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A man decides he is old enough. A woman returns early from a lovers' retreat to a bottle of pills at home. And how should you explain the nuances of contemporary Paris to your mother, twenty – five years dead? Valérie Mréjen 's Black Forest is a book of mourning that isn't morbid or sentimental, but rather an elegant and wryly humorous brace against the void. With a paradoxicall ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Phoneme Media
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Really moving, insightful, short book about the coincidences that lead to death, about the minor ripples that bring about the end of things. It reminds me most of SUICIDE by Édouard Levé (which I preferred), but it has a touch of Chris Marker films with its detached narrator and its focus on the mundane. It drags a bit at times, because the short paragraphs are more interesting than the long - the deaths outshine the plot - but this is a pleasure.
This is a short, immensely powerful book about the traces the dead leave behind for the living, and how their “stories were somehow linked to those who’d told them.” It’s up there with José Revueltas’s THE HOLE and Willem Frederick Hermans’s AN UNTOUCHED HOUSE on the list of books under 90 pages capable of knocking the wind out of you.