THE OPOPONAX by Monique Wittig


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The publishers advise that Mary McCarthy, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet all praised this novel. Ah, well. What we have here is an experiment, based on stream of experience rather than stream of consciousness. This is childhood as it happens to you (although the book is in this mysterious second person, it is remarkably non-involving). Without benefit of paragraphs, and with but few chapters, you are led through childhood from about the fifth to apparently the twelfth year. What marks time is the change of experience. The author seems to consider childhood a receptacle, filled with external happenings. When filled, you are an adult, here, at the close, with the death of a teacher. The scene is rural France and Miss Wittig concentrates on life at school or in the fields. But although the book is intended to represent universal experience, it has many limitations.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1966
Publisher: Simon & Schuster