Horseman, Pass By!

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Horseman, Pass By!
Author Michel Déon
Original title Cavalier, passe ton chemin!
Translator Clíona Ní Ríordáin
Country France
Language French
Publisher Éditions Gallimard
Publication date
13 May 2005
Published in English
Pages 204
ISBN 9782070774685

Horseman, Pass By! (French: Cavalier, passe ton chemin!) is a 2005 book by the French writer Michel Déon. It recounts Déon's memories and impressions from Ireland and Irish culture.


Michel Déon visited Ireland for the first time in 1956, invited by his friend Christine de Rivoyre. He lived in Greece for several years and moved to Ireland in 1969. He settled with his family in the village of Tynagh in a former rectory from the 18th century. The church was turned into a stable, with the approval of the village priest. Ireland has been the setting for several of Déon's most successful novels, notably Un taxi mauve, which was adapted into the 1977 film The Purple Taxi. According to Déon he has tried to include at least one Irish character in every novel he has written since he moved to the island.[1]

The title Horseman, Pass By! is taken from the poem "Under Ben Bulben" by W. B. Yeats. The quotation is also found on Yeats' tombstone.[1]


The book was published on 13 May 2005 through éditions Gallimard. An English translation by Clíona Ní Ríordáin was published in 2016 through The Lilliput Press. According to Déon's wife, the writer got to see the edition when he emerged briefly from a coma before Christmas, before he died on 28 December 2016.[2]


Xavier Houssin wrote in Le Monde: "Of these authors of Erin, assembling the words thrown at the brim of storms, Horseman, Pass By! is above all a great deal about William Butler Yeats. ... Déon makes the poet, his life, his works, the absolute epicentre of an intimate wandering. Compass point in place, he traces the circle and rosettes of a long walk around him. ... You are touched. Conquered."[3]


  1. ^ a b Savin, Tristan (2005-07-01). "Michel Déon, esthète naturaliste". L'Express (in French). Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  2. ^ Marlowe, Lisa (2016-12-28). "French writer Michel Déon dies in Galway, aged 97". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-12-29. 
  3. ^ Houssin, Xavier (2005-07-28). "Ballade irlandaise" (PDF). Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 2015-04-15. De ces auteurs d'Erin, rassemblant les mots jetés dans le ras des tempêtes, il est beaucoup question dans Cavalier, passe ton chemin !, de William Butler Yeats surtout. ... Déon fait du poète, de sa vie, de son œuvre, l’épicentre absolu d'une errance intime. Pointe de compas plantée, il trace autour de lui le cercle et les rosaces d'une longue promenade. ... On est touché. Conquis. 

Further reading

External links

  • Horseman, Pass By! at the French publisher's website (in French)
  • Horseman, Pass By! at the Irish publisher's website
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