C.F. Ramuz

Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz (born Sept. 24, 1878, Cully, Switz.—died May 23, 1947, Pully, near Lausanne) was a Swiss novelist whose realistic, poetic, and somewhat allegorical stories of man against nature made him one of the most iconic French-Swiss writers of the 20th century. As a young man, he moved to Paris to pursue a life of writing, where he struck up a friendship with Igor Stravinsky, later writing the libretto for The Soldier’s Tale (1918). Ramuz pioneered a common Swiss literary identity, writing books about mountaineers, farmers, or villagers engaging in often tragic struggles against catastrophe. His legacy is remembered through the Ramuz Foundation, which grants the literary award Grand Prix C.F. Ramuz.

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Jean-Luc Persecuted follows the ill-fated life of an unhappily married man. When Jean-Luc’s wife pursues an affair and leaves him with their child, Jean-Luc’s behavior becomes more and more erratic. He falls to drinking, behaving recklessly, and squandering his money. The narrative follows the explosive downfall of a lone man and his unstoppable mental collapse, surrounded by villagers unable to effect real change. This novel, never before translated, exemplifies the earthy, realistic, often allegorical style of iconic Swiss writer Ramuz.