Topology of a Phantom City
Published in France in 1976, Topologie d’une cite fantome, instead of consisting of chapters, offers the reader five spaces to consider. With camera like prose, the narrative takes the reading experience and reader to varying perspectives, describing slowly the unfolding of each of the scenes. Plot slips by with each expanding space, linked with occasional reference to the goddess Vanadis, and the sacrificial murder of young women, although the novel constantly tips the balance of the location of referrential points within the text, and is interspersed with pools of introspective reflection. The novel subtly switches between historical settings and is mainly in third narrative. Topology of a Phantom City, was translated by J.A. Underwood and published by Calder/Boyars.
Afterwards it’s much better, possibly; at any rate there’s been a change. Often as a child I dreamt of the sea: a welcoming, uniform expanse painted a deep blue; the freedom to run right to the horizon. It was also vertical and flat. It opened in the middle like a double door. Now we can dip our feet in it, look at the bottom, catch shrimps in the holes as well as other creatures of the same sort that leave a funny smell on one’s fingers, a familiar smell. Perhaps we have aged a bit. To go on the sea, where the horizon always recedes, we now have to take the little boat moored at the jetty, at the entrance to which that old bicycle is still standing.