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J'appelle narrats des textes post exotiues à cent pour cent j'appelle narrats des instantanés romanesues ui fixent une situation des émotions un conflit vibrant entre mémoire et réalité entre imaginaire et souvenir C'est une séuence poétiue à partir de uoi toute rêverie est possible pour les interprètes de l'action comme pour les lecteurs On trouvera ici uarante neuf de ces moments de prose Dans chacun d'eux comme sur une photographie légèrement truuée on pourra percevoir la trace laissée par un ange Les anges ici sont insignifiants et ils ne sont d'aucun secours pour les personnages J'appelle ici narrats uarante neuf images organisées sur uoi dans leur errance s'arrètent mes gueux et mes animaux préférés ainsi ue uelues vieilles immortelles Parmi celles ci une au moins a été ma grand mère Car il s'agit aussi de minuscules territoires d'exil sur uoi continuent à exister vaille ue vaille ceux dont je me souviens et ceux ue j'aime J'appelle narrats de brèves pièces musicales dont la musiue est la principale raison d'être mais aussi où ceux ue j'aime peuvent se reposer un instant avant de reprendre leur progression vers le rienAV

10 thoughts on “Des anges mineurs

  1. says:

    Minor Angels is a set of forty nine interlaced despondent vignettes of murky beauty Minor Angels is an exotic alloy of Marcel Schwob Varlam Shalamov and Andrei Platonov“Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high and fears shall be in the way and the almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper shall be a burden and desire shall fail because man goeth to his long home and the mourners go about the streets” all that had already happened long time ago and now everything is taking place in the dreamlike continuum where time is molten like in the famous painting by Salvador DalíHistory recounts that Laetitia Scheidmann had just celebrated her two hundredth birthday at Spotted Wheat Nursing Home when she declared her intention to fashion a grandson This the medical wardens immediately forbade The old women spent their days staring at the black larches that bordered the grounds talking to them for hours on end They counted the crossbills and jackdaws fleeing the uninhabitable regions and heading toward the camps where life was less grim than elsewhere and all the while they made plans for the future By this time they realized that they would never die and they lamented the sad fact that humanity had now entered upon the or less final stage of its fadingCreating the elaborately bleak atmosphere and using some gallows humor Antoine Volodine manages to make his narration simultaneously sardonic and sorrowfulShe spent the next few months scavenging the dormitories for stray shreds of rag and bits of lint Then once the surveillance imposed on her was eased she sorted her finds pressed them into a ball and cross stitched them together until she had an embryo Secreting it away inside a pillow she entrusted it to the Olmès sisters who set it out in the moonlight to ripenSimilar to the charged particles leaving tracks in photographic emulsions the lesser angels passing through our dreams leave traces in our sleeping consciousness

  2. says:

    Strangeness is the form taken by beauty when beauty has no hopeOne has to admire the ambition the pluck to boldly attempt to create a new genre Volodine crafted the post exotic supposedly to engender not the effect of reading the book but to cultivate or influence the nature of the dreams one has after reading The framing story concerns the fate of the one who brought back capitalism after the second fall of state communism The figure in uestion isn't uite human but rather sentient he's due to die anyway for his heinous crime imagine opening to the door to the return of Mafioso and demagogues of industry The condemned spends its time constructing naracts these 1 3 page descriptions which depict a world of collapse privation cruelty and despair I feared initially that this novel would resemble some of the work of Blake Butler a taxonomy of disaster as performance piece Instead I saw Volodine's aim steer towards the heights of A Tomb for Boris Davidovich I wasn't enthrall throughout but the framing story did afford it resonance

  3. says:

    Post exoticism at its finest So my friend Chad recommended this to me because he became obsessed with Volodine and his created world of madness andweirdnessrecently And if you know Chad you know he doesn't obsess lightly nor does he obsess over things that don't completely rule so I knew I had to check out Volodine And I'm glad I did Because following the trend of reading dissociative literature namely Tavares and adding a touch of the uncanny and unspeakable Minor Angels is a helluva book and a completely mind altering introduction to the world of Volodine and all of his pseudonyms Lutz Bassmann being another his We Monks and Soldiers is now out in English and Bassmann is also an unknown author mentioned at the end of Minor Angels which is a crucial thing to understand about Volodine the relationship between the real and the unreal the author and the narrator the narrator and the characters is completely warped and full of mindfuckery though of the enjoyable and easy to understand variety and his theorystyle of post exoticism If you're curious about post exoticism and what the hell I keep saying I found this description from the blog Bibliomaniac in a post about post exoticism in WG Sebald whose Rings of Saturn I am planning on reading before the summer and have been meaning to since I found a used copy in a weird definitely Christian but not entirely bookstore in Lawrenceville Georgia over Thanksgiving holiday Translation post exoticism is a literature of elsewhere arriving from departing from elsewhere; an internationalist cosmopolitan literature whose memory is rooted in 20th century tragedies wars revolutions genocides defeats; a foreign literature written in French; a literature where the dream like and the political are seamlessly joined trashcan literature opposed to ‘official’ literatures an imprisoned ruminatory literature of pyschopathology and failure a novelistic structure closely tied to shamanism especially a Bolshevik variant of shamanism HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO READ MORE STUFF LIKE THIS? Aside from the realness aspect of works like Proust Knausgaard Duras Lispector etc that I am wholly fascinated by all the so since I read Reality Hunger by David Shields I LOVE this idea of an alternate universe of literature with the author creating parallel universes within his works and the works of his alter egos and contemporaries that exist only within the works yet because they exist there have become wholly real And strangeness is such a beautiful thing in this book strangeness being the form taken by beauty when beauty has no hope p 70 WHICH DESCRIBES THIS BOOK PERFECTLY Beautiful devoid of hope a humanity fucked by politics and its own exploitative streak in a post apocalyptic future that looks startlingly like the world today in various forms like a much weirder and dystopian version of the world todayAnd I know this is supposed to be a review of Minor Angels but you can read the summary for what happens The action is completely unimportant as in all of my favorite books 49 narracts a created term Volodine makes up and uses to great effect within the work itself describe 49 minor angels who come in and out of the narrative seemingly at random yet wholly tied together And tied together in such a way that the chapters proceed 1 49 but chapters 1 and 49 are linked chapters 2 and 48 liked 3 and 47 and so on and so on And after I finished the book I went back and skimmed through the chapters in that way too and it was MIND BLOWING The narrative of the book's existence itself is important here and what Volodine is doing to YOU as the reader is ABSORBING and I want to live in this world And another cool thing is that Volodine apparently doesn't care if you understand what's going on here in the story he says in the text nonetheless the most important way to understand the narracts will be in your dreams after you have read them AND HOW TRUE IS THAT in all the greatest books The EFFECT on you is wholly separate than the understanding OF COURSE I CAN UNDERSTAND WORDS ON A PAGE but the effect of literature upon you the reader is what is so truly important The way you feel the text Anybody can read a potboiler and understand the action and be surprised at the ending but only literature as art can reach into your soul and play with your feelings and senses in every possible waySo dig man this book is cool I'm going to be reading a lot Volodine and I hope you do too

  4. says:

    I was just talking with my girlfriend the other day about just how many post cataclysmicapocalyptic dreams I have it's almost insane I'm not sure what this really says about me INSANE? ANXIOUS? ANXIOUSLY INSANE? but I will say that these dreams are so much like Volodine's writing that I'm afraid he's going to sue me for dream time copyright infringement This collection of 49 narracts depicts a post cataclysmic world in which a group of nearly immortal grandmothers lead an insurrection against capitalism and bring a guy to life with the singular purpose of preventing capitalism from every taking hold of humanity again Spoiler alert he fails It's a book that really is hauntingly beautiful and the way the various pieces never uite fit together but create a certain tone and sense of space is pretty damn amazing I'm really psyched to read the new Volodine book that just came out WE MONKS SOLDIERS which is by Lutz Bassmann an author referenced toward the end of MINOR ANGELS and seems very similar to this book

  5. says:

    As it's often the case for the obscure world builders I find it difficult to judge this Volodine book on account of it being my first Some of its strengths might well have gotten lost in the post apocalyptic wastelands and uncertain time setting of Minor Angels Getting the reader lost is definitely one of Volodine's goals here though the few remnants of humanity left on earth wander somewhat aimlessly chamanic rituals are performed by three hundred year old grandmothers a Second Soviet Union was built then overthrown sometime ago and narrators succeed each other unless they were all dreamt by one character For Volodine likes his little narratological games which I found comparatively unsubtle than the impressionistic fashion in which he shifts points if view in order to build a cohesive structure The narrator often intrudes on what is being told when I say I I am thinking of character whose POV it is and I couldn't help finding this meta discourse a little tiresome and rather unnecessary The text is presented as part of the fictional world this fiction is real geddit? the segments are given a special name narrats often repeated so you remember not to call them chapters or stories that would be a little too mainstream and of course the genre of the book post exoticism is stamped on by the author himself inside and outside the novel as though to draw attention to how original he is the narrats are deemed strange in the book itself All this comes across as rather pretentious not to mention the opening pseudo authorial note which boarders on the ridiculous Thankfully I decided to go beyond and got rather immersed in his indeed original no need to stress the point world full of fairly tragic nobodies and weird humour

  6. says:

    Comprised of a series of loosely connected moments Minor Angels holds your attention for one short narr act and then jumps to another While I rarely knew what was going on I was perfectly content in my ignorance Each chapter is capable of standing on its own and completely enthralled me until I was forced to jump out of it again I would like to re read it a few times in different orders and try to put things together But I don't think it's necessary Although I did not always understand how the narr acts were connected a general sense of Volodin's world naturally developed and it was cool

  7. says:

    Volodine is absolutely sure of one thing humanity will end and its decline will leave off survivors who will forget they were ever social organized or really that they were humans He also has a lot of imagination for those survivors there will be shamans contemplative and ageless living on high plateaus speaking combinations of far East languages There will be expeditions through time People will dream of lovers they've met in previous lives And a lot of emptiness sprinkled by dust struggle and hopeless expectationsA lot of cool stuff by all means worth the time There's some brilliance in the writing A lot of it is just descriptive and vaguely associated though and I can't help feeling that this is partially wasted potential Most present in my mind is not the previous book I've read by Volodine but the one I've read by Sorokin a couple weeks back Like Sorokin Volodine inventively describes a world that is too vast to feature one story so there's only the world left It's too deconstructed and aimless elements appear and sink back without doing something or moving together But these authors prefer to talk about what they know best an ambiance different forms of trauma and corruption individuals lost and disheveled at the very end of the post in the post apocalypse Overall I slightly preferred the Sorokin for being so colorful though I feel potential in Volodine

  8. says:

    I wanted to scream through the hot night that strangeness is the form taken by beauty when beauty has no hope Minor Angels is possibly the most mysterious and difficult to access entries of Volodine's grand literary project While I connected to some narracts than others I got the overall sense that this slim volume actually provides the widest lens through which to contemplate the postexotic world a failed world on the very brink of flickering out of reality Strange and hauntingly beautiful

  9. says:

    This is a crazy book It's set after capitalism has fallen and these magical grandmas make a grandson out of lint and it's his job to abolish the rest of the capitalists but he grows up and reestablishes capitalism instead so they tie him to a post and aim their rifles at him but they wait around to shoot for a long time and in the mean time he tells them one story well not a story exactly Volodine actually calls them 'narracts' a day and each of these stories is one of the 49 chapters in the book So what's weird is that the stories he tells include the story of his getting tied to the post after reestablishing capitalism and in this way he animates himself through the stories he tells and likewise Volodine treats the text as a shamanistic realm where the characters can exist as long as someone reads them

  10. says:

    Now that I have finished this book I wonder what sorts of shamanic post exotic dreams I will experience It has already influenced my thoughts in strange and esoteric waysI wonder if the answer to the problem of other minds can in fact be found in other brains in the modern rationalist tradition the brain is the seat of consciousness and so the brain is euivalent effectively to the Self The chemicals within each being regulate the Self but are there metaphysicaloccult correspondences? What planet is aligned with dopamine? Where is inscribed the Principality of the amygdala? Is it in one's DNA? The rings of Saturn? The death rattle? Cosmic background radiation?