La Bièvre by J.-K. Huysmans
Translated by Rob Swigart and Danielle Trudeau
Editions Illouz/Rob Swigart, 2005
The Bièvre is a small river with its source not far from Versailles. It loops through the 13th arrondissement of Paris and eventually joins the Seine under the Gare d’Austerlitz, but over the centuries it has been gradually driven underground and today no part remains visible within the city limits, though one can still walk along stretches running through lush vegetation to the south of the city.
In 1890, J.-K. Huysmans published this expanded version of an article that originally appeared in 1878. La Bièvre is a lengthy prose poem, an extended elegy for a corrupted and lost piece of wild landscape. This bilingual edition, translated by Rob Swigart and Danielle Trudeau, is illustrated with seven engravings by Claire Illouz, who uses the tormented texture of sugar aquatint on zinc plates to enhance the decadent atmosphere of Huysmans’ text.
Limited edition of 50 copies on BFK paper.