Talk about going from the absurd to the ridiculous, I should have thought about my next reading journey a little deeper than just picking up Chevillard and saying “this will do”, from Krasznahorkai to Chevillard, now there’s a journey. Quarterly have described Chevillard as “France’s foremost absurdist”, even Wikipedia says “postmodernist literature”, yep I’m in for a surprise.
Our novel opens with our unnamed protagonist/narrator telling us that he is unfit for the job of guard/guide of the Pales caves as the uniform is too small, the cap is too large and the shoes too big. The caves contain Palaeolithic paintings, and our protagonist has been “demoted” to the role of guide/guard as he injured himself falling whilst on an archaeologist tour (he’s is an archaeologist without a kneecap).
This is where our novel takes a turn into the land of “strange”, our writer doesn’t want to actually start our protagonist’s story, our guide doesn’t want to go to work as a guide, procrastination and delay are the themes, our hero is potentially unevolving (?), disevolving(?), evolving backwards, is he slowly becoming prehistoric?
No two skulls are alike, as any peasant growing his turnips on the site of an ancient necropolis can tell you; no two turnips either, even if an exhumed skull is sometimes so similar to a turnip that you can mistake one for the other. When you think about it, it might even be that our particular casts of mind – each unique – depend solely on the shape of our skull, individual thought testing itself first against the bone of its brainpan, like music molding itself to the geometry of a dome without regard for the musician’s intentions. Just a hypotheses I’m throwing out here. Indeed, I’m going beyond the call of my duties. But since I haven’t yet taken them up…Let’s grant for a moment that this hypothesis is correct, in which case we can legitimately claim that one’s thoughts will develop more freely in a huge-domed skull – but with the risk of getting lost or confused – than in a narrow, pointy skull, unless, on the contrary, they become sharper and burst forth, which is not impossible. My starting hypothesis thus branches out into diverging subhypotheses: this is how webs are woven; truth cannot be caught by the hand.
For my full review go to http://messybooker.blogspot.com.au/