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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giovinezza, torbida ebbrezza, 25 Oct 2011
This review is from: Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books (French Modernist Library) (Paperback)
A contemporary take on the Proustian 'projet' to seize the evanescent moment or to render one's life decipherable ('lisible'), this is simply delectable - brief as youth itself (unlike childhood, which went on for ever), tender (towards his younger self), and not least extremely funny, as well as being deadly serious (when he writes 'I thought I was free; I was not' I am reminded of the Musset of Confessions d'un Enfant du Siècle). If it does finally dissolve into preciosity (8 synonyms for procrastination!) Bénabou's use of language I can only call sensual, although I know to les anglo-saxons this will mean 'only one thing'. I have to say I'm reading this in the original (all his influences, et pourquoi pas, seem to be either French or German) but if you've ever struggled through L'Etranger, do yourself a favour and try it. My only gripe is when he suggests (p70(top) of the 1986 edition) that words are imbued with a sense of mortality - surely no more than the whole shooting match is and, anyway, music when soft voices die vibrates in the memory - finitude, or the inevitability of 'closure', is all. So it doesn't, finally, 'go anywhere'? Does life?
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