In his latest novel, “Chevreuse“, the Nobel Prize for Literature Patrick Modiano combines snippets of his past work and memories of his youth.

Patrick Modiano
Patrick Modiano

Search for lost time

In his latest novel, the Nobel Prize for Literature brings together fragments of his childhood, his daydreams, his ghosts, his old places like a learning story where the systematic search for lost time links us irresistibly to the rest of his work. The plot of Chevreuse takes place essentially around 1966 and features Jean Bosmans, 20, who is led to a house for rent, the walls of which conceal strange secrets that menacing demi-sel try to uncover. Embroiled, in spite of himself, in the footsteps of his childhood, Jean Bosmans finds fragments of his past there, without saying so, or trying to reveal what obsesses others. He leads a parallel reverie where vanished figures cross paths, ghosts resembling blackmailers, who weave a spider’s web of echoes and correspondences from which the narrator cannot free himself.

A detective of the past

Everything here mixes autobiographical reality and romantic truth. This is the charm of Modiano’s novels, to weave endlessly the intertwining of reality and its transpositions. The reader is thus posted as a researcher, as a detective of the past. The writing, fluid, in tiny descriptive sentences, succeeds in inserting us into the most hazy romance and inviting us to illuminate it, logically, trace after trace. A very beautiful novel, in a tone that constantly floats the nostalgia of what was lost.

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