Les Cygnes sauvages

Kenneth White
Marie-Claude White

Les Cygnes sauvages (Wild Swans) is part of Kenneth White’s waybooks series. With this work — at once a travelogue and a collection of haikus — the contemporary philosopher leads the reader from the tentacular city of Tokyo to the untamed isle of Hokkaido in the late Eighties. With a blend of freestyle verse and nimble observations about mass culture in Japan, he draws the reader along on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet Bashō who, three centuries earlier, traveled this very road to the deep North.

This collectible re-edition, a monument in his œuvre, is a physical and spiritual journey accompanied by three series of photographs by the author’s wife, Marie-Claude White, who also translated the work. Seen through the photographer’s lens, seaweed, bark and foam become delicate prints that transport the viewer to Japan’s distant landscapes.

Each book is a unique piece and is presented wrapped in a linen slipcover by the Japanese artist Yuko Kitta, who uses all-natural dyes to make gradient indigo envelopes, offering a companion piece for this artwork.

Made of wood, fabric, glass and paper, this precious book — produced in a limited edition of 30 examples — is a sensual experience as much as a dive into the relationship between man and Earth that is essential to restore.

  • Publication date: March 2022
  • Box format: 42,5 x 32,7 cm
  • Book format: 28,5 x 22 cm
  • 35 examples, including 5 off-the-shelf examples numbered I to V. All copies are signed by the author and the artist.
  • Price: 3,500 €
  • ISBN: 978-2-9575945-0-4

Photo credit: François Goize