The Libera Me Domine—Robert Pinget (translated from the French by Barbara Wright)
Paperback/ 239 pages/ 14.50/ ISBN 0-87376-091-3
A tragedy has occurred in a French village. The Ducreux boy, was it the Ducreux boy, was strangled/drowned/sexually violated in the woods where his mother and father had taken him on a picnic, though they loathed picnics, never went on them. Is old Lorpailleur the school teacher involved or was she herself a victim?
“This network of gossip and absurd remarks had conditioned our existence to such an extent that no stranger could have resisted it for long. If he had come to follow the trade of baker he would have inevitably have branched off into that of child killer, for instance.”
Pinget says that his primary objective is to discover a tone of voice: this he undoubtedly achieves, and it is a different tone with each of his books, but what all his books have in common is the brilliance of the picture they present to the mind’s eye and the originality of the means by which he achieves the result.
“At the novel’s end we do feel we have lived in a provincial French village at a bone-deep level no logic-bound tale could have reached.”
The New Yorker—John Updike
Such a lovely night…
A July night over our little gardens, the moon illuminating a bare wall or a couple dreaming on a bench or a form creeping about under a tree or even… but everything looks so strange in this half-light, one must put oneself together, one must be reasonable, Mortin at his window would be thinking of something like his life, failure along the line, death gaining ground, friendships forfeited, the image he had of himself and which had gone up in smoke, in short all the clichés you can think of…
from The Libera Me Domine