Hallucinatory Prose--J. M. G. LeClézio

Sometimes it is good to have someone bring to your attention a writer you might otherwise have neglected.  So it has been in my exposure to the short stories of J. M. G. LeClézio.

from "Moloch"
in The Round and Other Cold Hard Facts
J. M. G. LeClézio

She goes back toward the mobile home very slowly, taking each step with great care. All around her the light is blistering hot; sparks burst forth from everyting, from the leaves, from the long gray fronds of the plams, the iron posts, the sharp stones. There are even sparks in Liana's hair, at the end of each of her nails. There's a sort of electrical storm passive over the vacant lot. It is making a kind of music too, a low humming sound, a grating sound that gets inside of your ears and make a know deep down in your body. Liana feels her throat tightening with nausea.

Even with the distance of translation, the music of the language comes through and causes one to pause, not in the reading, because such language hurtles the reader on into the unraveling mystery of the story. But one pauses internally and savors the scene, sees and tastes it in its otherworldly horror and splendor.  For some reason, I am reminded of "La Femme Adultere" in L'exil et royaume, and even to some extent of some of the scenes within L'etranger (both by Albert Camus).  I am reading M. LeClézio now in translation, but I think, perhaps, I would do myself a service to look him up in the original.


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