Journal of Rehearsals

A Memoir by Wallace Fowlie

Journal of Rehearsals

Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 1 b&w photograph Published: February 1997

Author: Wallace Fowlie

General Interest > Biography, Letters, Memoirs

Renowned writer, critic, and teacher, Wallace Fowlie has devoted his life to the study and teaching of the French language and literature. Author and translator of thirty books, Fowlie’s contributions include translations of Rimbaud (the complete works), Molieré, Claudel, Baudelaire, and Cocteau, and literary studies of, among others, Rimbaud, Stendhal, Gide, and Mallarmé. His widely acclaimed Journal of Rehearsals, originally published in 1977, is the first in his series of memoirs. In this passionate book, Fowlie explores his "love affair" with the literature and culture of France, and offers insights into his own intellectual and social life, his early love for the French language, and his encounters and relationships with an impressive cast of characters: Kenneth Burke, Jean Cocteau, Martha Graham, Henry Miller, Marianne Moore, T. S. Eliot, and others.


“[At] its deepest and most sincere level . . . [this] book is an account of a life lived for the understanding and elucidation of a literature. . . . Among American memoirs, the book has few companions.” — Larry McMurtry , Washington Post

“Fowlie’s journal is a meaningful record of the making of a humanist. . . . Fowlie gives us the portrait of a teacher in the full dimensions of the word, restoring to the image the dignity, the status, and sense of mission.” — Anna Balakian , The Nation

“This is a book for those who believe: in teachers, in literature, and in the power of the humanities to direct an individual toward a decent life.” — Serge Gavronsky , New York Times Book Review

“Wallace Fowlie gives the history of the preparation of the heart and mind which make the scholar. . . . The closest parallel I can think of to this book in America would be to say that Journal of Rehearsals combines the aims of The Education of Henry Adams with those of Mont St. Michel and Chartres.” — Jay Martin, Professor of Government and Gould Professor of Humanities, Claremont-McKenna College

“Wallace Fowlie is a humanist who gratefully affirms the role of his bilingual literary university and aesthetic experience in shaping his world, a world of high and exigent values. . . . He reminds us that art and literature can shape and satisfy a sensibility.” — Germaine Brée, Kenan Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Wake Forest University


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At the time of his death, Wallace Fowlie was James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of French Literature at Duke University. He is the author and translator of thirty books, including Rimbaud: A Critical Study and The Complete Works of Rimbaud, a translation. This is the fifth volume in a series of memoirs, Memory, Sites, Aubade, and Journal of Rehearsals, all published by Duke University Press.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1945-0
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