... A man lost
A few weeks ago I noticed in the Globe that Patrick Modiano had won the Nobel Prize for literature. I did not know this name or
of his writings. I went to the Melrose library and found “Honeymoon”. His books were not listed in the Melrose library, but I
found this book at Gordon College. I noted that there were 4 others waiting for this book. After waiting for a few weeks I
decided to go to Barnes and Noble and look on their shelves. To my amazement there was not a single book of Modiano’s anywhere.
I went to the reception desk and said I was surprised by not a single book of the Nobel Prize winner on the shelves. I was told
I could buy “Honeymoon” right now, if I paid up front for the book to be delivered in about a week. I paid for the book and,
sure enough, it came several days later. I am still amazed that the Saugus B&N did not stock a Nobel Prize winner.
The first U.S. Edition was published in 1995 and the soft cover was just now published in 2014. “Honeymoon” was translated by
Barbara Wright. Modiano has published sixteen novels and has won several prizes. I don’t intend to review this book but I hope
to say enough to whet your appetite.
This is a lovely book written in first person, that I favor, in only 120 pages. The story is told by a man who is about to
abandoned his life and disappears. He is supposed to go to Buenos Sera’s, instead he hides in Paris. The title, Honeymoon refers
to a couple on a honeymoon he meets sometime before.
Let me give you a taste of his writing. Middle of page 52 he says,
“A cat sidled out of the half-open door of one of the classrooms, crossed the passageway and went and curled up in the middle of
a pool of sunlight.”
And, just below he says on page 54,
“And the sunlight all around them deepened the silence.”
There is a lot of sunlight in Modino’s writing.
You might recall from my previous writing that I had made a point about the importance of details. Modiano is masterful at that.
January 3, 2015