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Silk by Alessandro Baricco
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Silk (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Alessandro Baricco, Guido Waldman (Translator)

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2,8001202,085 (3.79)200
Member:branje
Title:Silk
Authors:Alessandro Baricco
Other authors:Guido Waldman (Translator)
Info:The Harvill Press (1997), Editie: New edition, Hardcover, 96 pagina's
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Silk by Alessandro Baricco (1996)

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» See also 200 mentions

English (79)  Spanish (17)  French (6)  Italian (6)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
softcover
132 pg

novella translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein.

delicate... translated with simplicity...subtle...thought provoking...obsessive...clandestine...deeply emotional
"woven like silk".... ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 31, 2016 |
A book of few words. A book about love and loss, and the silk trade. Luminous. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Very good! This really is a quick read and therefore there is no excuse for why I put off reading this one so long. This is a story written by an Italian author with the protagonist a French man and the setting is a town in France. The time is 1861 and the story is about the silk industry. The silk worms have a disease and are not healthy enough to keep the silk industry going, the answer is to travel to Japan. The problem is Japan is closed to outsiders.

The first chapter tells the reader that this is 1861, "Flaubert was writing Salammbô, electric light remained hypothetical, and Abraham Lincoln, beyond the Ocean, was fighting a war of which he was not to see the finish."

The protagonist--Hervé Joncour was thirty-two. He bought and sold. Silkworms.

"He crossed the frontier near Metz, travelled the breadth of Württenberg and Bavaria, entered Austria, reached Vienna and Budapest by train, thence to continue as far as Kiev. He travelled two thousand kilometres of Russian Steppe on horseback, crossed the Urals, entered Siberia, continued for forty days until he reached Lake Baikal, known locally as "the sea". He descended the course of the River Amur, skirting the Chinese border as far as the Ocean, and when he arrived at the Ocean he stopped in the port of Sabirk for eleven days, until a Dutch smugglers' ship conveyed him to Cape Teraya on the west coast of Japan. Taking secondary roads, he crossed the provinces of Ishikawa, Toyama and Niigata on foot, crossed the province of Fukushima, and reached the town of Shirakawa, passed to the east of it, waited two days for a man in black with a blindfold...." This repeats each trip and the return..."boarded a Dutch smugglers' ship at Takaoka, which took him to Sabirk. Thence he skirted the Chinese border as far as Lake Baikal, travelled four thousand kilometres over Siberian soil, crossed the Urals, arrived back in Kiev and crossed the whole of Europe by train, from east to west, until after a three months' voyage he arrived in France. The first Sunday in April--in time for High Mass..."
"The government had sent to Nîmes a young biologist who was to make a study of the disease that was effectively making French silkworm eggs unusable. His name was Louis Pasteur. He worked with microscopes..."

This little book is also a love story. ( )
  Kristelh | Oct 24, 2015 |
an elegant and miniature portrait, a parable of love and longing written in a style and language that evokes the best of fairy tales. Highly recommended to anyone with even a tiny romantic bone in their body. For some reason I kept thinking of Snow County by Yasunari Kawabata, and for reasons beyond the partially Japanese setting.

Silk, that ephemeral material, lies at the heart of the book's tale, and is an apt title on more than one level. Like silk this book is delicate, to the point of seeming almost not of the world, and vivid. And yet very strong.

( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
an elegant and miniature portrait, a parable of love and longing written in a style and language that evokes the best of fairy tales. Highly recommended to anyone with even a tiny romantic bone in their body. For some reason I kept thinking of Snow County by Yasunari Kawabata, and for reasons beyond the partially Japanese setting.

Silk, that ephemeral material, lies at the heart of the book's tale, and is an apt title on more than one level. Like silk this book is delicate, to the point of seeming almost not of the world, and vivid. And yet very strong.

( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alessandro Bariccoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canela, MercèTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melander, VivecaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smits, ManonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Although his father had pictured for him a brilliant future in the army, Hervé Joncour ended up earning his crust in an unusual career which, by a singular piece of irony, was not unconnected with a charming side that bestowed on it a vaguely feminine intonation.
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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Els productors de seda de Lavilledieu eren, qui més qui menys, gentilhomes, i mai no haurien pensat d'infringir cap de les lleis del seu país. La hipòtesi de fer-ho a l'altra part de món, però, els resultà raonablement sensata. (10)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307277976, Paperback)

The year is 1861. Hervé Joncour is a French merchant of silkworms, who combs the known world for their gemlike eggs. Then circumstances compel him to travel farther, beyond the edge of the known, to a country legendary for the quality of its silk and its hostility to foreigners: Japan.

There Joncour meets a woman. They do not touch; they do not even speak. And he cannot read the note she sends him until he has returned to his own country. But in the moment he does, Joncour is possessed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the late 1860s, when Japan is still closed to foreigners, Herve Joncour, a young French merchant, makes a series of clandestine journeys across Siberia to Japan, at first to purchase silkworm eggs, and later to pursue an affair with a Japanese nobleman's concubine.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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