I shall not post the painting of Gustave Courbet with the same title which is beautifull but slightly indecent.
The French title is La Grande Beune ,the name of a river in the south of France, near the famous Grotte de Lascaux,( Lascaux) which might have prompt the English title !?
The story if really there is one, is about the obsession of a you teacher recently arrived in a lost country town, for the woman working in the Tabac( tobacco shop and news agent).
The writting in what is of real interest here and the atmosphere it create. He uses extremely long sentences to describe the landscape, the rain, the slow passage of time then switch to short ones when Yvonne(ha Yvonne )appears,which make us feel her effect one him, how she gets under his skin .
It is sometime very poetic but without complexe word play. The contrast betwin a certain simplicity in his choice of words and the originality of the images he chose permit not to get too lost in pure verbiage (made me thought of what i read from Thomas Bernhard)
I must admit that the novel had to be short, it could not be bear more (i think) and i often had to reread pages or paragraphes just keep the rythm. A bit like when playing music, when you loose concentration, you have to get back to the start of the all line to be able to be atune.
I shall reread it soon because it is so riche that i felt that i left out a lot by just getting through it once.
One can feel writting like a precise piece of craftmanship but without the heaviness of the overdone or to clean. The miracle is, it keeps it's freshness but is also throughfully weight and controled.
Michon stands alone among is French contemporain as an oddity and i was doubly happy to discover him for it was given by a very dear friend to me and my father.
It is one thing to love an author, it is anothers to chare it with very close friends .
Michon sounds a bit funny in French, Nichon being a terme kids love to use for boobs...