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August 09, 2009

Merde Actually

Stephen Clarke Merde Actually

以前、Talk To the Snakeという本を読みましたが、同じフランスに暮らすイギリス人作家の本です。これはPaul Westというイギリス人が主人公のほぼフィクション。「ほぼ」というのは、かなり生々しい(?)フランスならではのエピソードが出てくるので、体験談では?と。
This book was written by a British writer who lives in France and I also read his book Talk To the Snake before. This book is almost a fiction of a British man called Paul West. I mean "almost" as there appears many authentic (?) episodes about France which make me doubt if it's on his own experience.

It was again Carl who bought this book at a stand in Gare du Nord when we were heading for Belgium. And I read it after we came home. Paul is a very unlucky guy and he acts like stupid sometimes but the book will make you dislike France... Even if he wasn't the main character, I would have a deep sympathy for him.

Paul Westの物語は2作目で、会社を解雇されてからパリで英国喫茶店を開きつつ、運命の女性?を探すような物語です。題名(merde=shit)からして下品ですが、中にもあまり上品とは言えない表現がたくさん出て来ます。でもこの作家の皮肉は結構好きです。例えば、フランス語には「お客様は王様」という表現があるそうですが(本当か!?)、それに対し、「彼ら(フランス人)が自分たちの王様に何をしたか知っている(=ギロチン処刑)」といったものとか。
It's the second book for Paul West and the story is about his opening a British tea room in Paris after he's fired by the company and searching for a right woman. The title (merde=shit) is already impolite and there are many other not so polite expressions in the book. Still I like the author's irony. For example, he wrote that there is an expression French which means "the client is the king" (really?) and Paul said he knew what they (French people) had done to their king (Louis XVI).

After all I thought why he stayed in France over the series of bad experiences... I guess there's something attractive more than that... I couldn't find the attractive parts in the novel, though.

Now, I need to refresh the image of France by remembering the nice people I met in France.


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