Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Review of sorts of OM on Pierre Assouline's blog. Babelfish that, I say -- you might be surprised. Dude digs, or so it seems -- my French is far less fireworky then I used to think it was.

(Again, still waiting for the backlash. Le Monde des livres, perhaps? Liberation? My brothers in French-speaking Belgium?)

Well now. This. The more I read about myself and this book I am accused of having written, the less I recognize myself. Partially due, no doubt, to me now being 6-7 years older than the book and in general much more brimming with existential dread than in the days when OM was nothing but a minute but rapidly uncontrollable fire burning in my brain, said dread nicely held at bay by the general malaise of the then-prevailing fin de siecle.

Otherwise put: I am far too old for these literary games now. (So I think.) (Too tired anyway.) It's not a world in which I belong. I stumbled into writing, or, more precisely, writing stumbled into me. Forgive me. It's not my fault. It's not me; it isn't.

Fortunately, the comments on Assouline's blog, wrought by folks who never met either me or my novel, tell me exactly who I am and why and where it's truly at.


François Monti said...

Assouline's comments section is better known as the toilets of the literary internet. Or something of the sort.
Glad to see the book is well received, and waiting to see if Le Soir reviews it one day. Obviously, French-speaking err written newspapers in Belgium are probably busy with other issues at the moment and especially today, but still.

Paul Verhaeghen said...

It's actually quite interesting to see how the conversation there has devolved into a shouting match centering around the question whether or not Einstein would have been allowed to be a professor at what is now the Humboldt University -- a shouting match that could have been avoided with some simple Google skills (e.g., -> Einstein, and back).
Or, I guess, how art and science don't mix after all? (Except, for instance, in Einstein's case -- physics and the violin.) (I also realize it takes Goolge skill to figure out that the Humboldt wasn't always called the Humboldt and that such name-changing is a popular German nazification/denazification/communistification/decommunistification thing.)

Pierre Maury said...

"Le Soir" (désolé d'écrire en français), c'est fait. De Madagascar. Avec une faute d'orthographe (Verhaegen) dont je ne suis pas responsable et que j'ai signalée aujourd'hui dans un erratum.