Journals Log In | Journals Account Info

Books Cart  
Journals Cart  
Browse Books

Nebraska 150 Sale
New March Books
Passover Sale
Women's History Month Sale
March Madness Sale

ie logo
UNP e-Newsletter
(PDF version)


Facebook page  Twitter  Pinterest  Instagram
Connect with Us

Spring/Summer 2017 catalog

Spring/Summer 2017 Catalog
(Download PDF)


Fall/Winter 2016 catalog

Fall/Winter 2016 e-catalog
Download PDF

Potomac Books


Need for the Bike, Need for the Bike, 0803220197, 0-8032-2019-7, 978-0-8032-2019-5, 9780803220195, Paul Fournel Translated and with an introduction by Allan Stoekl, , Need for the Bike, 0803269099, 0-8032-6909-9, 978-0-8032-6909-5, 9780803269095, Paul Fournel Translated and with an introduction by Allan Stoekl , , Need for the Bike, 0803269269, 0-8032-6926-9, 978-0-8032-6926-2, 9780803269262, Paul Fournel Translated and with an introduction by Allan Stoekl

Need for the Bike
Paul Fournel
Translated and with an introduction by Allan Stoekl

2003. 150 pp.
$45.00 s
Out of Stock
2003. 150 pp.
$16.95 t

A book like no other, Paul Fournel’s Need for the Bike conducts readers into a very personal world of communication and connection whose center is the bicycle, and where all people and things pass by way of the bike. In compact and suggestive prose, Fournel conveys the experience of cycling—from the initial charm of early outings to the dramas of the devoted cyclist.
An extended meditation on cycling as a practice of life, the book recalls a country doctor who will not anesthetize the young Fournel after he impales himself on a downtube shifter, speculates about the difference between animals that would like to ride bikes (dogs, for instance) and those that would prefer to watch (cows, marmots), and reflects on the fundamental absurdity of turning over the pedals mile after excruciating mile. At the same time, Fournel captures the sound, smell, feel, and language of the reality and history of cycling, in the mountains, in the city, escaping the city, in groups, alone, suffering, exhausted, exhilarated.
In his attention to the pleasures of cycling, to the specific “grain” of different cycling experiences, and to the inscription of these experiences in the body’s cycling memory, Fournel portrays cycling as a descriptive universe, colorful, lyrical, inclusive, exclusive, complete.

Paul Fournel is a member of Oulipo, a collective of avant-garde writers whose works focus on the problems and puzzles of language. He is presently the cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Cairo. Allan Stoekl is a professor of French at Pennsylvania State University, the author and editor of a number of books, and the translator of Maurice Blanchot’s The Most High (Nebraska 1996).

"Few sportswriters fancy themselves members of the literary avant-garde, but Frenchman Paul Fournel is the real deal. In his carefully cadenced prose poem Need for the Bike, translated by Allan Stoekl, he shares a passion for the sport matched only by his love of language."—Bicycling

"Mr. Fournel takes us inside his helmet for a passionate tour of his knowledge and emotions from more than 40 years as a French cyclist. . . . This book does a wonderful job of covering a big subject, from the emotion of his first ride to the soul searching of a weekend warrior who realizes his strongest miles are behind him. . . . This is the perfect book for either accomplished cyclists or their significant others who could never quite figure out the bike thing."—The Dallas Morning News

"A fascinating mix of bicycling memories, observations, and experiences the author has gathered during a lifetime of cycling. . . . This very personal book, doled in short, easily digestible doses, packs a meal that ultimately satisfies deeply."—ForeWord

"A nice mix and match of memories and insights gathered by the author in a lifetime on the bike."—Harvey Frommer,

“Fournal is a philosopher of the mentalité and physiology of biking. . . . This French work is vital to the literate cyclist’s library.”—Omaha Pedalers Bicycle Club Newsletter

"An eloquent, whimsical and amusing account of a lifetime's cycling moments and feelings. . . . This is a great book, and a happy celebration of cycling."—Velo Vision

Book Sense 76 Independent Bookseller selection

Also of Interest

Nebraska's Cowboy Trail
Keith Terry

Bicycling beyond the Divide
Daryl Farmer

Personal Record
Rachel Toor

Kayaking Alone
Mike Barenti