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In the Land of Pain
Written by Alphonse Daudet
Translated and Edited by Julian Barnes
   

Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) was one of the most popular nineteenth-century French novelists, whose work radiated humour and good cheer. What few except those close to him knew was that for his entire adult life he suffered from syphilis, a disease both unmentionable and incurable at the time. What even fewer knew was that for the last dozen years of his life he kept an intimate notebook in which he recorded the inevitable development and terrifying effects of the disease. He described the often alarming treatments he took in the desperate attempt to defeat the disease, and wrote with comic zest about life in the spa-towns to which he was sent for a cure. Even for a time when we are more openly confessional about illness, Daudet remains exemplary and instructive, both in his lucid self-examination and in his amused stoicism. In the Land of Pain was first published by Daudet's widow in 1931.

   

English Editions (View Translations)

In the Land of Pain. London: Jonathan Cape, 2002. £10.00.

In the Land of Pain. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. $18.00.


Reviews

Barnes, Julian. "In the Land of Pain." Areté, Spring-Summer 2002: 5-15. (Excerpts from the book.)

Barnes, Julian. "The Art of Suffering." The Guardian (London), 11 May 2002: 1.

Biswell, Andrew. "Voices Lost in Memoirs of Syphilis." Scotland on Sunday, 19 May 2002: 4.

Barnes, Julian. "The Books Interview." The Observer, 19 May 2002: 17. (Interview upon the publication of In the Land of Pain.)

Stuttaford, Dr Thomas. "Daudet and the Poetry of Syphilis." The Times (London), 23 May 2002.

Robinson, David. "Finding Meaning in Pain." The Scotsman, 25 May 2002: 10.

Spurling, Hilary. "Little Book of Agony." Daily Telegraph, 25 May 2002: 3.

Walden, George. "The Man Who Treated Syphilis with Stoicism." Sunday Telegraph (London), 26 May 2002: 13.

Stoop. "Interviews: Julian Barnes." Bookmunch.co.uk (3 June 2002) http://www.bookmunch.co.uk/view.php?id=612 Interview upon the publication of In the Land of Pain.

Stoop. "Non-fiction: In the Land of Pain - Alphonse Daudet." Bookmunch.co.uk (June 2002).

Howard, David. "An Impish Bird Hopping." Times Literary Supplement 5178 (28 June 2002): 24.

Bailey, Paul. "Gentle Memoirs of a Season in Hell." Sunday Times (London) (28 July 2002): 43.

"In the Land of Pain." Publishers Weekly 249(51) (23 December 2002): 60.

Bamforth, Iain. "Pain as a Pencil Sharpener." Quadrant 46(12) (December 2002): 81+.

Cooksey, T. L. Library Journal 128(1) (January 2003): 110.

Seaman, Donna. Booklist (1 & 15 January 2003): 832.

Ellis, Anna. "In the Land of Pain." BMJ: British Medical Journal 7351 (15 June 2002): 1460.

Thernstrom, Melanie. "In the Land of Pain." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 241(17) (24 January 2003): W9.

Eder, Richard. "Another Country." New York Times Book Review (2 February 2003): 13.

"In the Land of Pain." New Yorker 78(45) (3 February 2003): 87.

Wilson, Frank. "Two Books Explore the Illness and Pain of Their Authors." Philadelphia Inquirer (9 February 2003).

Fenton, James. "Turgenev's Banana." New York Review of Books 50(2) (13 February 2003): 45+.

Herter, Philip. "Tracing the Progress of One's Own Death." St. Petersburg Times (Florida) (23 February 2003): 5D.

Howard, Richard. "That Cruel Guest." The New Republic (7 April 2003): 33.

 
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