- Larbaud, Valery 1881-1957
A. O. Barnabooth: His Diary
Quartet Books Ltd., London, 1991, Trade Paperback, , Reprint , Very Good+
pp. 318. New with slight, if any, wear. Originally translated from the French by Gilbert Cannan in 1924. Introduction by Alan Jenkins. Originally published by Gllimard in 1913 as A. O. Barnabooth, ses oeuvres completes. 'Lend me your deafening racket, your smooth-running speed, / Your nocturnal snaking through Europe and its lights, / O luxury sleeper! and the agonizing music / That plays along your corridors of gilded hide / While behind the lacquered doors, the bright, brass-heavy latches / The millionaires are sleeping soundly.' 'Valery Larbuad was a rich trabeller and scholar. It was with little difficulty that he projected himself into the character of A. O. Barnabooth, the young South American millionaire whose Complete Works comprise poems, a brief tale reminiscent of Voltaire, and this diary, full of the characteristically light-hearted entries of a dilettante. Althought superficially entertaining, the book is also a sensitive exploration of the search for true identity. At every turn, Barnabooth's attempts to go against his moneyed grain misfire, thereby revealing the tragicomedy of character and fate. This edition also includes a number of poems by Larbaud alias Barnbooth, translated here by Alan Jenkins, himself a poet.'