The Enchanted Clock

The Enchanted Clock A Novel

Hardback (26 Jan 2018) | English

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Synopsis

In the Palace of Versailles there is a fabulous golden clock, made for Louis XV by the king's engineer, Claude-Siméon Passemant. The astronomical clock shows the phases of the moon and the movements of the planets, and it will tell time-hours, minutes, seconds, and even sixtieths of seconds-until the year 9999. Passemant's clock brings the nature of time into sharp focus in Julia Kristeva's intricate, poetic novel The Enchanted Clock.

Nivi Delisle, a psychoanalyst and magazine editor, nearly drowns while swimming off the Île de Ré; the astrophysicist Theo Passemant fishes her out of the water. They become lovers. While Theo wonders if he is descended from the clockmaker Passemant, Nivi's son Stan, who suffers from occasional comas, develops a passion for the remarkable clock at Versailles. Soon Nivi is fixated on its maker. But then the clock is stolen, and when a young writer for Nivi's magazine mysteriously dies, the clock is found near his body. The Enchanted Clock combines past and present, jumping back and forth between points of view and across eras from eighteenth-century Versailles to the present day. Its stylistically inventive narrative voices bring both immediacy and depth to our understanding of consciousness. Nivi's life resembles her creator's in many respects, coloring Kristeva's customary erudition with autobiographical poignancy. Part detective mystery, part historical fiction, The Enchanted Clock is a philosophically and linguistically multifaceted novel, full of poetic ruminations on memory, love, and the transcendence of linear time. It is one of the most illuminating works of one of France's great writers and thinkers.

About the Publisher

Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press seeks to enhance Columbia University’s educational and research mission by publishing outstanding original works by scholars and other intellectuals that contribute to an understanding of global human concerns. The Press also reflects the importance of its location in New York City in its publishing programs. Through book, reference, electronic publishing, and distribution services, the Press broadens the university’s international reputation.

Book information

ISBN: 9780231180467
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 843.914
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: ix, 318
Weight: 518g
Height: 149mm
Width: 222mm
Spine width: 30mm