LE CONTRE-CIEL is a powerful and transcendent collection of poetry. Rene Daumal presents, in the form of easily digestible verse, a stirring and provocative meditation on life, death, and the afterlife. LE CONTRE-CIEL ('The Counter-Heaven') marked the start of one of the most daring and inventive careers in all of French literature. Written when its author was only twenty-two, it was honoured with the prestigious Prix Jacques Doucet, awarded by the reigning triumvirate of French letters, Andre Gide, Paul Valery, and Jean Giraudoux. LE CONTRE-CIEL is an exploration of, among other things, death as a beginning to life rather than end, a means of shedding superficial identity and experiencing understanding and awareness - concepts that Daumal later developed in his two great prose masterpieces, A Night of Serious Drinking and the posthumously published Mount Analogue.
Rene Daumal (1908-1944) was a poet, philosopher, and scholar of religion. He is the author of the novels A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue. He also published many essays on religion and philosophy, as well as translations from Sanskrit. He died of tuberculosis in 1944, at the age of thirty-six.