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By Yann Martel

À l. a. suite d’une pénible rencontre à Londres où son nouveau livre, s’inspirant de l’abomination nazie, est rejeté par ses éditeurs, Henry rentre chez lui et cesse d’écrire. Une web page semble tournée. Henry proceed de répondre à ses lecteurs qui se passionnent pour son dernier roman paru. Or voici qu’il reçoit un courrier où l’un d’eux lui demande son aide. C’est un taxidermiste, mais aussi un apprenti écrivain dont l’histoire de Béatrice et Virgile, une ânesse et un singe, est saisissante. Cette myth qui semble évoquer l’Holocauste captive Henry: tout se passe comme si ce qu’il avait cru perdu à Londres renaissait sous ses yeux. Avec un savoir-faire admirable, Yann Martel fait l. a. démonstration qu’un échec peut se transformer en victoire pour peu qu’on croie encore à l’infini pouvoir de l’imaginaire. Il nous montre aussi que les chemins qui mènent à cette reconquête sont parfois inattendus. Après L’Histoire de Pi, probablement le plus grand succès foreign d’un écrivain canadien, voici Béatrice et Virgile, un roman qui ne ressemble en rien au précédent, mais qui est aussi porté par un écrivain à l’immense expertise.

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Extra resources for Béatrice et Virgile

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The Victorians, starry-eyed over steam engines and railroads, saw in nature just another tool. " Today's environmentalist, cross-eyed over sulfur-dioxide-belching factories and oozing drums of noxious chemical waste, sees in nature an innocent victim of human greed. And the majestic creatures of the wildwolf, whale, seal, bearare the emotionally powerful symbols of this violated Eden. The environmental movement's view of nature has become the predominant one in America todaynature as a pristine world, spoiled only by modern man, the klutz in heavy boots trampling the flowers.

One of the very first hints in the archaeological record of an animal's domestication is the jawbone of a wolf from southwest Asia, dated twelve thousand years ago, in which the face and muzzle have begun to shortenan adult with the face of a puppycrowding the teeth together. It is a process that has been repeated in every domestic animal. And that one fact of their evolution speaks volumes about what they are and how they came to be. Domestic animals are dependent, permanently juvenile, by nature, not just by circumstance or training.

Gerald Hart of the University of Toronto; George Armelagos of the University of Massachusetts; Donald Ortner of the Smithsonian Institution; and Juliet Clutton-Brock of the British Museum. S. News & World Report for encouraging me to write the story that this book grew out of and for so flouting the Page xxiii conventional wisdom as to risk putting it on the cover. Finally, I should be remiss if I did not thank Mary Taylor, who taught me to think like a horse, and my wife, Martha, who really started it all by coming home one day with a pair of Pilgrim geese.

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