March 03, 2011

The Last Flower by James Thurber

James Thurber (1835-1910), author and illustrator, was from 1927 to 1933 editor at  the famous magazine The New Yorker. He is well known for his humoristic articles and cartoons . In The Last Flower, translated by Albert Camus and published by Gallimard in 1952, James Thurber invites us to follow a strange adventure, a quite obvious "parable in pictures", as said the french subheading :

We are in the aftermath of the 12th World War. There are no more signs of civilization (houses, museums, art works, gardens, everything is destroyed). Men are inferior to animals and sit there doing nothing. One day, a young woman discovers the last flower in the world and finds it is dying. She warns the others and only one man pays attention to her concern. Both of them take care of the plant. The nature goes her way, with the help of a small bee,  and soon another flower seeds, then another, then another ... The woman and the man discover each other in the process. Love is reborn on earth. The next generation reinvents civilization : creating new houses, arts but also entering in new  arguments. War eventually breaks out again, leaving nothing except a young woman, a man and a flower ...

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :

  • [CAMUS (Albert)] THURBER (James). La Dernière Fleur. Paris, Gallimard, 1952, in-4 oblong, red and illustrated publisher's binding. First french edition. Each page is framed with a pale green border which highlights the black and white illustrations.