In the Land of Pain

Written by Alphonse Daudet; Edited & Translated by Julian Barnes
In the Land of Pain 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.

"Beautifully written and sensitively and intelligently translated." -The Times



NOTE: When possible, editions are linked to entries in the online Julian Barnes Bibliography. These entries feature multiple images of the book and additional bibliographic details.
English Editions

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

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

Translated Editions

German - Im Land der Schmerzen. Bremen: manholt, 2003. Pp. 102. Daudet text translated from the French by Dirk Hemjeoltmanns; translation of JB's introduction and notes by Bernhard Liesen.

Spanish - En la tierra del dolor. Barcelona: Alba Editorial, 2003. Pp. 102. Translated by María Teresa Gallego Urrutia and Jesús Zulaika Goikoetxea.


06/03/2002 - Interviews: Julian Barnes - Stoop, Bookmunch.co.uk

05/22/2002 - Julian Barnes and Christopher Hampton - BBC Radio 4 Front Row
[Audio interview about the nature of translations]

05/19/2002 - The Books Interview - The Observer p.17


04/07/2003 - That Cruel Guest -Richard Howard, The New Republic p.33

02/23/2003 - Tracing the Progress of One's Own Death - Philip Herter, St. Petersburg Times (Florida) p.5D

02/13/2003 - Turgenev's Banana - James Fenton, New York Review of Books (50.2) p.45+

02/09/2003 - Two Books Explore the Illness and Pain of Their Authors - Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

02/03/2003 - In the Land of Pain - New Yorker (78.45) p.87

02/02/2003 - Another Country - Richard Eder, New York Times Book Review p.13

01/24/2003 - In the Land of Pain - Melanie Thernstrom, Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition (241.17) p.W9

06/15/2002 - In the Land of Pain - Anna Ellis, BMJ: British Medical Journal (7351) p.1460

01/01/2003 - In the Land of Pain - Donna Seaman, Booklist p.832

01/2003 - In the Land of Pain - T. L. Cooksey, Library Journal (128.1) p.110

12/23/2002 - In the Land of Pain - Publishers Weekly (249.51) p.60

12/2002 - Pain as a Pencil Sharpener - Iain Bamforth, Quadrant (46.12) p.81+

07/28/2002 - Gentle Memoirs of a Season in Hell - Paul Bailey, Sunday Times (London) p.43

06/28/2002 - An Impish Bird Hopping - David Howard, Times Literary Supplement (5178) p.24

06/2002 - Non-fiction: In the Land of Pain - Alphonse Daudet - Stoop, Bookmunch.co.uk

05/26/2002 - The Man Who Treated Syphilis with Stoicism - George Walden, Sunday Telegraph (London) p.13

05/25/2002 - Finding Meaning in Pain - David Robinson, The Scotsman p.10

05/25/2002 - Little Book of Agony - Hilary Spurling, Daily Telegraph p.3

05/23/2002 - Daudet and the Poetry of Syphilis - Dr Thomas Stuttaford, The Times (London)

05/19/2002 - Voices Lost in Memoirs of Syphilis - Andrew Biswell, Scotland on Sunday p.4

05/11/2002 - The Art of Suffering - Julian Barnes, The Guardian (London) p.1

Spring-Summer 2002 - In the Land of Pain - Julian Barnes, Areté p.5-15
[Excerpts from the book.]