Voice Over by Céline Curiol
by Cline Curiol
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Céline Curiol’s English-language debut, Voice Over, is a thoroughly French affair. Like much of Samuel Beckett’s work (the epigraph to this book is, quite appropriately, taken from Molloy), it chronicles, in relentless detail, an individual’s battle with a host of ontological neuroses that threaten to overwhelm her. And like Beckett’s worldview, Curiol’s is unremittingly bleak.
The anonymous “she” of the novel is a young woman who works as an announcer at the Gare du Nord in Paris. Given to fits of misanthropic rage, agoraphobia, and exhibitionism—she is, in other words, a knot of contradictory emotions—she nevertheless lives her outward life passively, borne aloft by currents of chance, circumstance, and routine. “No matter the city, no matter the age, there are transitional moments when a person exists
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