Conceived as a second edition to Kawakami's acclaimed A Self-Conscious Art, which was the first full-length study in English of Patrick Modiano's work, this book has been comprehensively updated with two new chapters, notably discussing the author's recent work and his Nobel Prize win. Kawakami shows how by parodying precursors such as Proust or the nouveau romanciers, Modiano's narratives are built around a profound lack of faith in the ability of writing to retrieve the past through memory, and this failure is acknowledged in the discreet playfulness that characterises his novels. This welcome update on the work of one of the most successful modern French novelists will be essential reading for scholars working on contemporary French writing.
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