Ghosts

Eva Figes, Author Pantheon Books $16.95 (150p) ISBN 978-0-394-57159-1
The narrator of this irritating scrapbook, much of it written in fragmentary sentences, reviews her life from a perspective of exhaustion. She moves from the street to the dentist, to the garden, to the kitchen, to a museum, noting that things seem to be running down, little is new, life is a party that repeatedly plays itself out. The prattle of other people fails to cheer her. In the throes of an incurable entropy of the spirit, she drags about with ``tired tread,'' her stomach aches, her mouth is dry, her back hurts. Peering through a window at the swallows in the garden, she complains, ``A sense of futility comes over me.'' She rummages through old papers in her father's bureau, and remarks, ``I sit down on the floor, and the breath has gone out of me.'' There is a fondness for sentences like ``I know this city and I do not know it.'' and ``I see and I do not see him.'' In an upstairs bedroom sits a frail old lady who seems to be her own ghost, and at times is also her mother. The writer concludes that she herself is nothing, nothing lies ahead, and she has nothing to say. One wonders why novelist Figes ( Light ; Waking ; Nelly's Version ) felt the need to inflict so dreary an exercise on her readers. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-36271-1
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