Masters and Servants

Masters and Servants
By Pierre Michon
Translated by Wyatt Mason
192 p., 5 x 7 3/4
ePub ISBN:9780300199055

“Michon demonstrates the independence of voice that marks a true writer. . . . His supple prose, dappled with chiaroscuro effects, is used in straight forward chronicles. But his writing can at any time lift or lower into semi-hallucinatory effects that recall Arthur Rimbaud’s assaults on conventional perception.” —Roger Shattuck, The New York Review of Books

“Michon is new to me but with Masters and Servants has become a member of that family known as the authors I admire, I trust, I want to read.” —Richard Howard

"From the silence of paintings Pierre Michon evokes marvels. A portrait becomes a person of such complex depth as to suggest the mentality of an era. A color becomes an idea. A painting becomes the painter, and words become painting. Most generally, in the flow of Michon's meditations and narratives, the visionary becomes actual, and the actual becomes visionary. These are critical moments to which such names as van Gogh or Goya are attached, names that suggest the poignancy and pathos of art amid the beauty and incoherence and destructive nightmare of life. Wyatt Mason’s translation is excellent in its energy and precision.” —Leonard Michaels

“Michon is one of the best-kept secrets of modern French prose.”—Publisher’s Weekly 

“Michon offers a brilliant tour de force of five pieces about art and artists: an often indescribably eloquent modern taking up where Vasari, say, might have left off."   —Kirkus Review

“Reading 'The Life of Joseph Roulin' made tears well up at the end. A beautiful novella with an ancestry somewhere between Guy de Maupassant and Flaubert, and yet a wholly new kind of treatment. “ —Guy Davenport


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