and glimpse by glimpse, each family member and the shepherding way of life is revealed to us. The novel culminates in a large shepherds’ gathering where a traditional Shepherd’s Play—a kind of creation myth that includes ...
See more details below
The Serpent of Stars

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview

The Serpent of Stars (Le serpent d¢étoiles, 1993; reprinted 1999 Grasset) takes place in rural southern France in the early part of the century. The novel’s elusive narrative thread ties landscape to character to an expanse just beyond our grasp. The narrator encounters a shepherding family and glimpse by glimpse, each family member and the shepherding way of life is revealed to us. The novel culminates in a large shepherds’ gathering where a traditional Shepherd’s Play—a kind of creation myth that includes in its cast The River, The Sea, The Man, and The Mountain—is enacted. The work’s proto-environmental world view as well as its hybrid form—part play, part novel—makes The Serpent of Stars astonishingly contemporary. W.S. Merwin’s "Green Fields" begins, "By this part of the century few are left who believe/in the animals for they are not there in the carved parts/of them served on plates and the pleas from slatted trucks..." This novel leaves the reader believing not only in the animals, but the terrain they are part of, the people who tend them, and the life all these elements together compose.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Appearing for the first time in English, Giono's 1933 work is essentially an extended prose poem with no traditional narrative, the action occurring obliquely or by insinuation. Yet a compelling mood engulfs the reader, who tacitly and willingly accompanies protagonists, shepherds on their drive in idyllic southern France. Poetic images abound, especially in reference to the sky and sea, and each sentence practically stands by itself. In the novel's culmination, which is especially unusual and poetic, the herders perform an allegorical "shepherds' play," with the cast representing such primal forces as the Sea and a Mountain. An exercise as intellectual as it is aesthetic, the book shares with Giono's other works, especially the classic The Man Who Planted Trees, an ecological obsession. Not for every taste but a reward for those with patience and sensitivity. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries. Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Giono has created his own private terrestrial domain, a mythical domain…It is a region over which the stars and planets course with throbbing pulsations. It is a land in which things happen to men as aeons ago they happened to the gods. Pan still walks the earth. The soil is saturated with cosmic juices. Events transpire. Miracles occur. —Henry Miller

[Giono's] phrases behave like the wild grasses and the beasts he speaks about. They are sap breathing and moving across the page...Jody Gladding translates as a poet...and that is the only way to translate Giono. —Cecilia Vicuïa

What good luck to have this portion of Paradise, with its shepherds and music, rivers and mountains, magic and mystery, lovingly translated into English. —Christopher Merrill
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935744450
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 117
  • File size: 198 KB

Meet the Author

Jean Giono was born in Manosque in 1895 and spent most of his life in that part of Provence, which is also the setting for his immense body of work, over fifty novels, as well as poems, essays and plays. During World War II, he turned to political writing and was jailed for pacifist activities. He is best known in North America for his autobiographical Blue Boy, The Horseman on the Roof, and The Man Who Planted Trees. This is The first English translation of The Serpent of Stars.

Jody Gladding is poet and a translator. Her most recent collection of poetry is Rooms and Their Airs. She has translated over twenty books from French, including Small Lives and The Eleven by Pierre Michon. She teaches in The MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Vermont.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Open yourself! Here you are crossed by the suns and the clouds; here you are traveled by wind. Listen to the beautiful wind that dances over your blood as over mountain lakes; listen to the way it makes the beautiful sound of its depths ring out! Here you are bristling with sun, free to walk in the thorns, and the thorns break under your heel, and your head is buzzing like a nest of wasps. Here you are all light with clouds, and you leap into the sky, and you leap through the beautiful waves of the sky like an eagle.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)