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'whoever feels different goes voluntary into a madhouse',
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This review is from: The Interrogation (Paperback)
An exercise in formal invention from a first time novelist utilizing new approaches to the subject of life,it's randomness,its chaos,its grandeur,its terror.We dispense with plot and character,we delve beneath the layers of convention,the accretions of culture into the philosophising of an extreme nature.Adam Pollo, holed up in a beach house whose owners are away,hoping they don't come back and haul him away; keeps a journal,writes letters to a mystery girlfriend,shamanistically enters into the life of moths,dogs,rats,panthers.He makes journeys to shops,into town or visits the beach or harbour.He spies upon people,sunbathers,beachcombers,receives letters Post Restante from his worried parents who want him to come home.In his interior adventures he discovers ways of being,ways of seeing in his state of exile.He is `not sure whether he has left the army or a mental home'(Le Clezio says in introduction), in a `kind of game or jigsaw-puzzle in the form of a novel'.Le Clezio utilizes techniques of modernism in an experimental and abstract way: we get each chapter starts with a letter of the alphabet,there are quotes from the extracts of novels and newspapers,typographical innovations,including words crossed out.There are Lautreamont flights of lyricism in descriptions of nature,poems, memories of his childhood, the sight of drowned bodies in the harbour, the self interrogation of philosophical speculations: 'Simultaneity is the total annihilation of time and not of movement,an annihilation not necessarily to be conceived as mystical experience,but by a constant exercise of the will to the absolute in abstract reasoning'.He is alienated and his internal dialogues overflow into the public space as he addresses people in the market-place that leads to him being committed for psychiatric observation.The question at the end -is he more sane than his interrogators?This is a richly rewarding novel for the future Nobel laureate,its like a trial run into the future possibilities, mining existential themes it depicts the consciousness of a man trapped between god-like visions and paranoid delusions and sustains what Le Clezio wished for, a'complete fiction' of essential reality.