Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. Pascal Quignard recently received the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize, for his work. In ON WOODEN TABLETS, Quignard takes on the persona of a fourrth century Roman Patriarcian Matron who writes notes on wooden tablets, somewhat in the manner of Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book. She notes erotic souvenirs, jokes, scenes that have touched her, but also accounts and lists of things to do. For twenty years, "Apronenia Avitia" keeps this journal without mentioning, except in passing, the ruinous events she witnesses: the Roman Empire is crumbling, invaded by the "Barbarians" from the North as well as infiltrated from within by the Christian "party." Perhaps she does not see. Perhaps she does not want to see. Translated from the French by Bruce X.