On translating avant garde and genderless literature.
An eerily at peace coterie.
The pleasures of literary play in the writer’s final novel.
In An Approach, the sentence gradually evolves: word choices change subtly; phrases are introduced, transposed, or deleted; punctuation shifts and changes form. Through these shifts and disruptions, the text begins to accede to a nonlinear logic, through which we can glimpse “the unspoken, which is its subject, between the words, through the words.”
Finally back in the fold of Hollywood—one imagines him advancing mistrustfully, mistrustfully looking up at the high and useless palm trees (an immoderation which serves no purpose: the palm trees “planted on both sides of the expressway in order to purge an already pure sky”).
A rediscovered novel and memoir depict a character we are lucky to have on the page. In life he would mortify us.
“When we really like a book, it’s often because its rhythm is similar to our own—to our heartbeat, our breathing, the way we walk. I think that’s what draws us to certain writers and not to others even though we know they are great.”
It is both a memoir of Lindon’s literary friendships and a treatise on survival, a tribute to the friends whose care and love, in Lindon’s words, saved his life, even as they were themselves lost.
The French writer Édouard Louis recorded his days in New York, around the time of the American release of his novel The End of Eddy. The following entries originally appeared in French in the June 6, 2017, edition of Les Inrockuptibles.
Female intelligence and female obsession, in the air
If the experimental French writing group Oulipo were to be reborn today, would they return as performance artists? Anne Garréta’s 2002 Prix Médicis–winning novel, Not One Day, marks her as a literary acrobat suspended between those who hold on to the group’s relevance and those who have let it go in favor of conceptual art practices.
Sexual awakening amid poverty and violence in Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy
Earthquakes, rain of blood, and other fun things in Jean Echenoz’s We Three
These two slim volumes, which are somehow stories, memoirs, meditations, diaries, and novels all in one, operate as much at the level of the sentence as that of the story.
The author’s first novel is set in Mexico City, but its themes of violence, grief, and solitude are truly global.
“I’m not influenced by literature. I find everything I need in the reality of life, in my place within that reality.”
“The novel is a race, and I can see the finish line from the first sentence: it’s an intuition that magnetizes the entire text. The closer I get to the goal, the faster I want to go.”
On Michel Houellebecq’s Submission
One of the joys of reading Zone is discovering the utter range of Padgett’s stylings as both translator and poet.
Though she wouldn’t join the Oulipo for another fourteen years, Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, is quintessentially Oulipian.