Кристин Анго: Incest

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Кристин Анго Incest
  • Название:
    Incest
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Archipelago Books
  • Жанр:
    Современная проза / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2017
  • Город:
    Brooklyn
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-0-914-67187-9
  • Рейтинг книги:
    5 / 5
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Incest: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A daring novel that made Christine Angot one of the most controversial figures in contemporary France recounts the narrator’s incestuous relationship with her father. Tess Lewis’s forceful translation brings into English this audacious novel of taboo. The narrator is falling out from a torrential relationship with another woman. Delirious with love and yearning, her thoughts grow increasingly cyclical and wild, until exposing the trauma lying behind her pain. With the intimacy offered by a confession, the narrator embarks on a psychoanalysis of herself, giving the reader entry into her tangled experiences with homosexuality, paranoia, and, at the core of it all, incest. In a masterful translation from the French by Tess Lewis, Christine Angot’s Incest audaciously confronts its readers with one of our greatest taboos.

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————: A phrase I censored myself, which would have hurt her too deeply. Her hands ———— with knuckles a little too big for her thin fingers. Clean hands, the hands of a doctor, a woman, clean, graceful, soft, hands that can palpate an abdomen for half an hour. I felt good. In the beginning, in November, I didn’t confide in anyone, except to friends I could count on one hand, that I was condemned. I wouldn’t admit to anyone, except to these few friends, that I was going to leave her, that it was over. Still, for three months, the test results were all one hundred percent positive. If I get out, then it’s out of a fatal illness. I could have died with her. I wrote her such letters. “Do you love me? Do you love me completely?” The answer is no, I’ve got it now. Not completely. Not my telephonic raving. “I’m sure we love each other. Why is it we don’t know how to be together? Peacefully, happily.” We’ve been trying to leave each other since we met. Three months, one hundred and fifty times. Annie, on the phone, downplays it all, “there’s no difference, well, fine, a difference in morphology.” I gave life to my daughter, I could have died with her, this is where it has to stop. There are arguments. Diversity comes from one’s sex, it’s life, a geneticist friend would tell me. But I couldn’t stop. The test was positive. It’s life, but mine responded when she licked me. Positive. I didn’t think of my daughter at those times. After, when we cuddled, then often. Sometimes we dreamed. The apartment, the civil solidarity pact, I would inherit everything she owned. “I love seeing you, I love seeing you walk in the door. I love who you are. I love your hair, your eyes, your glasses, your clothes, your nose, your mouth, your waist. I dream: We have a house. We share it. We both love it. We choose things we love. Léonore is there. No one can find anything to criticize. You love what I write. You love it a lot. You come to Paris with me. We love each other. We feel strong together. With Léonore, too. Pitou my heart watches over her.” Pitou my heart was her dog’s nickname. She was very homosexual, she had everything, a female cat, a female dog. Homosexuality fascinated me. Léonore has a friend, Clara, who is authoritarian and always wants to be the mother. She’s always quick to say it, she says it fast. All that’s left for Léonore, she tells me between sobs, is to be the second mother. And she’s not allowed to have children, a little cat, or a little dog, that’s it. It made me sick. For three months I was truly beside myself. I thought I liked it. I wanted to keep on. A little bit longer. Leave her to me. I felt strong enough to drink the dregs. I could have licked her more often. I could do it again. Reluctantly, but what difference does that make? Everyone was worried, I’m saved, they will all be reassured. Except for my enemies, they liked it when I kept a low profile. It’s hard for me to believe now that it happened to me. I have the feeling I’m talking about someone else. That lifestyle didn’t suit me, the surroundings weren’t for me. There are some people it suits. With me, it’s like evidence of a virus. It gets my back up. On the day I start this book, in my apartment in Montpellier where I live alone with my daughter, I leave the answering machine on, filtering the calls. (I never do this, but I intend to. This time. She’ll get a recording.) I avoid all those who will find it reassuring, my health, my body, my stability, or those who, on the contrary, think it’s “fabulous.” I don’t know who to talk to anymore or about what. People were thinking, she’s working on her next book, that’s disgusting. Guibert, who intentionally infected his blood. I, myself, at fourteen. I wanted to be a writer, I wanted a powerful start, I seduced my father. Still, for me, at first, licking a woman was unknown territory. Stretched out on the ground, it’s suffocating. Straight women aren’t used to this. You can’t breathe in that forest. A healthy man’s T4 count ranges between 500 and 2,000, I was out of breath. Getting close to someone is always hard. But still, the last time, I loved her. Which helped me keep going for another, let’s say, thirty seconds. Usually I quit after three licks. Even then, I’d take a breath in between. Fortunately literature is a universal vocation. I’ll have myself cut, infibulated, maybe, bits of my flesh, of my sex will be put out to dry in the sun for my next book. I also might have a project on goldmines because of Léonore, or. Because of l’or, in Léonore.

The day the bay window was open, I made her come, though before I’d always quit after three licks. I suddenly felt my blood exposed, long before any tests. That’s it. My blood was stripped bare, exposed, it had always been clothed or covered until then without my being aware of it. It exposes your blood in three months. You’re undressed and then dressed again. Your blood has no more veins. The standard sexuality that was yours until then, you suddenly wonder how you manage. I had to live for three months with this blood stripped bare, exposed, in town, going shopping, I didn’t do my errands anymore the way “an unclothed body must make its way through a nightmare,” I had things delivered. My blood, unmasked, everywhere and all the time (in Europe, the United States, at the market or the seashore, in town, with friends), forever, except in the unlikely event of miraculous transfusions, an infatuation of two weeks, a miraculous disgust, a guy, I dreamed, my blood laid bare around the clock, on public transportation, the way I dressed to please him, when I’m walking in the street, always the target of an arrow constantly aimed at me. My shoes, I’d always chosen bulkier ones, and the jacket I wore everyday. Does it show in my eyes? That you can’t penetrate yourself. You find some expedient. There are always solutions. Living by your wits. You resort to alternatives. Yes. Wanting. For me, it was a question of expedients. And that has its appeal. Instead of wealth, longer lasting. Finding an alternative. I wanted to. Female homosexuality involves a lot of strains. I was lucky, she was a doctor, she prescribed me massages, respiratory rehabilitation, spinal physical therapy. My spine took a hit. During the forty-eight hours of anxiety (running around, telephone calls, letters, taxi) I skirted an asthma attack. Living on expedients is nice too, trying to catch your breath elsewhere, it’s over. I still could, that’s why I’m sad. “You’ve got to be two” – not her. There’s something about me she can’t stand, she says. “I want to live,” she finds me intolerable. People want to be tolerant. To be satisfied. One morning she tells me a dream she had, someone shot a little fallow deer in the ear. I was telling her: I want to write a book with you about all the different ways of dying. In her family they’re doctors from generation to generation. I need to write a book with you, please. “An aneurysm, it’s a kind of pocket, an abnormality, of course, on an artery wall, a cerebral artery, it’s a weak spot and it forms a kind of sack, weaker than the artery wall, that can rupture or tear at any moment. This anomaly occurs relatively frequently. The aneurysm can rupture. When this little sack tears or bursts. There’s a hemorrhage, in other words, the brain is flooded with blood because it’s an artery and the pressure is high, with each heartbeat, the blood floods in. The blood destroys the entire brain. When the rupture is complete, death is extremely sudden. People drop, just like that, right in front of you, boom, they’re dead. Sometimes it’s preceded by fierce headaches, that happens. Other times there are no indicators, it’s immediate. —And eczema, what’s eczema? —Eczema is a skin disease, caused by an allergy, often with bubble-like lesions covering different parts of the body that form crusts, which may start to ooze and are pruritic. —Are what? They itch.” But we never started, we were never able to do anything together, we never had time. We never seriously started. On one of the days we were breaking up, I told her, weeping, “I didn’t know how to enjoy you.” Even though she had offered herself. She gave me her father’s personal journal. I gave it back to her that weekend. Doctors from one generation to the next. All the ways of dying. I take praxinor. My blood pressure is so low, when I was getting on my bicycle yesterday, Léonore asked me, “Mama, are you going to die?” I could have dedicated this book to her, but I was afraid to. She uses her tongue like a cock. When she kissed me, I opened up. I wanted her. Living on expedients, that’s exciting. You lose half the world and there are lots of strains. But I still wanted her. Once she said to me: you’re a real little macho. I had trouble hiding my smile, of satisfaction. Like you see sometimes with actors who think they’re exceptionally good. What are you missing with me? Half the world, my dear, quite simply. With you I’m missing half the world, that’s all. I can’t get turned on by someone who hasn’t got anything. If there’s no dick, well, for me, it’s not enough. It was not important. And not true. You shouldn’t let yourself get worn down. By all the obstacles you meet. Stuck on the pubes, that works too. Without counting the satisfaction of solving the problem with only what you have at hand. When you think of all the ways there are of dying and you don’t die, it’s amazing. I was missing half the world, that was my big argument. A person is a whole world, that was hers. An entire world unto herself… incredible. Locked-in syndrome, what’s that? Literally ‘locked within.’ A rare form of brain damage. A drastic impairment of blood flow to one part of the brain because of a blocked artery that kills the nerve cells. Once or twice she called me a “little slut.” Homosexuality is when you can’t do otherwise, it’s that simple, Claude told me. No, the strains, the exhaustion, the disappointment. The exposed blood. But the freedom of not having to search anymore, I recognized that. That, yes. “I don’t care, I’m glad I’m done with her,” as we said when we were children. Good, good, good vibrations. Last night Claude dreamed good-bye, good vibrations, and he was crying. Good-bye, good vibrations, that got him sobbing. Everything gone, good-bye. Just as well. I met her on September 9th. I immediately fell in love with her mouth, her eyes, the way she walks. Her smell, her sex, the way she moves, her voice. More than anything, the way she looks at me. The way she walks. The way she runs after her dog, Baya. The way she throws a pebble into the sea for her dog when we’re on a walk. Her throat and the back of her neck. Her gold necklace, which she never takes off. Her slightly protruding shoulder blades. Her slightly hollow chest. I didn’t admit it for three months. I didn’t see anyone all winter long. Claude saw us through the window when he was watering the bonsais of neighbors across the street who had left for a weekend, friends of his. Valérie had her fit of jealousy. My mother said to me “love takes different forms.” Léonore told everyone at school “X and Mama are homosexuals.” Everyone understood. It was perfectly clear. I slunk along the walls in my jacket and my big shoes. Slunk along the walls, the barriers, like slicing them, with a razor, slicing veins and my luck. A razor in the rock wall, rock, pierre, my father’s name is Pierre, and on this rock I will build my church, that’s literature, I will carve it out, a wall of books, a wailing wall, incest, insanity, homosexuality, holocaust, start strong, my jacket, my big shoes, and my razor.

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