FOREVER VALLEY by marie redonnet

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this slim volume’s a revelation. an understated experimental novel. its perfection has something to do with this pared-down style, where the details are few but exquisite. at first it seems like a quaint country narrative, it then soon reveals itself to be something more–perhaps an allegorical tale. but in the end, while maintaining some of the aspects of allegory, none of FOREVER VALLEY’s symbols map completely to ideas or reality as much as they manage to point uncannily back at themselves.

Interviewer: Reading the triptych, one sometimes catches a glimpse of something like a rigorous structure…

Redonnet: What you call structure or composition is indeed a determining factor. Each book adheres to a rigorous structure, at the same time mathematical, architectural, and musical, which transforms itself from book to book: the elements multiply, the combinatorial system grows richer, space and thus mobility becomes more important, the story grows more complex. This structure is part of the language that I invented for myself in order to write, a language built from a lexical and syntactic emptiness that I had to impose on language. Maybe this very idea of structure takes the place of that lost rhetoric, becoming a means of generating another language, and thus another history.

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and elsewhere about images and cinema’s relationship to writing:

The reader creates the film of the story as he or she reads, a private cinema. This requires a release of the imagination if the book is not to remain forever closed to the reader… [T]he fact that the image is born of the power of language alone means that it is not only an image, but also a thought that creates meaning.

I would like that to be my revenge as a writer, at a time when we are entering into a culture of the all-powerful image, which threatens to kill literature: to invent a language that would be capable, by liberating the vital forces of imagination and thought, of resisting the images– seductive, manipulative, stultifying, alienating — that invade us from all sides.

the above quotes from the interview provided in FOREVER VALLEY–the latter and a bit more about redonnet found at Dennis Cooper’s blog.
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part of a triptych, the other two are: HOTEL SPLENDID and ROSE MELIE ROSE

a bibliography.

buy from the publisher or find it at the library.

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