Breathless one reads the new novel by Patrick Modiano, Nobel Prize 2014. The appeal, initially harmless “like an insect bite,” turns out to be inflammation, aches, spreads throughout the body. What ostensibly developed as a spectacular criminal case, the reader does not come with new details to rest and let him vain hope for clarification is to examine an old man with his past. His memories are blurry, have superimposed, blended and blurred, break gradually uncomfortable out and roll over him like the bubbling ejections of a volcano, which he believed extinct long ago.
Was probably all just a bad dream or a cleverly concocted fiction
The Bolero starts gently and inconspicuously with the ringing of the phone – annoying and persistent until Jean Daragane, dozing on his couch, from its furnished comfortably Loneliness breaks. The unknown caller stated that he had found his little address book in the Gare de Lyon, and offers him a transfer to. Indeed Daragane was in the restaurant this station; the book must have slipped him there from his jacket pocket.
But neither he missed it yet stirs serious concern to recover it. It contains only about thirty names and phone numbers, most “useful” acquaintances of them “professional nature”, many now invalid. Under the remainder is not one, “would have had to choose he Lust”.
So why Daragane should feel compelled to appear at the agreed handover date with the stranger? In his soft voice, he felt a “threat” that burdened him. He needs the invitation – the more of a demand is -.
Simply give in, otherwise remain “somewhat in limbo” is true, and that is hard to bear
In a cafe he and his much younger the forty-year-old Gilles Ottoline girlfriend Chantal Grippay. Gilles, who works in an advertising agency, apologized for the leak to have leafed through the booklet. He had met with a name that played a role in a long-ago criminal case. Whether Daragane probably could give information about “a certain Guy Torstel”? The respondents “do not know who that might be,” and wants to be not involved. He is old, has “memory lapses” and is no longer willing to devote the time and effort to investigate the matter. As quickly as just duly he says goodbye.
But the encounter can not get rid Daragane. The mention of the name and the criminal case has put a tiny inner feathers in vibration that is transferred to a small cog that triggers increasing unrest until the end rattles all the work out of round and rattles. As of dense fog appears Daraganes childhood, but it is a fragmentary memories full of unanswered, so misunderstood questions: “Many years later, trying to solve puzzles, which were once not, and would like semi-blurred letters a decipher too old language, whose alphabet we do not even know. “<
a childhood as the forgetting of Daragane would be a blessing. As early as elementary school age have him given away his parents. Obviously they wanted to be rid of him. In their place then a young woman around him cares. Shreds of memory: a year to live “a young girl and a child” (Annie Astrand and “my little Jean”) together in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt in a spacious house “with a large porch.” The country air will do the boy good. Usually he has a “good sleep”, but when Annie is gone at night to pursue her work as “acrobatic dancer,” he waits restlessly on their return. Then he hears “car doors slam and voices” heard in the next room laughter of women and men in the morning when Jean gets up to go to school, have already disappeared.
In 1952 must Jean well “witness of something bad” have become. Police come, searched the house, arrested people also questioned the boy. Annie is preparing a hasty escape, can machine images and a fake passport from the boy make buying train tickets. the two stay for a few days in a villa, they just leave the food in a restaurant on the Cote d’Azur. The night before they want to drive a car across the border to Italy, Annie looks worried sets Solitaire, a tear runs down her cheek. When she telephoned the child recognizes only the sound of her voice, no words
The morning brought Jean renewed trauma, begins to take shape again in the usual crescendo. “First, it is almost nothing, the crunch of tires on the gravel sound of an engine taking off, and you need a little more time before you realize you are alone in the house. ” That Daragane was abandoned for the second time, he is – fortunately? – forgotten but never processed
Daraganes life will be like episodes, even murder, ready for him and the reader.. In his retrospect they take in the mist of the uncertain past, vague forms, here and there seems to be a detail to emerge to win contour, troubled the finder of lost time, urges the reader in suspense – and dissolves yet again in the enigmatic nowhere , Anyone who follows in this novel only the crime traces, must be frustrated in the end. Who gets involved in the deeper levels of meaning (the existential, philosophical, psychological, which the fictional) may sometimes fear losing the ground under their feet, but will be carried away by this game of deception to the alienation of a reality that was never trusted .
A central key to understanding this small masterpiece (Elisabeth Edl has developed the beautiful translation) is, like all novels by this author, in his autobiographical traits. Patrick Modiano, become just seventy, is about the same age as his protagonist and writer colleague Daragane, which he attributes to that he was self-conscious of the deep, empty and lonely emotion, “to run down a slope idle”. Modianos parents, a Flemish actress and an Italian-Greek-Jewish merchant, cared little for her son, pushed him off to boarding. His only brother, three years younger, was only nine years old died of leukemia. A university degree that would have secured him a managerial career, Modiano breaks rapidly discovered the literature and devoted himself to writing. From the outset he processed in his books substances from their own lonely childhood and youth in order to further the theme “Remembrance, forget identity and guilt” (Wikipedia) apart. he has his latest novel, preceded by a Stendhal quote: “I can not represent the reality of what has happened, I can only show his shadow.” Writing: a convicted to failure cognitive process. As easily gets the impression Modiano write more for themselves than for an audience; but in fact, he believes that a reader can understand a literary work better than its author.