Cover image for Honeymoon
Title:
Honeymoon
Author:
Modiano, Patrick, 1945-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Voyage de noces. English
Edition:
1st American ed.
Publication Information:
Boston : David R. Godine, 1995.
Physical Description:
119 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Jean B., the narrator of Patrick Modiano's Honeymoon, is submerged in a world where day and night, past and present, have no demarcations. Having spent his adult life making documentary films about lost explorers, Jean suddenly decides to abandon his wife and career, and takes what seems to be a journey to nowhere. He pretends to fly to Rio to make another film, but instead returns to his own Parisian suburb to spend his solitary days recounting or imagining the lives of Ingrid and Rigaud, a refugee couple he had met twenty years before, and in whom he had recognized a spiritual anomie that seemed to reflect and justify his own. Little by little, their story takes on more reality than Jean's daily existence, as his excavation of the past slowly becomes an all-encompassing obsession.--Back cover.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780879239473
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Jean B., the narrator of Patrick Modiano's Honeymoon, is submerged in a world where day and night, past and present, have no demarcations. Having spent his adult life making documentary films about lost explorers, Jean suddenly decides to abandon his wife and career, and takes what seems to be a journey to nowhere. He pretends to fly to Rio to make another film, but instead returns to his own Parisian suburb to spend his solitary days recounting or imagining the lives of Ingrid and Rigaud, a refugee couple he had met twenty years before, and in whom he had recognized a spiritual anomie that seemed to reflect and justify his own. Little by little, their story takes on more reality than Jean's daily existence, as his excavation of the past slowly becomes an all-encompassing obsession.


Author Notes

Paul Modiano is a French writer who was born on July 30, 1945, in Boulogne-Billancourt. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 for his lifetime body of work. He previously won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2012 and the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for his lifetime achievement in 2010. His other awards include the Prix Goncourt in 1978 for his novel Rue des boutiques obscures and the Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1972 for Les Boulevards de ceinture.

Modiano's works explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France and the puzzle of identity. His preoccupation with the theme of identity can be seen throughout many of his works including his 2005 memoir entitled Un Pedigree. Modiano was greatly influenced by his parents' relationship. His mother and father began their clandestine relationship during occupied France. Growing up, his father was absent for most of his life and his mother was away frequently while on tour acting. He was alone much of the time and went to school because of government aid. His younger brother died of a disease at age 10 and this added to his "lost identity" feelings while growing up.

Modiano first came to prominence in France when he wrote the 1968 book La Place de L'Étoile. He has published over 30 works which include novels, screenplays and children's books. His other works include: La Ronde de nuit (1969), English translation: Night Rounds; Rue des boutiques obscures (1978), English translation: Missing Person; and Quartier Perdu (1984), English translation: A Trace of Malice. Although he is well known in France, only about 12 of his works have been translated into English.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the latest work of French novelist Modiano, the narrator, Jean Bo, is a middle-aged maker of documentary films who has traveled the world. The day arrives--as he knew it would--when his globe-trotting life with his wife loses all meaning, and Jean seeks anonymity in the suburbs of Paris. There he passes time alone and in silence, slipping easily between the past and the present. And in avoiding the future, Jean tries to determine exactly when it was that summer lost its lightness and began to give him a "sense of emptiness and absence." His reverie, which is the novel, consists mostly of composing a mental obituary for a woman he met 20 years earlier, during World War II. Her tale, revealed carefully over the length of the narrative, is a beautiful example of Modiano's fluid storytelling and his ability to move seamlessly between Paris and the Cote d'Azur, childhood and adulthood, peacetime and wartime. ~--Kathryn Broderick


Library Journal Review

$19.95. F A winner of France's prestigious Prix Goncourt, Modiano is the author of 17 novels as well as the screenplay for Louis Malle's noteworthy film, Lacombe Lucien. In this slight but probing novel, a middle-aged man decides to take a ``honeymoon.'' Scheduled to fly to Brazil on a job, documentary filmmaker Jean B. instead slips away to Milan and then returns to a Parisian suburb. There he attempts to trace the life and death (by suicide) of a woman named Ingrid, whom he met while hitchhiking to Saint-Tropez. World War II is raging, and Ingrid, who is traveling with her husband, clearly has something to hide. Ingrid's mystery is not rewardingly played out, but Modiano is a wonderfully evocative writer--there's a nice touch of menace throughout, and the cool, collected writing feels like a salve. For literary collections.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal'' (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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