Traces of Ink—Robert Pinget (translated from the French by Barbara Wright) paperback/71 pages/ 8.95/ ISBN 0-87376-089-1
Traces of Ink is Robert Pinget’s last published book. It came out in the spring of 1997, and was followed that summer by a colloquium in Tours celebrating every aspect of his work; this was a happy, successful occasion which Pinget much enjoyed. Only a month later, he had a stroke and died.
In ’82, Monsieur Songe was published in French. In his introduction to the English translation, Pinget wrote: “For some twenty years I have been finding relaxation from my work in scribbling these stories about Monsieur Songe. To the original Monsieur Songe I recently added as a component The Harness, and Plough. Here, revised and collected in one volume are all three books which, I repeat, are a “divertissement”. Monsieur Songe can be seen as Monsieur Pinget’s alter ego, and he figures in two of Pinget’s subsequent books, Be Brave and this present one, taches d’ encre.
Pinget endows Monsieur Songe with his own preoccupations. In particular, there is vital importance attached to the unconscious, hence: to dreams, contradictions, repetitions, nostalgia, intimations of death. And yet, interwoven with all these grave subjects, his invincible humor is never far away.
from the afterward by Barbara Wright
Here, Monsieur Songe says something. But his voice has grown weaker.
Just a murmur can be heard. But not understood.
from Traces of Ink