Nature Stories


by Jules Renard
published by NYRB Classics


Jules Renard's Nature Stories is a deliciously whimsical classic from the era of the great French Postimpressionist painters. Renard mingles wonder and humour in a series of miniature portraits of subjects drawn from the natural world: dogs, cats, pigs, roses, snails, trees and birds of all sorts, humans of course, and even a humble potato. Ranging from a sentence to several pages, Renard's sketches are masterpieces of compression and description, capturing both appearance and behavior through a choice of details that makes the familiar unfamiliar and yet surprisingly true to life. Renard's animals not only feel but speak, and one species, the swallow, even writes Hebrew. These creatures fascinate Renard, who in turn makes them fascinating to us, instilling us with the sense that everything that has a life and grows in the hand of nature is to be respected, and that every creature and being is as individual as it is interrelated. In Douglas Parmée's inspired new translation, Renard's wonderful evocations of the natural world come to life as never before in English.

- paperback: 416 pages 
- product dimensions: 127 x 203 x 14 mm

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