Discussed in this essay: Zone, Mathias Énard. Actes Sud. pp, EUR Right before reading Zone for the second time, I decided to draw up a list of. In this French novel of essentially one endless sentence, a secret agent exposes his guilt, and that of the West. Zone by Mathias Énard – review. I am in two minds about this epic single-sentence story of mankind's savagery, hailed as one of the most.


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JUNE 29, Photograph: The Church of St. The novel is, as its jacket copy promises, composed of a single sentence stretched across pages. This scheme means a lot and little to the mathias enard zone.

Some of these documents describe war crimes in various conflicts; others, such as a file on a low-ranking SS officer, are simply information gleaned to satisfy his fixations.

It is slowly, but inexorably revealed that Francis is the offspring of fascist violence married to capitalist democratic violence, with a strain of communism running at the margins, via his mother's mathias enard zone to the Croatian Ustashi and his father's disturbing occupation during the Algerian War; born with a barbarous streak that ever lurks under the surface, an inherent strain of violent longings that have alienated him from two of his previous lovers and threaten to derail his current relationship with a third.

Zone by Mathias Énard

Intermingled with the story of Francis' life as a warrior and spy immersed within the sanguinary cycles of the Zone are his sidelong ruminations upon the actions of a slew of in famous personages who left their mark upon these environs: There are also repeated references to the Trojan War and, in particular, to the fickle and fateful meddling by the mathias enard zone and goddesses of the Greek Pantheon; indeed, to the war-warped perspective of the train-bound narrator, the capricious presence of a Zeus, a Hades, an Apollo or Athena resonates more trenchantly to the blood-drenched travails of the Mediterranean-ringed world than the remote and hollow God worshiped by the three great monotheistic religions who have wreaked such a pronounced slaughter upon each other over the ages.

But we readers are not spies, and cramming all the details of his characters into the framework of the plot presents a heavy load for the reader over the span of five hundred pages, with little dialogue, few commas and without paragraphs or periods except at the end.

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But these structures buckle beneath the weight of narrated detail. Ultimately, the tangents lead too far away. The farther you get through the book, mathias enard zone more the accumulation of information begins to make sense, but the commitment required is great.

Francis is not at heart either a good or a bad man, he is merely a man, mathias enard zone in a violent age. Proustian slips from object to memory, from stranger to friend, from present to past.

It is informative, entertaining, terrifying, horrifying, moving, witty and heavy.

The book's formal apparatus is not nearly as mathias enard zone of an impediment as you might fear — which may actually present a problem.

There is something inherently comic about the stream-of-consciousness rant; and while there are some good grim jokes here, one doesn't have the sense of controlled style found in other writers who have used similar techniques — Apollinaire, Joyce, Beckett, Bernhard, etc.