Patrick Modiano: Dans le café de la jeunesse perdue (In the Café of Lost Youth)

The latest addition to my website is Patrick Modiano‘s Dans le café de la jeunesse perdue (In the Café of Lost Youth). While there are similarities with his other novels, this is unusually narrated by four different narrators, including the usual Modiano-like naive wannabe writer, but also the inevitable mysterious woman and two other characters. All the characters meet at the café Condé, including real-life writers as well as other literati. Louki, the mysterious woman, joins them but never seems fully integrated into the group, though she does have an affair with Roland, one of the narrators. We follow Roland, who becomes Louki’s boyfriend and believes in the idea of the eternal return and what he calls neutral zones in cities, Louki’s troubled life and the theory of how we all need fixed points to cope with the maelstrom of the city. Of course, it all ends miserably as people die, disappear and move on but it is till one of Modiano’s best.

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