Well, it's not such a wonderland as that, and Jourdan is waiting for someone, a kind of saviour, a messiah. And so Bobi comes along, in whom everyone has an instinctive trust: he's a former acrobat who speaks French, but a kind of French that is at times difficult to understand, needs some explanation, which Bobi is only too willing to give.
The nature here – vegetable, wild animal and human animal – drips sex. I suppose Giono got away with it because he came decades after Zola, and was a little more subtle. Maybe so subtle that many missed the point.
The point of this book? There's a proto-ecological tale, even a communistic one, an urge for sharing, for delighting in uselessness for the sake of uselessness. This is a book which is anti-progress, anti-capitalist, it wears its heart on its sleeve, and although it yearns for happiness this is very short-lived.
Death is present amid the tremendous outpouring of life, and can come with age, accident or suicide. In the midst of the push for life, the contingent and the push towards opposition is inevitable.
My Jean Giono posts:
Sylvie Giono: Jean Giono à Manosque
Jean Giono: L' Homme qui plantait des arbres
Jean Giono: Le Hussard sur le toit
Jean Giono: Colline | Hill of Destiny
Jean Giono: Un de Baumugnes | Lovers Are Never Losers
Jean Giono in Manosque
Jean Giono: Notes sur l'affaire Dominici
Jean Giono's grave, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Pierre Citron: Jean Giono 1895–1970
Jean Giono: Regain | Second Harvest
Jean Giono: Que ma joie demeure
Jean Giono: Pour saluer Melville
Jean Giono et al, Le Contadour