Viviane: A Novel
“You are not entirely sure, but it seems to you that four or five hours ago, you did something that you shouldn’t have. You try to recall what you did, to reconstruct the sequence of your actions, but whenever you remember something instead of automatically calling the next action to mind, it stumbles into the hole your memory has become.
Actually, you aren’t even certain that you returned a little while ago to that other apartment you’ve been visiting secretly for years. The contours, the masses, the colors and décor all meld in the distance. That man who received you there, did he even exist? And anyway, if you had done something wrong, you would not be sitting idly here.”
Lately, Viviane Elisabeth Fauville–who is a communications officer at a large firm, a respectable wife, and mother of a 9-month-old baby–seems to suffer from mental confusion. She is unable to recall what she did on the night when her analyst was assassinated. As it turns out, saying to the police that she visited her mother–who died 10 years ago–was simply not a bright idea. Now that the police have started to conduct intense interviews, the chaos of Viviane’s personal life, and her story is beginning to be brought to light…
With a devastating sense of humor, Julia Deck composes a debut novel that starts as a crime story but mutates into vaudeville. As is the case for her genius predecessors—Perec, Butor and Echenoz—Deck’s conception of this genre is primarily a matter of language, and she plays gracefully with it, creating the highest pleasure for her reader.
Viviane: A Novel by Julia Deck, a novel translated by Linda Coverdale (New Press, 2014)