Friday, January 31, 2020

the last book I ever read (Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel, excerpt five)

from Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel by Virginie Despentes (translated by Frank Wynne):

Their daughter-in-law is touched by a vague madness that is anything but charming. Her gaze scorches everything it touches. Marie-Ange was in love with Xavier. But not anymore, not for a long time. When she is with him, she makes no effort to hide her boredom, or her contempt whenever he speaks. She has recovered from the fairy tale of the little princess who marries a humble commoner. She is probably remembering what her father said when she announced that she was engaged, “For a woman, there is nothing worse that to marry beneath her station.” And the old bastard had the never to say as much in front of the bridegroom’s mother. Marie-Ange refuses to leave the girl alone with her grandmother. Here again, Xavier didn’t have the courage to tell her straight out, but Sophie understood. She must have done something wrong. Her son furtively leaves her to mind his daughter for an afternoon from time to time. Doubtless he lies to his wife when he gets home, tells her he was with the two of them in the park all the time. He prevaricates, he beats around the bush. She is not the only woman among her friends to be disappointed by how her grown-up son has turned out.

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