by Jacques Jouet
translated by Amber Shields
Based on the life of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, Jacques Jouet's "Savage" compels the reader to ask whether it is the primitive or the civilized man who is savage. At the height of the Belle époque, an eccentric young clothing designer searches for inspiration and identity as an artist among the "savage" peoples of France's colonies. Influenced by several exotic lovers, a quirky "vieille" dame, and Édouard Manet himself, Paul's increasingly unconventional designs parallel his increasingly unbalanced state of mind as he struggles to find a market for his work among the haute bourgeoisie. The failure of this venture, coupled with psychosis due to an untreated illness, ultimately leads to his demise.