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The Death Of Napoleon
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Patricia Clancy Simon Leys
The Death Of Napoleon by Patricia Clancy at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Death Of Napoleon

Patricia Clancy Simon Leys Simon Leys


NYRB Classics

Napoleonic War fiction


144 pages

$25.95  $22.85
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Ladies and gentlemen, alas! The Emperor is dead. The news from St Helena goes out across Europe, but in fact Napoleon has not died. By means of an ingenious escape, he has returned to the Continent, leaving an impersonator on St Helena, and it is this double who has unexpectedly and very problematically passed away. Traveling incognito, the emperor experiences a series of bizarre adventures that bring him face-to-face with the myth of Napoleon as it is disconcertingly played out in everyday life. After a visit to Waterloo and a near arrest at the French border, he eventually arrives in Paris, where he falls in with some veteran Bonapartists and visits an asylum where most of the inmates are labouring under the mistaken impression that they are he. Will Napoleon ever recapture his true identity? Who, in the end, is he, now that the Emperor is dead ? Simon Leys's truculent, delightful fable poses these and other questions in a rare work of fiction that is continually surprising and effervescent.

By:   Patricia Clancy, Simon Leys
Translated by:   Simon Leys
Imprint:   NYRB Classics
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 11mm,  Spine: 129mm
Weight:   167g
ISBN:   9781590178423
ISBN 10:   1590178424
Pages:   144
Publication Date:   June 2015
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Simon Leys (1935-2014) was the pen name of Pierre Ryckmans, who was born in Belgium and settled in Australia in 1970. He taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University and was a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Sydney from 1987 to 1993. Leys's writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, Le Monde, Le Figaro Litteraire, and other periodicals. Among his books are The Hall of Uselessness (NYRB Classics), Chinese Shadows, Other People's Thoughts, and The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper. In 1996 he delivered the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Boyer Lectures. His many awards include the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Femina, the Prix Guizot, and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. Patricia Clancy is a translator of French literature. She has received several translation prizes, including the British Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction for her co-translation of The Death of Napoleon and the Scott Moncrieff Prize for French Translation for her 1999 translation of The Dark Room at Longwood by Jean-Paul Kauffman.

I am glad to report that Simon Leys's The Death of Napoleon has one hell of an idea--the absurdity of trying to retrieve time or glory--and is written with the grace of a poem. --Edna O'Brien, The Sunday Times Entertaining and clever, this is a sweetening reminder of the ephemerality of great achievements--and by implication those of the not so great. -- Booklist Alternative enjoyable and at the same time, like all daydreaming, brings a sensation of guilt. But The Death of Napoleon is also a fable, and Simon Leys is an expert fabulist. --Penelope Fitzgerald, The New York Times Book Review An elegant and engaging piece of alternative history, gently tragic and wryly comic. --D. J. Enright, The Times Literary Supplement A small masterpiece. So much spirit, so much insolence, and so much emotion joined in so few pages overwhelmingly earn the reader's enthusiasm and praise. One closes the book regretfully, sincerely hoping that Simon Leys will not stop there. --Corinne Desportes, Le Magazine Litteraire Powerful, touching--and delightful, too--this invention of a post-Waterloo career led by Bonaparte--not on St. Helena. --Francis Steegmuller What a pleasure to read a real writer... The Death of Napoleon is utterly satisfying sentence by sentence and scene by scene, but it is also compulsively readable...By giving us a Napoleon who cannot find how to retrieve [his public] face, Simon Leys throws light on our universal need to bring inner and outer reality together, to understand who we really are. --Gabriel Josipovici, The Times Literary Supplement

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