Daily Archives: February 27, 2014

Reading Fatale (HUM415)

Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette

Motifs:

KEEP YOUR TOWN CLEAN!

Do you play bridge?

Vomiting/ wanting to vomit.

Historical references:

1871: Bléville chamber of commerce commissions the market hall. Paris Commune.

Various street names, some of which represent reactionary figures while others represent revolutionary figures.

The etchings in Aimee’s apartment and the historical references in the guidebook.

The novel’s last lines, in all caps:

SENSUAL WOMEN, PHILOSPHICALLY MINDED WOMEN, IT IS TO YOU THAT I ADDRESS MYSELF.

To those sensual and philosophical women in the class, then, this novel is for you. Fatale is a message. Can we interpret it? At what level will this act of interpretation be most effective? Are we to content ourselves with simply examining the story-content? Or does the novel’s narrative discourse—its form—constitute a message as well?

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