- Taschenbuch: 156 Seiten
- Verlag: Belgian Literature; Auflage: English. (10. November 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 156478567X
- ISBN-13: 978-1564785671
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 22 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,4 x 1,2 x 18,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.293.176 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Running Away (Belgian Literature) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. November 2009
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Running Away is Jean-Philippe Toussaint at his most mature, tender, and complex. --Josh Maday
It is further testament to Toussaint's standing as a master craftsman of the contemporary novel that he can give such shifting insouciance its weight. --Lee Rouke
Toussaint, a brilliant and prize-winning French author, dives deep into how we stretch ourselves thin between places in our attempt to be with one another in this stunning novel. --Sean Farrell
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Who knows why I like these sorts of books so much. Maybe they help to sooth my own fears about the world we are creating, knowing there are people out there who are just as horrified and conflicted and yet can still find beauty in our evolution. Maybe it’s just because they remind me of all the guys I dated in my 20’s. Who can really say?
Running Away is a perfect example of this micro-genre of modernist lit: a unnamed Frenchmen goes on a trip to Shanghai, half vacation and half errand for his estranged girlfriend. As soon as he lands, he meets up with one of said girlfriend’s shady business contacts, hands him the cash-stuffed envelope he’s transported from Paris and then the plot literally just takes off. A mysterious Chinese woman, a train to Beijing, a motorcycle chase, a boat ride, a drug deal in a bowling alley and so on and so on, until finally coming to rest in a tiny Italian fishing village.
It would be hard to believe that it’s possible to fit all this into this slim volume save for the fact that the novel is constructed almost entirely of pure, uncut plot - all atmosphere and action verbs and light on the punctuation. In fact, there are many moments when the velocity of his words catapult across the page so quickly that it is not unusual to find yourself out of breath. This Stream of Consciousness as a contact sport.
If Toussant is pushing a classic existentialist agenda with Running Away, it’s that through progress we have created a society that functions at a speed far greater than we as humans are built to handle and that the victim of this progress is the loss of intimacy. So basically, blame The Man if you can’t get a girlfriend because you have commitment issues.
Joking aside, Running Away is a quick, interesting - and accessible - meditation on the nature of time. And if you like an occasional dalliance with these sorts of heady constructs, reading it wouldn’t be a waste of yours.
Occasionally Toussaint's reaching for an emotional effect comes across as heavy-handed, for example when the narrator offers the following: "in an aqueous fog, trembling and dimly illuminated, my mist-filled eyes formed blinding tears in the black night." More often however Toussaint's style seems perfectly suited to the surreal experience of the narrator. His description is what you might call "impressionistic"; rather than describe every sight, sound, or smell in a room, he admirably limits the presentation to those things that impress themselves upon the narrator's senses. Toussaint also is very effective at quickening the pace of his style in order to convey the rushing sensation the narrator experiences in moments of high tension (a motorcycle ride from the police, a mad scramble on a cliffside path). In all, this was well worth it, and I look forward to reading more by this writer.
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