Read the opening of Annie Ernaux’s next novel, published at the end of October.

I wanted to write as if I didn’t exist when the text was published. Write like I had to die and there’s no judge. Although it is an illusion to believe that the coming of truth is only due to death, perhaps.

When I woke up, my first move was to pick its breed, prick it out of sleep, and just stand there like it was clinging to a branch. “As long as I hold on to it, I said to myself, I won’t get lost in the world.”

If I think about what that expression means today, it seems to me that the only possible desire was to grasp that man’s gender by hand.

Now in another woman’s bed. He can do the same move, reach out and take her sex. I’ve been staring at that hand for months and it looked like it was mine.

However, I was the one who broke up with W. a few months ago after a six-year relationship. From exhaustion but also from not seeing that I could trade my freedom, which had recovered after eighteen years of marriage, for a life together that he had so fervently wanted from the beginning. We kept calling each other on the phone, seeing each other from time to time. He called me one night and said he was moving out of his apartment to live with a woman. From then on, we must follow certain rules when we call each other, see each other – never at night or on weekends – only on the cell phone. I knew that a new element had arisen from the sense of destruction that came over me immediately. From that moment on, that woman’s presence invaded mine. I just thought about him and her.

That woman filled my head, chest, stomach, accompanied me everywhere, dictated my feelings. At the same time, that uninterrupted presence caused me to live intensely. It gave me inner jolts I had never known before, unleashed an energy in me, a creativity I never believed I could do, keeping me engaged in a fiery and constant activity.

He was busy in both senses of the word.

Source: Informacion


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