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Valtat, Jean-Christophe (Translated by Mitzi Angel). 03: A NOVEL. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 85 pages. As New.

The author's second novel and first work to be translated into English. One of the most important literary events of the year 2010. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a softcover original only. Presents Jean-Christophe Valtat's second novel. The title is the departmental code of Montperilleux, the novel's fictional French suburb. The novel itself is a long, introspective monologue, "written in one unbroken paragraph, about a teenage boy's unrequited love for a mentally handicapped girl he sees every day at the bus stop. It roars, from the shallows of the dreariest French suburb, against such received ideas as the religion of childhood 'innocence', the comforting notion that we all 'grow' and 'develop', and the solace, offered by our teachers and our parents, that if we observe the proper rites, our futures will be meaningful and wholesome" (James Wood). Wood favorably compares Valtat to Thomas Bernhard and Albert Camus, which is pertinent because Valtat is writing in a rich European literary style that is virtually non-existent in the Anglo-American tradition. Our fiction is largely "narrative" (plot, characters, development, climax, The End) even if it comes with often perceptive "commentary" on outer reality. Valtat's daring is de rigueur in France: The telling of one individual's excruciating inner life, in all of his particular pain, longing, questioning, and at best, tentative resolution. James Wood is right not to see a similarity between Valtat and any of his English-writing counterparts because there is none (J. D. Salinger was the last American literary "philosopher" of the pain called adolescence). The love that the unnamed narrator feels for the retarded girl is not about compassion but identification: For all his obvious intelligence, he is just as "retarded" as she is, and in Valtat's hands, his inner life comes fully to life: "Don't we all discover at some stage or another that there are some things we'll never get any better at, even though we have no idea why and hardly ever notice it when it happens, even though we may have enjoyed these things and might not have been lagging behind last time we checked? Something in each of us was broken beyond repair" (Jean-Christophe Valtat). A "must-have" title for Jean-Christophe Valtat collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed and dated (shortly after publication) in black pen on the title page by the author: "Jean-Christophe Valtat 09/22/2010". This title is now collectible. This is one of extremely few signed copies of the First American Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant new voices in contemporary literature. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VALTAT TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374100217. $50.00

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