3 January 2013

Linda Lê: Personne (2003)

In some ways, Linda Lê's Personne reminds me of Gilbert Sorrentino's postmodern Mulligan Stew, but then in other ways not, as Sorrentino's book is far more playful, for instance.

The usual Lê themes are here – such as death, doubles, and madness – although there's far more ambiguity. Personne, whose name means 'No one', is the main character and is a night watchman at a hotel until it burns down and he gets a job in a mail redirection business. Personne finds a computer on a tip with notes written by a woman he calls Tima, who describes her work at a museum (where she has been moved to the 'salle des gisants', containing recumbent statues), and a journey to Prague. Personne decides to retranscribe the notes, but in his own way, so it's unclear if Tima or Personne has written them.

But then, Personne is a kind of runaway train, escaping from the narrator. Other characters appear, such as Katimini the detective, Falmer (who is Personne's friend – perhaps), Ebua (whose name in reverse is 'Aube', which means 'Dawn' in French), and Abracadabra the psychiatrist is briefly mentioned. And aren't they all characters in the same book, facets of the same Personne?

My other posts on Linda Lê:

Linda Lê: Les Évangiles du crime
Linda Lê: A l'enfant que je n'aurai pas
Linda Lê: Voix: une crise
Linda Lê: Lame de fond
Linda Lê: Lettre morte

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