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Confessions of Dan Yack
Peter Owen Modern Classic
CONFESSIONS OF DAN YACK continues the adventures of the eccentric English millionaire Dan Yack. Yack is Blaise Cendrar's alter ego and the CONFESSIONS represent the distilled riches of the author's picaresque life, purportedly spoken into a Dictaphone and divided into nine 'cylinders' which constitute the book's chapters. He tells the story of his tender love for the young Mireille (daughter of one of many mistresses) whom he meets in a crowded tabac in a Paris gone mad on Armistice night, 1918. This love transforms Dan Yack's life: he abandons his women, gives up his fast cars and debauchery to marry this convent-educated girl of his dreams. To indulge Mireille's fantasies he launches her as a film star by creating films for her and casting her in wraith-like roles inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. But before long Mireille is struck by a mysterious and fatal illness, the psychological origins of which raise disturbing questions about the nature of their relationship.
Whereas Dan Yack's previous memoir celebrated Yack's exploits with malicious bravado, the CONFESSIONS is a bittersweet memoir of love and loss in which the typically earthy, reckless Cendrars surface is shot through with profound melancholy and a palpable sense of psycho-sexual disburbance.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Poet, lover war hero and adventurer, Cendrars led a life as glamorous as Hemingway tried to make his seem, and this novel reads like the original black-and-white original of which A Moveable Feast was the glossy re-make.' - Michael Dibden, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'A beautifully written work, memorable and compelling and superbly translated. It makes one reach out for everything else he ever wrote.' - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Discovery of the year, a box-fresh piece of 1920s Parisiana.' - INDEPENDENT, Books of the Year