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On the High Wire

Philippe Petit, Paul Auster (Translated by), Paul Auster (Introduction by)

Paperback

List Price: 13.95*
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Description

On the High Wire is fascinating to read. You will learn about the man, his work, his passion, his tenacity and lucidity” (Marcel Marceau)


In this poetic handbook, written when he was just twenty-three, the world-famous high-wire artist Philippe Petit offers a window into the world of his craft. Petit masterfully explains how preparation and self-control contributed to such feats as walking between the towers of Notre Dame and the World Trade Center. Addressing such topics as the rigging of the wire, the walker’s first steps, his salute and exercises, and the work of other renowned high-wire artists, Petit offers us a book about the ecstasy of conquering our fears and reaching for the stars.


Praise For On the High Wire

In the hand it feels like a guidebook and reads like a dream diary. The book is both of those things.
— Michigan Quarterly Review

What most recommends On the High Wire is the voice of its author. Petit’s style, true to his title of the Magician of High Altitudes, captivates.

— Zach Davidson - The Brooklyn Rail

What sets Philippe in a class all his own is his restless quest to conquer the
greatest physical heights, achieving a precise balance of chaos and creativity.
He is an inspiration.
— Mikhail Baryshnikov

Philippe Petit is an artist whose theater is the sky.
— Robin Williams

This is a book of instructions to those who will dare one day the impossible.
It shows the art to fill and illuminate the Void, a void between two towers, two
edges of a ravine, or two planets, or the space between heart and mind. A wire
connects what would have been separated in loneliness forever. I salute you,
Philippe, the Fragile Man of the Wire, the Emperor of the air. Like Fitzcarraldo
you are one of the ever so rare and wondrous men: a Conquistador of the
Useless. I bow my head in reverence.
— Werner Herzog

New Directions, 9780811228640, 128pp.

Publication Date: June 25, 2019



About the Author

Philippe Petit (b. 1949) is a French high-wire artist whose celebrated walk between the Twin Towers was the subject of the Academy-Award winning film Man on Wire. He is also the author of Why Knot?, To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers, and Creativity: The Perfect Crime.

A critically acclaimed novelist, essayist, and translator, Paul Auster lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of many novels, including 4321, The New York Trilogy, and City of Glass. New Directions publishes his Red Notebook as well as his translations of Stephane Mallarmé’s A Tomb for Anatole and Philippe Petit’s On the High Wire.

A critically acclaimed novelist, essayist, and translator, Paul Auster lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of many novels, including 4321, The New York Trilogy, and City of Glass. New Directions publishes his Red Notebook as well as his translations of Stephane Mallarmé’s A Tomb for Anatole and Philippe Petit’s On the High Wire.