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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

And Having Just Read...

I have just completed a novella called, Contre-Jour by Gabriel Josipovici. The slim paperback that may shy away quite happily from mainstream fiction, was published in London, some years ago by Paladin (Grafton Books).

It tells the story - and this while having shaped up, a deliberate form at artistry - of a neurotic painter and his wife who together with their eccentric lives and the loss of a child, stay wrapped in the lonely discourse of their marriage. This effect is studiously illustrated to give the impression of similiarity where a shell-shocked spider stays stuck in the trap of its web.

Everyday habits and routine are recreated to form the sole survival power for this fictitious couple.

The prose may be thought to be a little depressing but only because it is told mainly in a somber narrative - there is hardly any conversation.

I was mesmerized by the intense grip of the plot. The story is open to so much interpretation and the author has cleverly spun his tale in the way of a puzzle or a maze.

One gets to the end only having to guess that perhaps one had actually met the conclusion on page 1 and was then having to read backwards. Or else characters may simply not have been who they said they were. Was the tale then simply a riddle? The read proves immensely startling in this way.

I would like to recommend Contre-Jour for book club discussions as it leaves the room open for so much interpretation.
Or else, such a read would be perfect I think for the playwright interested in exposition scenes and how smoothly different parts of a story may move backwards and forwards without effort or any suspicion from a watchful audience.

This book would also be perfect for any Ingmar Bergman film enthusiast as it captures the essence of angst and reflection with the same magnitude and glory.

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