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Le Procès verbal

Summary Le Procès verbal

From the original Atheneum edition jacket 1964 JMG Le Clézio revelation of the literary year ran the headline of the Paris Express after last year's prizes had been awarded The Goncourt jury was locked five to five until its president used his double vote to give the prize to the older candidate Ten minutes later the Renaudot jury elected the candidate they thought they might lose to the other prize Most of the literary sections ran their prize news putting the Renaudot first in order t To over describe is to defamiliarize the reader with the thing described Conversely to under describe can allow the reader cognitive room to fill in the blanks Done well as here early on over description sets the reader suirming The effect is a little like chalk misapplied to a blackboard See Russian Formalism There’s a fine example of the techniue early in Charlotte Bronte’s Villette when a painting in a gallery is described The protagonist here may be mad so his hyper vigilance to setting atmosphere his and others’ bodies grates even when softened by way of third person narration It’s an admirable way to beginAdam watched them absentmindedly as though they their noise and movement had no logical connection with himself; and every sensation of his overwrought body which magnified details fashioned his being into a monstrous object a compact of pain in which consciousness of life was merely consciousness of matter through the nerves p14Adam has avoided working life the rat race it appears so he might indulge himself in a constant welter of sensory phenomenological experience He’s drunk on his sensations Thus the use of defamiliarization It occurs to me that this is very much a young man’s novel filled with the knowledge gleaned in college and marked by a shrewd talent that allows the author to place a few of these ideas in juxtaposition which in turn function as a clever narrative engine Impressive Adam’s sensibility is wholly solipsistic He’s alienated from the social so that he is incapable of giving so busy is he greedily sucking up bodily sensations He’s cruel to animals as all true dyed in the wool serial killers are He’s just ruthlessly fucked a young woman; she hasn’t been seen since; did he kill her Adam in short is a bore but the prose is notThe novel reminds me of Lolita in this sense it’s the story of an obnoxious figure whose prose seeks to be of such overwhelming interest that we excuse forget overlook the character’s loathsomeness Humbert Humbert’s was a libertine greedy for illicit sexual pleasures self satisfactions for humiliating others as a means ego inflation and for skirting the law That’s all here in The Interrogation though Adam’s greed is for a deep form of internalized experienceWhat drives Adam is reflection lucid meditation Starting from his own human flesh from the sum of his present sensations he annihilates himself by a dual system of multiplication and identification p 154As the book crawls to its finish Adam disappears and the novel fragments into a number of discreet stories the drowned man the woman in the photographic negative etc Then we flashback to Adam at age 12 and move on to a turgid bit of pataphysics A favorite sentence “All the components of the telephone are present in the rhinoceros” p 153 The device of a torn up notebook is used written in at some point by grownup Adam thus the text is even further fragmented Eventually Adam evolves perhaps inevitably from suatter and general cynic to ebullient street corner prophet There are many ways to go insane on the page Two of my favorites are Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment and Alberto Moravia’s Contempt The Interrogation isn’t on that exalted level but it holds the reader and stays lodged in memory That is a difficult task for any writer Recommended Jaxon (Kings of Denver year ran the headline of the Paris Express after last Drink to Yesterday (Tommy Hambledon, year's prizes had been awarded The Goncourt jury was locked five to five until its president used his double vote to give the prize to the older candidate Ten minutes later the Renaudot jury elected the candidate they thought they might lose to the other prize Most of the literary sections ran their prize news putting the Renaudot first in order t To over describe is to defamiliarize the reader with the thing described Conversely to under describe can allow the reader cognitive room to fill in the blanks Done well as here early on over description sets the reader suirming The effect is a little like chalk misapplied to a blackboard See Russian Formalism There’s a fine example of the techniue early in Charlotte Bronte’s Villette when a painting in a gallery is described The protagonist here may be mad so his hyper vigilance to setting atmosphere his and others’ bodies grates even when softened by way of third person narration It’s an admirable way to beginAdam watched them absentmindedly as though they their noise and movement had no logical connection with himself; and every sensation of his overwrought body which magnified details fashioned his being into a monstrous object a compact of pain in which consciousness of life was merely consciousness of matter through the nerves p14Adam has avoided working life the rat race it appears so he might indulge himself in a constant welter of sensory phenomenological experience He’s drunk on his sensations Thus the use of defamiliarization It occurs to me that this is very much a The Second Wave: The Makanza Series Book 0 (English Edition) young man’s novel filled with the knowledge gleaned in college and marked by a shrewd talent that allows the author to place a few of these ideas in juxtaposition which in turn function as a clever narrative engine Impressive Adam’s sensibility is wholly solipsistic He’s alienated from the social so that he is incapable of giving so busy is he greedily sucking up bodily sensations He’s cruel to animals as all true dyed in the wool serial killers are He’s just ruthlessly fucked a The First Mile young woman; she hasn’t been seen since; did he kill her Adam in short is a bore but the prose is notThe novel reminds me of Lolita in this sense it’s the story of an obnoxious figure whose prose seeks to be of such overwhelming interest that we excuse forget overlook the character’s loathsomeness Humbert Humbert’s was a libertine greedy for illicit sexual pleasures self satisfactions for humiliating others as a means ego inflation and for skirting the law That’s all here in The Interrogation though Adam’s greed is for a deep form of internalized experienceWhat drives Adam is reflection lucid meditation Starting from his own human flesh from the sum of his present sensations he annihilates himself by a dual system of multiplication and identification p 154As the book crawls to its finish Adam disappears and the novel fragments into a number of discreet stories the drowned man the woman in the photographic negative etc Then we flashback to Adam at age 12 and move on to a turgid bit of pataphysics A favorite sentence “All the components of the telephone are present in the rhinoceros” p 153 The device of a torn up notebook is used written in at some point by grownup Adam thus the text is even further fragmented Eventually Adam evolves perhaps inevitably from suatter and general cynic to ebullient street corner prophet There are many ways to go insane on the page Two of my favorites are Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment and Alberto Moravia’s Contempt The Interrogation isn’t on that exalted level but it holds the reader and stays lodged in memory That is a difficult task for any writer Recommended

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O feature the twenty three year old discovery that was rocking Paris literary circles What is The Interrogation Most likely a myth without distinct delineations A very solitary young man Adam Pollo perhaps the first man perhaps the last has a very remarkable interior adventure He concentrates and he discovers ways of being ways of seeing He enters into animals into a tree He has no business no distractions; he is at the complete disposal of life All of life that is except the society of The Nobel for Le Clezio makes me think that the Swedish Academy must be like a legislative body – it produces odd compromises that are no one's first choice My only previous experience with Le Clezio was a rather gauzy commentary on the conuest of Mexico a topic about which much has already been written with great specificity So I approached “the Investigation” with curiosity and a dash of hope especially since it took the Renaudot Prize The main character Adam Pollo does not know if he has been released from the Army or the mental hospital Le Clezio settles that point during the narrative Pollo seems detached from the norms of society has occasional outbursts some of them violent His mind focuses on extraneous minutiae Near the beginning Pollo commits what can only be described as rape but the victim has no reaction But he seems rootless and detached There are interesting moments toward the end when Le Clezio does some interesting things with form recording a psychiatric evaluation and introducing mock ups of newspapers into the text But in the end Pollo and his world seem not so much surreal as deliberately unreal Perhaps this is all a reflection of Pollo’s confused mind But the narrative thread is weak to start with and can’t stand that strain I don’t mind unreliable narrators but unreliable writers leave me cold

J.M.G. Le Clézio Þ 5 review

His own species and so the story ends This is the next phase after the 'the new novel' wrote the critics Kafka they said; a direct descendant of Joyce they said Beckett they said Like nothing else they said One hundred thousand Frenchmen bought it They said it was strange and beautiful Finally the real voice of the young said the critics I like J D Salinger said Mr Le Clézio and that was all he said His remarkable first book will soon be published all over the world and much will be sai If you weren't having an existential crisis when you start you will be when you finish

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