The Castle of Argol
The Castle of Argol by Julien Gracq
Translated by Louise Varese
The Castle of Argo is the quintessence of the Gothic novel at the farthest, most distilled point of luminosity. Written in 1938, Argol is the first novel by the celebrated, but enigmatic writer who won and refused the Prix Goncourt, Francs's greatest literary prize. Though lauded by Breton and bearing some affinity with surrealism, Gracq has held himself studiously beyond classification. Instead, he has fashioned the elements of romantic idealism into an intense embodiment of a genre, as well as a crystalline and distanced model of itself. For Gracq, Argol is a "demoniac version" of the Grail legend, a quest for the essential. A strange, perfect book - a narrative of physical and spiritual obsession in its most chaste and final moment.
The English translation by Louise Varese, approved by Gracq prior to its original publication by New Directions, has been unavaiable simce 1951. Our edition augments the text with fold- out plates on translucent papers and other illustrations in color and black and white, including a pseudo postman photograph by Pierre Molinier. In all respects, a highly unusual book.
Published by The Lapis Press, Santa Monica, California, 1991, 7in. x 10in. , 175 pages