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La Place de l’Étoile (Trilogie « de l'Occupation » #1)

3.1  ·  Rating details ·  624 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Au mois de juin 1942, un officier allemand s'avance vers un jeune homme et lui dit: "Pardon, monsieur, où se trouve la place de l'Etoile?". Le jeune homme désigne le côté gauche de sa poitrine.
Mass Market Paperback, Folio, 218 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by Gallimard (first published 1968)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anders Hjortshøj
A bizarre, bitingly sarcastic look at what it means to be a French Jew, delivered with a kaleidoscopic array of cultural and historical inputs. Most prominent among them are the German occupation, France's literary tradition and a series of Jewish "role models" that the main character alternately imitates fawningly and rejects in disgust. Chronology and plot are cast aside altogether, as the hero Schlemilovitch acts the playboy billionaire, the Third Reich's top Jew, the lycée bully, the sensiti ...more
Niamh
Je n'ai pas du tout compris ce livre. Or maybe it just didn't understand me. Modiano, quand il était jeune, était encore plus bizarre que Modiano l'adulte.
Roger Brunyate
Hero of Hallucination

La Place de l’Étoile was Modiano's first novel, but I would not recommend it first to the new reader. It is brilliant, but with that particularly French brilliance of a young intellectual writing to astound older intellectuals, punching his card as a member of the closed circle, yet turning their sacred shibboleths to his own profane ends. It is far removed in style from any of the other six short novels of his that I have read since Modiano won the Nobel Prize, books disti
...more
Pequete
Mar 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: meus-libertados
Não gostei nada deste livro. Em parte julgo que a culpa foi minha, porque a história está cheia de alusões à literatura e história de França, a maior parte das quais me passaram ao lado. Mas outra parte deveu-se ao desenrolar da história, que começou de forma mais ou menos normal - trata-se de uma de auto-biografia do personagem principal, um jovem judeu vivendo em França na época da segunda Grande Guerra - mas que depois se foi tornando cada vez mais bizarra e inverosímil, até acabar de forma b ...more
Kelsey
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Prior to this, I had not read any books by Modiano. I knew that he has a preoccupation with the Vichy past of France, and I was expecting a dark meditation on that period. Instead, I was confronted with a strangely humorous (though still dark) text set decades after the war, following a young Jewish man and his fantasies, which include reimagining himself as a Nazi collaborator (even as the lover of Eva Braun). Schlemilovich inhabits anti-Semitic stereotypes in a way that allows the author to la ...more
Isabelle
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: french
This is one of the great books of my life, written by Patrick Modiano when he was barely 20, his first book. This is a quest of identity through being Jewish, or actually not quite so Jewish. The narrator Rafael goes through a hallucinatory journey within himself but also with the who's who of Jewish culture, Freud and Eva Braun, for instance. I experienced this book like a punch in the stomach. I felt so relieved that someone out there could put into words the sort of confusion I felt about bei ...more
Jonathan Widell
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book displays, and demands, a tremendous knowledge of historical events and persons which one may or may not look up somewhere if one is not fortunate enough to be already familiar with them. A story of different Jews at different times in modern history under different circumstances and tied together with the psychoanalysis done under someone who is taken for Sigmund Freud. Where is the aesthetics though? At no point was the book an engrossing or even enjoyable experience.
Jean-charles
Modiano a écrit ce premier roman à vingt ans. Son narrateur halluciné, Raphaël Schlemilovitch est un Juif français antisémite dont les errances logorrhéiques sont ponctuées de tirades outrées et burlesques. Schlemiel signifie maladroit en yiddish, c'est aussi sous la plume d'Eric Berne le nom d'un « jeu » en analyse transactionnelle, le schlemiel occasionnant des désagréments et se retranchant toujours derrière sa maladresse, sauf-conduit social. Schlemilovitch est un Juif antisémite, à tel poin ...more
Jim Leckband
Just didn't get it. Moving on.
Paul
Nov 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Je ne comprends pas. Ni ce livre. Ni pourquoi. Ni son Nobel. 100 pages et je n'en pouvais plus.
Victor Morosoff
Je t'ai recherché un peu partout, mon vieux. J'avoue, ce n'est pas dans ce livre que je t'ai trouvé. Même si, oui, je perçois ton devenir par bribes. Tiens, par exemple: "Le beau Potzleindorfer Park, là, tout près, la verdure et les allées ensoleillées..." Nul doute, ça c'est toi. Ta nostalgie.

Mais il faut que je le dise, je te préfère en ombre errante, en badaud insouciant, en silhouette qui regarde la rue et le mystère sans trop y croire, portée quand même par la plus intense fascination. Je p
...more
Guillaume Narbonne
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
The unreliable narrator device is pushed to its limits in this rich book by Modiano, his first one and in which we can already see him articulate, albeit awkwardly, the themes that will recur in his later novels. The story of Raphaël Schlemilovitch is the story of a Jew through the turmoil of the 20th century, with a heavy focus on WW2. The hero and narrator (most of the time) lives multiple lives in one, experiencing neurosis after neurosis while getting close to some of the most infamous figur ...more
Kenneth Shersley
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
If I'd had a clue what was going for much of the time, I'd have given four stars. But I didn't. Not that this is necessarily a fault with the book, which, if I've got the right end of the stick has a lot to do with the disorientation and duplicity imposed on ordinary people by the perverse conditions of war - in this case WW2. Deception, disguise, role-playing - secret police, secret resistance movements, secret secret secret. Brilliantly written, a remarkable achievement for a 22 year-old.
Jutta Ortlepp
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wild, provokant, assoziativ - Modianos Erstling war bei Erscheinen (1968) eine Sensation.
Ich habe das Buch als eine Art Entwicklungsroman gelesen (----> Kap. III "In der Normandie werde ich meine Erziehung der Gefühle beenden"):
Kapitel 1 Kindheit, Kapitel 2 Schule, Kapitel 3 Lehr- und Wanderjahre, Kapitel 4 Erwachsener.
Dabei geht es ohne stringente Handlung um den "ewigen Juden", um das von Nazis besetzte Frankreich und um die vermeintliche Zuflucht Israel (hier als die Intelligenzia verac
...more
Christy
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a disturbing book! The sooner you realize the narrator is totally off his rocker the better it will go for you. He hates himself, but he hates who he becomes when he denies himself too. He wanders thru time and place, disconnected from everything. Not even the supposed homeland set up for him will accept him. He thinks he is at his best when he collaborates with his worst enemies, even though in his mad ramblings they kill him over and over. The end result is very murky, the author never ...more
ℳatthieu
Premier roman de l'auteur (qu'il écrivit à seulement 22 ans), et découverte de Modiano pour ma part.

Biographie et hallucinations d'un certain Raphaël Schlemilovitch, né après la seconde guerre mondiale. Aventures et fictions d'un juif antisémite, collabo, proxénète.. Suite de discours allégoriques, diffus, parfois difficile d’appréhender (pourquoi certaines narrations sont à la troisième personne?). C'est assez cynique et torturé, comme des tableaux de Soutine.
La lecture est néanmoins plaisante
...more
Elke Koepping
Ich konnte damit nichts anfangen und habe nach der Hälfte des Buches das Handtuch geworfen. Die literarischen Anspielungen sind derart zahlreich und deutlich Referenzen der Entstehungszeit in den 60er Jahren, so dass sie für mich nicht zu entschlüsseln sind. Interessant ist, dass man das Buch im Prinzip schon als sehr frühe Form des literarischen Samplings, des Remixings ansehen kann und dass es dadurch formal hochmodern erscheint. Ich werde dennoch versuchen, ein jüngeres Werk von Modiano zu le ...more
Otto Dandenell
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a bit har to come to grips with the self-hating-jew / antisemitism theme and a lot is left for the reader's interpretation. The name dropping of endless french names with contemporary cultural significance got a bit tedious. But the fragmentation of identity and linear time added some spice and it was an interesting read in the end.
Philippe Malzieu
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
It is the first Modiano's book I read. It's not the one I prefere.
We find all the recurrent themes which will haunt its books: Schoah, Nazism, identity, filiation... It is magnificiently well written, Paris ever was so beautiful, but that does not function for me.
Sorry.
Johanna
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this an enjoying read. To me it was strange and off-putting. I also felt that it requires a good deal of literary and historical knowledge of France and Jewish figures throughout history.
Anne Flore
Aug 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Lecture difficile,sûrement pas assez de connaissances de l'époque pour apprécier pleinement l'ensemble!
Kim
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
dit is een heel boos boek.

http://winterlief.blogspot.nl/2015/03...
Martin Rundkvist
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
This kaleidoscopic and farcical treatment of Jewishness and Frenchness largely went over my head. I recognised very few of the hundreds of names dropped.
André
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book full of anger and energy. Wonderful. 23 year old Modiano showed his potential as future Nobel Laureate already.
Quân Khuê
weird book; cannot fake that I liked it :)
Bertport
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Au mois de Juin 1942, un officier allemand s'avance vers un jeune homme et lui dit: "Pardon, monsieur, ou se trouve la place de l'Étoile?" Le jeune homme designe le cote gauche de sa poitrine.

With this epigram at the beginning of the book, Modiano signals the double entendre of the title, and also themes of collaboration, ambiguity, and anonymity. It also gives us a fairly specific time and place.

But then Chapitre I starts in a different place and time, without telling us immediately. "It was t
...more
Cherch
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Innumerables elogios encuentro para esta novela escrita por el ahora Nobel francés, Patrick Modiano. Sin embargo, me resulta incomprensible que se elogie un trabajo que adolece con tanta insistencia de los problemas más recurrentes de los novelistas "jóvenes". Enumero:

1. Obsesión por autovalidarse: no hay una sola página del texto en el que Modiano no aplique el tedioso "name dropping" de miríadas de personajes franceses (históricos y ficcionados) para validarse ante el lector como un autor que,
...more
Lance
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Found book moderately entertaining in first half, but second half became more and more weird with famous Jews turning into famous Nazis. I eventually just skimmed that last pages to see if there was some kind of conclusion but I couldn't find one.
George Barnett
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very difficult to follow unless you have a comprehensive knowledge of French and Jewish culture during WW2 and before.
I think I should have selected a different Modiano book to begin with.
Beth
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Patrick Modiano is a French language novelist and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is a winner of the Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1972, the Prix Goncourt in 1978 for his novel Rue des boutiques obscures and of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014.

Modiano's parents met in occupied Paris during World War II and began their relationship in semi-clandestinity. Modian
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More about Patrick Modiano...

Other Books in the Series

Trilogie « de l'Occupation » (3 books)
  • La Ronde de nuit
  • Les Boulevards de ceinture

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