THE LAUREATE: Claude Simon was born just before World War 1, his father died in it and he was raised by his mother and extended family. He fought in World War 2, and started writing in the middle of it. I dunno. Wikipedia Nobel Committee
WHAT ARE YOU READING?: The Trolley, although I would love to get my hands on On Flanders Road, because it sounds amazing.
REVIEW: The Trolley was, if I go by what Wikipedia has to say on the matter, not representative of Simon’s work. It’s true, the narrative was unstuck in time; most of it talked about life in provincial France between the wars, with occasional scenes in some unspecified present where the narrator is lying in a hospital. The whole thing is written in a sort of refined and properly punctuated stream of consciousness, with parenthetical thoughts and associations being appended to the main thread of a sentence as they occur. And yes, there were some three and four page sentences. That said, it was certainly an interesting book. You can get a feel for how French life decayed after World War 1 and how it was just hanging around waiting to get worse in World War 2.
DO YOU RECOMMEND?: Yes. I’ll be tracking down The Flanders Road. You should be too.
WHAT’S NEXT?: Ivo Andric’s The Bridge on the Drina, and also hopefully Harry Martinson’s ANIARA: A SURVEY OF MAN IN TIME AND SPACE