THE GARDEN by Yves erger


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This is the Prix Femina which has had, in France, the wide readership attached to that prize, not necessarily assured in the carryover here. Mr. Berger's book is an idiosyncratic, hallucinatory, hypnotic one; like Marienbad, a stylized asque of visions, dreams and echoes; its concerns are more explicit, life versus death, or the death in life to which the young narrator submits. His father, before him, had retreated from reality to a garden in Virginia in 1842- (actually the scene is Avignon)- and both father and son live in that world, a halcyon age of plantations and Indians and Negroes who were not slaves. Virginie, his sister, refuses to accept this denial of all that which ""can be seen, which can be heard, which can be touched"" NOW, and, in an incestuous relationship, attempts to save him through the life of the senses she offers.... M. Berger's fantasy-fable is written in a luminous prose, with a seemingly excellent translation by Robert aldrick.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1963
Publisher: raziller