Nobel laureate Modiano: to Disappear, the human Details


    read a book by Patrick Modiano too often, so as to meet up with old Acquaintances. The narrator, Jean D., you still know from Modianos recent novels, especially “grasses of the night” (2014), when he fell in love with a woman who suddenly disappeared – what female characters in Modiano to do more often. You can recognize Paris and the sixties, space, and time, in which Modianos play books with fondness. The old Notebooks are back, those notebooks, in which Jean D. searches for traces of his past life. “The only way to defuse this narrow Dossiers,” he writes, “consists of individual passages to write off and to mix them under the pages of a novel, as I have done above thirty years. In this way, you will never know whether they belong in the reality or in the area of the dream.“

    Lena Bopp

    editor in the features section.

    F. A. Z.

    Thus the poet would be circumscribed terminology principle of Modiano. Always a memory stream, which is a mixture of vagueness and precision glides through his books, of melancholy and lightness – perhaps also out of reality and dream, as explained by Jean D. Modianos latest book, “Sleeping memories”. The narrative program is to play with open cards and to remain a mystery, and because of this art piece dominates almost no one as elegant as the Frenchman Modiano, was awarded to him five years ago, the Nobel prize for literature. Now, since his first book appeared after this award, it was noted with relief that the writers have this honor, not to irritate. You can see it that way.

    escape from the police and their own past

    His new book, plays back in the sixties, Jean D., as a “time of meetings” in memory. He remembers Montmartre and Montparnasse, to cafes in the morning and sleep in the night, and especially to some women. To Geneviève Dalame, Madeleine Péraud and Madame Hubersen, Martine Hayward and another, whose name he would not mention – “I don’t trust after fifty years, still the all-too-accurate Details that could allow their identification”. Because the nameless lady has committed a murder, Accidentally, as they are not insured, but the Details do not. What is consistent, as this murder fits so easily into a series of mysterious deaths, the Modianos. Death as a special Form of disappearance is a recurring motif in the case of Modiano, whose alter Ego is allowed to trace Jean D. in the recent work of another, this time, the active Form of the disappearance: the Run not only from police, but from all sorts of people, whom he met at a young age.

    From the other women, one learns not by much. About Geneviève Dalame after all that you got, as well as Jean D., for the occult, interested and Madeleine Péraud, apparently, in a “circle”, in the “magic” was operated. Shortly thereafter, she disappeared for the first Time. Six years later she popped up again, at the Hand of her son, but whether this child is also the son of the narrator, or ever could be, remains uncertain. Like all the others, the description of this encounter remains volatile, although Jean D., as it has always been his way of saving the Details. He remembers streets with house numbers, times and titles of individual books. But these Details are nothing to contribute to the characterization of people and relationships, but they create an atmosphere, which, because it combines several contradictions in itself, the preferred habitat of the narrator.