Patrick Modiano: La Danseuse [The Dancer]

The latest addition to my website is Patrick Modiano‘s La Danseuse [The Dancer]. Modiano’s latest follows the basic plot line of many of his earlier novels. A young man, presumably Modiano’s alter ego, has arrived in Paris and is struggling to make a living. He associates with a group of people, some of whom have a decidedly shady background. There is usually a woman involved. The whole story is told from many years in the future, when our hero returns to Paris. He finds Paris much changed. Often by chance, he bumps into one of the people he knew many years ago and may or may not learn more about events of the past. In this case he starts off as a song lyricist and ends up editing English-language books for the very real Maurice Girodias. He associates with an unnamed dancer, looking after her young son. He, the dancer and others associate with and are helped by the shady Serge Verzini, whom our hero will bump into again fifty years later. Apart from his career change and the story of the dancer, not a great deal happens though the three main characters are clearly looking for what they call a sense of discipline, which they may or may not find.

Leave a Reply