Ramuz Charles Ferdinand – Farinet or Counterfeit Money


Ramuz Charles Ferdinand – Farinet or Counterfeit Money: Farinet is in prison in Sion for the crime of counterfeit money in Italy. He escapes and returns to his village of Mièges near Sierre where he resumes his clandestine activity. It is an old mountaineer’s secret gold mines from where he pulls the precious metal in the form of powder. Anarchist and charmer, he is not a simple counterfeiter: he has very high ideas justifying his activity: individual liberty is more important than the state and the laws. He blames the government for the poor quality of its gold coins, while his are of a better alloy. Rather than sell his gold powder, he makes pieces to have “something not just of today, nor of yesterday or tomorrow, but of always”. His fellow citizens, to whom he gives many of his plays, admire him, protect him, help him to fool the gendarmes. But they do not hear it that way, and the hunt will end high in the mountain, on the edge of the abyss. Published in 1932, this novel is based on the life of the real Joseph-Samuel Farinet (1845-1880), a smuggler and counterfeiter, who became a legend in Valais for his fight against statism and its aberrations. Charles Ferdinand Ramuz was born in 1878 in Lausanne, Switzerland, of trading parents. After studying literature in Lausanne, he left for Paris, where he stayed regularly until 1914, while participating in the literary life of the French-speaking world. In 1903 he published Le petit village, a collection of poems. His first novel, Aline (1905), is a success. Then, until 1911, novels centered on a character (including Life of Samuel Belet, Aimé Pache, Waldensian painter, persecuted Jean-Luc). In 1914, he returned to live permanently in Switzerland. He founded Cahiers Vaudois with Edmond Gilliard and Paul Budry. With War in the Highlands (1915), The Reign of the Evil Spirit (1917), The Cure of Illness (1917), he renounced the explanatory novel to describe communities struggling with the forces of evil, the war , the end of the world. He develops a new language closer to spoken language – to the chagrin of purists – abandoning linear narrative and introducing the “on” as the expression of a community.

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