La Jalousie (book review) Alain Robbe-Grillet

210719: this is the translation which i have read, which reviews are more or less the same as this [book:Jealousy & In the Labyrinth|55480]


210719: so i read one of my favourite translations in the original french... this is part of my ongoing attempt to read french. again? sort of. i was seven when we lived in bruxelles, belgique, and as we did not get into an english school my brother and i spent a lot of time doing what our belgian classmates did: conjugate verbs... so our handwriting became very neat. our receptive sense of language might have worked, i do not know if we spoke, but we certainly ended up with better-than-usual anglo accents. i remember some High School french, i remember even one year u french, but when i was twenty-four and lived in montreal one year i spoke as much just english as i could... it is big city, you can do that. when i was in rehab hospital my tablemate was quebecois and we spoke more french there for six months... but reading? no, i guess this is not 'again'...


but i can go by context, by repetition, by phrases, by typical linking terms etc. and then french and english are at least closer in language-family terms than english and say japanese, so i can turn words over and over and search for what they might be, which i do a lot in reading this, as carrying also the english version and checking all the time annoys me... worse is dictionary, so i cannot say i got all of it. i did much translation in blocks of sentences, familiar from the translation, and yes he does go over and over, obsessively, closely, certain resonant images- but also in the nature of this recount he skips around in time... damn i love this even in french of which i might not get all. there is the void i the centre, the void that perceives, and it is now i see why this works so well for me: this is what daily school life was like for me when i was seven in bruxelles... i could see everything and understand nothing, i could read faces and misread faces, i could connect words and phrases all over the place, right and wrong... i would look in the mirror and i could no longer read my own face... this is the book i have read all my life. now if only i could read it without necessarily reading aloud here at home...

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