# 12231

MIRBEAU, Octave (1848-1917)


$350.00 AUD

Paris : Bibliothèque-Charpentier, 1913. First edition, limited to 175 numbered copies; the present copy is one of 150 printed on papier de Hollande (copy no. 121). Tall octavo, original wrappers, 422 pp, a fine, uncut copy. Text in French.

The final novel by the French writer Octave Mirbeau, Dingo was completed by his colleague Léon Werth. The story is a disturbing allegory of the violent unpredictability and murderous impulses that lurk deep within the human psyche, the protagonist being a wild dingo whose existence within contemporary French society is described through the first-person narrative of his owner. The chief redeeming quality of the animal is, however, one that is often lacking in common human behaviour: the dingo’s spontaneous interractions with its immmediate environment are instinctive and truthful, neither denying the creature’s real desires nor masking its own identity. Mirbeau paints the dingo as a paradox of outward savagery and profound harmony, a depiction which perhaps comes close to inverting our general perception of so-called civilised humanity.

Two copies of the first edition are recorded in Australian collections (National Library of Australia; State Library of New South Wales). The SLNSW copy is also a numbered copy on papier de Hollande; however, the NLA catalogue entry does not specify a paper type or number.

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