Lit Gossip: In The Zone?

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12/03/2008 3:30 PM |

Yesterday we told you a little bit about a promising new talent, today, Publisher’s Marketplace brings news of another voice. An experimental voice. Open Letter will be publishing Mathias Énard’s Zone in the summer of 2010. It’s a 500-page, single sentence French novel. Charlotte Mandell will translate. What says the hype machine?

Christophe Claro claims it’s the novel of the decade. Somebody over here who read it observed: “Some ride, some ride. It has faults, some more annoying than other, but
it’s a good book, a very good book. And I think it’s the sort of book
that stays in the back of your mind for quite a while.” And Conversational Reading quotes from the same messageboard, noting:

Zone is considered by some to be the most ambitious novel to
be published in France this year. Proust, Celine, Joyce and The Iliad
are mentioned as the inspirations behind it. According to the editor’s
description at amazon.fr the novel features such characters as Genet,
Pound, Burroughs, Cervantes, Hannibal, and Napoleon.

Sure, sure, but did Énard compose it in iambic pentameter without using any pronouns? Because unless he did, we are so not impressed.