Le Cœur Net

By Chris Marker [Preface by Jean Cayrol]


Paris: Le Club francais du livre, 1950. 8vo (21x14cm), decorated yellow cloth. 183pp. Text in French. Spine-tail slightly bumped, and very light traces of creasing and foxing to margins on some pages. Overall near fine.


Chris Marker’s first and only novel Le Cœur Net, was originally published by Éditions du Seuil in 1949 and won the Prix Orion in 1950, awarded by the French Minister of Aviation. With the prize money, Chris Marker bought a tape recorder and began recording conversations of people he met. This gradually developed into a creative approach that led to films such as Cuba Si and Le Jolie Mai.

Set in Indochina, Le Cœur Net revolves around an airmail service where the pilot Delso gets caught in an unexpected storm and his friend, the head of the airline Van Helsen, tries to navigate him out of it, while Delso‘s lover Hélène and the journalist Jerry hope for his return.

The plot is more or less a vehicle for the vivid inner life and struggles of its protagonists, which manifest themselves in memories, dreams, daydreams and hallucinations. These are precisely the themes that run throughout Marker‘s work. Chris Marker cuts back and forth between the viewpoints of the various characters, creating a cinematic feel through these abrupt transitions and juxtapositions.

This non-commercial, limited edition of Le Cœur Net was reserved exclusively for members of the Club français du livre in an edition of 3000 copies. The cover was beautifully designed by the great Pierre Faucheux and printed on Bouffant Alfa paper with a preface by Jean Cayrol. The book was completed on April 30th, 1950 on the presses of the master printers (maîtres imprimeurs) N. Fortin and his sons in Paris. Bound by Engel in Malakoff.