A wry, observant masterpiece--one of the singular treasures of the French fin de siÃ¨cleWritten between the age of twenty-three and his death at age forty-six, Jules Renard's Journal 1887-1910 is a triumph of introspection and wit. One of the most celebrated figures of Belle Ãpoque Paris, Renard was also a prolific diarist whose private musings were first published in five volumes some fifteen years after his death. Acclaimed by everyone from Somerset Maugham to Samuel Beckett to Susan Sontag, the Journal has had a decisive influence on contemporary letters and was named one of the 100 Books of the Century by Le Monde. It is also a singularly funny work, full of aphorisms, jokes, and sly observations on some of literature's most indelible characters. These selections, brought together by Julian Barnes and translated by Theo Cuffe, offer unparalleled and unfailingly entertaining glimpses of a bygone world. Moving from modish Parisian salons to the French countryside, where Renard served as a provincial mayor in the final years of his life, the Journal is a portrait of a society in flux and a playground for one of the era's great prose styles. Here, Renard confirms his place among France's most dazzlingly inventive writers.