Overview

"A little thing happened to me. Which could have just as easily happened to you. You're on vacation in a hotel with your son in a small village and you're about to go see some friends, but something holds you back, a mysterious reticence that prevents you from going to find them. Here is the novel of this reticence, small and specific, and of the fears that it instigates, little by little. Because not only are your friends not there when you do decide to go find them, but, several days later, you find a dead cat in the harbor, a black cat ...

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Reticence

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Overview

"A little thing happened to me. Which could have just as easily happened to you. You're on vacation in a hotel with your son in a small village and you're about to go see some friends, but something holds you back, a mysterious reticence that prevents you from going to find them. Here is the novel of this reticence, small and specific, and of the fears that it instigates, little by little. Because not only are your friends not there when you do decide to go find them, but, several days later, you find a dead cat in the harbor, a black cat floating in front of you on the water..."

In Jean-Philippe Toussaint's take on the detective novel, we find a man on vacation in a tiny village, where a writer named Biaggi appears to be keeping him under surveillance. To what end? Ah, but it's far more pleasant to enjoy the Mediterranean night air than to look for answers, make deductions, or get upset--isn't it?

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

John Taylor - France Magazine
“In Toussaint, everything depends on [an] ‘almost.’ Minor breaks in routine become moving because human action per se is depicted as fragile, ephemeral, absurd.”
Jean-Claude Lebrun - Révolution
“You have to read [Reticence] in one sitting. Otherwise, like watching a movie in bits and pieces, you’d miss the most important part: its slow movement . . . a brilliant combination of a sort of nervous delirium and stifled laughter. In this, Reticence finds [a] perfect and subtle balance of seriousness, derision, and poetry.”
Lorin Stein - The Paris Review
“Dreamy and funny and haunted in a way all his own.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564787453
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 104
  • File size: 424 KB

Meet the Author

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of nine novels, and the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Décembre for The Truth about Marie. His writing has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.

A native of Vancouver, John Lambert studied philosophy in Paris before moving to Berlin, where he lives with his wife and two children. Translator, journalist, philosophy teacher, and actor, he has translated Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Monsieur and Self-Portrait Abroad.

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