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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I talked to her about her eyes. Her answer was “my eyes are captivating and yours piercing.” My cousin Marie-Hélène always wanted to have red eyes. Genetically similar rabbits are a good tool for understanding… I was sinking. Into things that… I faxed Jean-Marc more than one hundred pages once. I was following threads without end. It was bad. I wept. I was falling apart, I waited. It was becoming dangerous, I couldn’t work anymore. The last water lily was rotting. I started again. I feel sick to my stomach, like in a car on hairpin turns, and I get dizzy spells. In front of a mirror, facing the audience, Bulle Ogier drapes necklaces around Madeleine Renaud’s neck, they lose themselves in a chant, the girl, the mother, the one, the other, my little sweetheart, little, little love, my little sweetheart, my love, etc. Marguerite Duras always addresses homosexuality and incest through the lens of the past and death, always aslant, which is hard to understand. I told her “you go and park.” I unpacked my things, it didn’t take long. I heard the bell. I had time to read the mail. She came upstairs. Marie-Hélène wanted red eyes. She got them. She was always asked “like rabbits?” It was her favorite color. Diversity, red eyes, that’s life, we had them more than once, Claude and I. I helped Marie hold Yassou still for the shot yesterday. The little creature’s fur has been shaved. The mark of the dog’s canine teeth still visible. The little creature was afraid. Her stomach was completely shredded, her insides exposed. It was a black dog, I saw it. Who did it. For the first night in a year, since Claude left, yesterday, last night, Léonore slept in her room, I slept in mine, you know what I did? For the first time? In a year? Since I’ve been living alone? I left the shutters open. I wasn’t afraid.

Marie and I were arguing, I shoved her dog, on purpose, she hugged it tight. I screamed “no, no, no, no, not that.” I don’t like that dog, Cartier jewelry is always numbered, the trinity ring she gave me was engraved 666, the number of the beast. She has very little direct contact with Léonore, we reject each other through Léonore and Baya, born the same day, July 9, not the same year. I was already infected when I was pregnant with Léonore, the incubation period was several years. I wouldn’t otherwise have experienced such joy, delivering a girl, it’s obvious, already incubating. I was already surrounded by clusters of homosexuals, I cried in her arms on Saturday. And Sunday, the scenario I’d filmed the previous day, during the night at Frédéric’s, I finally produced it. A day late. On Sunday night, the bag, but the blue one, I go up and this time I don’t stop in the middle of the staircase, I go up, and I get Léonore, at Claude’s. I think of Yassou, her stomach pierced by canines. “In a certain way, it works out well for me,” she claimed, “I’m always worried others won’t like my smell” when I didn’t want to lick her. For every impulse, there was repulsion. Repulsion also means disgust. Disgust means ghetto. Ghetto, prison. This group of female homosexuals, this “milieu,” which Claude, with reason, thinks doesn’t suit me. What use are animal clones? Exactly. Finally. Phew. Fortunately it’s over. I went home yesterday with my blue bag. I dreamed of a perfume called Hogana, which made me think of dogana, of a customhouse. She likes me in pants. If necessary, in a dress, not in a skirt. On the contrary, Mayen, last year. Wearing pants, a sweater, T-shirt, no bra. Loved me. I became sober once again, feminine, myself. I have an appointment on Thursday the 14th with a children’s shrink for my daughter. AIDS isn’t really an illness, it’s a state of weakness and surrender, my dear, that uncages the beast we had within. I give it free rein to devour me, I let it inflict on my life what it would have done to my corpse after. Claude: You let her give you a ring, after all. And this ring, after all, is a kind of engagement. And I know how you are, you, with symbols… A ring, on top of it all, is an engagement. I’m sorry, but the triple Cartier ring, it’s an engagement. I hesitated. I didn’t know if I should accept. (I didn’t hesitate at all, that’s not true, I was happy.) The next ring I wanted to give you. We talked about it just this summer. I’d put money aside. It’s crazy how you can be in someone’s life and it all evaporates. Sunday night it was over. Léonore was asleep. But I still called, no one home, left a message, not at all upset. It’s Christine. She called me back. She cried. When she sees the bed… I was calm, I calmed her down. “Yassou is doing better.” In her gay ghetto, conversations about animals. Baya, Yassou, Minou, Djinn, Misty, Victoire, Muzil. Last night on the phone it didn’t go well. Because of one detail that derailed everything. The first meeting at the Esplanade, it was no, homosexuals, heterosexuals, there are two camps. ‘Camps’ is not appropriate: gloves. To turn inside out like a glove, it’s sticky, you need gloves. And you see, I just made love with her, sweetheart. I was going crazy, you know. All autumn long. October, November, December, January. I wanted to hide it. I couldn’t bear the thought that anyone in our neighborhood might imagine me with a woman. That my little girl was the daughter of a woman who lets herself be licked by a lesbian. Your papa, I called him my love and my pet. Yassou is doing better. The civil solidarity pact set off a debate about all possible misuses. How are children made? The man puts his sex into the lady’s sex. Léonore sings with Clara “doing the thing with your lover is dis-gust-ing,” she laughs and starts again. The idea that Marie and I… doesn’t register. Her breasts, her feminine eyes, with make up, getting wet. On my thigh, who got wet on my thigh, how could it register, sweetheart? She left a letter lying around from Annie who was traveling in Africa, “I don’t give a shit about giraffes, with their big eyes, when there are children dying of starvation right next to them.” It might as well be Greece for me, I went back to my native land. She doesn’t want a graft, we’re not going to get a godemiche. I talked to Léonore about the Holocaust, the Jews, homosexuals, communists. Dr. Mazollier said to Léonore “your mom likes words.” Dr. Galy told me “a little early.” Dr. Zériahen said “no one can judge.” Dr. Dhersigny told me I was irresponsible. As a child Marie often had dizzy spells, without doing anything physical. In her head there was a kind of sound, she floated, completely. Claude: you’ll always be the only one, because you’re the first, because you’re the last one I loved, to whom I wanted to make love, to have a child, to go on vacation, to go to a restaurant, to discover the world with and see people live, the one with whom I’d have fought, against her and against myself, to live alone and together. You were my future. You will be my past. My only past. As for the rest, what good is it. In four days, you’ll be thirty-nine. I met you when you were barely sixteen. I want you to be happy. Claude. Thank you for the flowers. Yassou is doing better. Baya got hit by a car. The veterinarian treated her. Misty, Victoire, Muzil. She has a profession, as a doctor, in which you can’t make too many mistakes. I, of course, can afford to leave myself open all the time, to listen only to myself, it’s my stock in trade.


I call her Marie, her name is Marie-Christine. Yesterday, my psychoanalyst: Who chose your name? In Christine there’s an allusion to Christ. I talked about my mission, my drive to save others, to puncture their usual life preservers so that they’ll save themselves with me or on their own. Who chose your name, “my God!” I said. I’d just understood. Your father or your mother? My God. My mother wanted to call me Marie-Christine. My father said: No Marie. I got married and then separated. A husband, a mari, calf, cow, pig, or a Marie. No husband, no father, no man, no life preserver, the whole kit and caboodle, cousin Nadine, NC, haine c’est, hate is, the girlfriend, all that’s dragging behind her. I went to see her yesterday and called her “my treasure.” When she was little, the safe was kept in her room. Her mother’s diamonds, their cash. In a little waist pack to buy an apartment. A diamond merchant in Paris, make an appointment, appraise the rocks. A large house for the two of us thanks to them. “You should sell them,” NC would tell her. Her cousin had met a diamond merchant. She gave me her father’s notebooks again. I was supposed to be named Marie-Christine too, in one of those families that throws money out the windows for the maid to pick up at the foot of the grapevine. The fruits of labor. Paintings on the walls. Léonore, my love, my gold. I’m in her room today, seated at the green table, a card table, where I’m writing. Through the window I see the garden, the oleander, the palm trees, the magnolia. At the back of the garden, my father watches the road to Clermont that borders my garden. Mon trésor, mon amour, mon or, Léonore. My treasure, my love, my gold, Léonore. My Léonore, my treasure. My treasure, my gold. No Marie, no marriage, no gold. The safe was in her room. Doctors were paid in cash at the time. Her father gave her mother money, which she put in the safe with the jewelry and other valuables every night. This house is crushing me, it was built by my grandfather, a doctor in Canet, himself a doctor’s son, who was also a doctor’s son, and so on for generations. Books and medical courses piled up, going back centuries. I had a fit of rage in Miaurey (Niger). We had gone to see the last herd of giraffes. Children came running from all directions. Since the first day at the Esplanade, I had told her it was all Greek to me. Knowing just one word – “gift” – and repeating it constantly, with their skinniness and swollen bellies. Maybe she’ll give me a bike so I can be more independent. She was born in Oran, the fellaghas, the bombs, an Arab killed right on her doorstep, and the beach house, hours with her mother, walking at least two hours on the beach every day. We’ll need a big house, a very big one, at least two hundred and fifty square meters. To shelter my tongue when it’s licking, I like the taste of blood, I even use it as an unguent at the same time. Everything gets turned inside out like a glove. Why is the devil’s tongue pictured as a flame that splits like two fused metal fingers that are separating? I hold on to the banister to climb the stairs to the lawyer’s office (my blood pressure is 80, 90 at the most), so that he can effectively complete the separation of bodies between Claude and me. The gold is separating. I feel nauseous. I’m dizzy. A herd of humans looking at giraffes. Suddenly I asked myself what the hell I was doing there. She gave me all that, the letter from Africa, her father’s notebooks, to help me get over my writer’s block, because I couldn’t work. I gave them back to her, it’s over. I was going crazy: the gap between outside and my room. And yet, I could have drunk the dregs. Even if, when you’re not fully developed it’s hard to get excited about something wet. Like a glove, it’s true, it can always be reversed. It’s true. That’s good. The term gloves fits better than camps. I see the stitches. I turn it inside out. I move the cock, I see the spot. I penetrate. My fingers become a cock. Cock, coda, tip, tail, that’s how you tell a dog’s breed. There’s no breed, just an odor. The mucous membranes, the caress, I’m not the one caressing, it’s the liquid moving under my fingers. Misty, Muzil. There it is, sadness, but also laughter. Ultimately, I don’t give a shit about the giraffes, their big eyes. I end up feeling like an unwanted spectator, feeling rejected, superfluous, Bénédicte writes me, I feel I’m in the way, I’m not a part of it, I’m there almost against my will and against yours, I resented you for the discomfort I felt. You build a wall, a wall of glass, transparent but impassable, exposing yourself the entire time. You put yourself callously on display, you don’t invite others to look, you don’t make the slightest gesture of welcome. The circle of solitude closes. We’re frozen, we can neither escape nor come into contact with you. Reading you, my stomach began to hurt, my limbs, my whole body and I asked myself “is this really living? So much darkness, no way out, so little light? It seems to me that you forget the light.” And my treasure, my love, my gold?

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