With Bas Jan Ader

Original title: Avec Bas Jan Ader

Author: Giraud, Thomas

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

French | La Contre Allée

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Art, Literary Fiction

With Bas Jan Ader

Original title: Avec Bas Jan Ader

Author: Giraud, Thomas


Do you need to know Bas Jan Ader to read Thomas Giraud’s latest book? Absolutely not. One can even say that it is desirable not to know him in order to better discover him thanks to the author who, of course, knows him inside out. — Encres Vagabondes

A language capable of rendering to us the observation, the measure of gesture, the depth or the lightness, the singularity of the mature action. — L’inventoire

We enjoyed finding the delicacy of the style of Thomas who, with small touches, knows how to paint the portrait of one who has been forgotten. — Ouest France

Thomas Giraud’s profoundly visual writing incarnates the body and its sensations and sheds light on the fragile figure of Dutch artist, Bas Jan Ader. Giraud brings Ader’s art to life through colors, scents and forms.

In his new novel, Thomas Giraud has gotten even closer to one of history’s most dazzling, elusive and skilled artists – the type of artist who was just passing through and experimenting a bit before leaving us with as many questions as he did thrills.

Though we know little about Dutch artist, Bas Jan Ader, reading Giraud’s account of his life makes us wonder why he was so obsessed with falling. What was he trying to prove by tumbling from his bicycle into the canal or dropping from a tree branch? Are these simply to demonstrate a taste for going against the material world’s established order to discover what flows from still mountains? Or is the objective simply to experience being in the world?

Ader carried out many artistic experiments and put on spectacular performances, up until his last. He attempted to cross the Atlantic on what was likely an ill-equipped boat, In Search of the Miraculous… Giraud delves into this story, crossing the Atlantic with him and painting a picture of Ader through all stages of his life: from childhood to adulthood to his life as an artist.