A review of Laurent Mauvignier’s The Birthday Party
Very few of Duras’s works have remained untranslated for so long, which poses the obvious question of why. Was the delay simply a product of happenstance? Or is this early novel not very good?
Like Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping or Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, Emmanuel Carrère’s Yoga has the merit of not living up to the promise of its title.
Fatima Daas’s The Last One is an autobiographical novel that presents an original and complex exploration of identity. A portrait of the protagonist, also called Fatima Daas, emerges through a series of vignettes that jump across time but take us ultimately from her childhood to her twenty-ninth birthday.
Missouri Williams’s debut novel, The Doloriad, is a wild and wholly original contribution to the growing genre of climate fiction. With its rich prose, dark humour and unsettling concentration on the very worst aspects of humankind, it’s a novel that is likely to split opinion.
If any twentieth-century French poet invites a methodical, quasi-mathematical approach to their work, it is Raymond Queneau, co-founder of the Oulipo and author of the proto-algorithmic Cent mille milliards de poèmes (1961).
Looking at Freud’s paintings, one can sense this intuitively; plants are not charged with doing or saying something, they are just there, in all their quiddity.
The British novelist Will Self and the legendary illustrator Quentin Blake have teamed up on a new book — a dreamy rumination on travelling by the light of the moon.
Full article in Modern Painters magazine (October-November 2019).
“Post-modernist” is perhaps too weighty a word for such a joyous denouement, but, whatever you want to call it, “I Am Sovereign” makes many of the great masters of experimental literature look like they were just trying too hard.