Monday, August 19, 2013

"A Handbook For The Perfect Adventurer" by Pierre Mac Orlan (Translated by and with an Introduction by Napoleon Jeffries)

A little superb book by the great French 'unknown' writer Pierre Mac Orlan.  "Unknown' to English reading citizens because this may be the only book of his that is translated into English.  Mac Orlan is the ultimate figure in French literature that captures the lifestyle of a romantic writer who lived a great adventuresome life.   Or that is what one is lead to believe.  Nevertheless he was commissioned by the great Blaise Cendrars in 1920 to write a handbook for writers who want to either have adventure or more likely write an adventure narrative.

In this short book he recommends cities that are good for an adventure narrative as well as taverns and bars.  I suspect that his nature is very much in tuned to this type of location.   He puts the adventurer in two categories:  the active adventurer and the passive adventurer.   The passive fellow or gal are more likely the readers, who want to read the exploits of the active adventurer.  He gives plenty of advice for both class of adventurer.

For one hopes that there will be further books that will be translated into English by this wonderful wit,  for whom writers such as Boris Vian, Guy Debord and of course Cendrars are huge fans of the man as well as his work.   Another excellent book from Wakefield Press.
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