Michelle Bailat-Jones has translatied Charles Ferdinand Ramuz' La Beauté sur la Terre into lyrical English prose. Here is how Valerie Trueblood opens her foreword for us.
Through the terrace door of a Swiss inn the reader steps into a painting. The figures at the table move: two men, bumbling at first glance, elderly. They could be stagehands in the moments before the actors come on. In an opera they would be the villagers, and in fact, they are the villagers, giving no sign of having any further role to play. There's an awkwardness to the scene; the prose seems to be feeling its way. The paint is still going onto the canvas. The two men talk to each other and before long the writer—someone like them, one of them—begins to address us. Thus commences the fugue that is La Beauté sur la Terre, in which the coming of a beautiful orphan to her uncle's inn brings a gradual chaos upon his town. The great Swiss novelist Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz published La Beauté in 1927. A few libraries around the world hold an anonymous English translation published two years later, but this new translation by the writer Michelle Bailat-Jones is a gift for which readers of the few works of Ramuz in English have waited decades.

Buying Options

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Stroke
  • Quote
  • Smileys
  • :confused:
  • :cool:
  • :cry:
  • :laugh:
  • :lol:
  • :normal:
  • :blush:
  • :rolleyes:
  • :sad:
  • :shocked:
  • :sick:
  • :sleeping:
  • :smile:
  • :surprised:
  • :tongue:
  • :unsure:
  • :whistle:
  • :wink:
  • 1000 Characters left