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The Sundays of Jean Dezert


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Possibly the most perfect novella I have ever read. Subtle in the charming gaze it lends to the beautiful prosaic existence we emptily experience every single day of our lives. Most books I read are about men searching for something, but this is about a man who is content to watch and to know, in the watching, that he has accomplished as much as anyone can.

Jean Dezert loves his Sundays. He goes for walks, notices the simplicity of the world, allows it to wash over him as a veil of immutable certainty. He chats with his friend Léon. He is bored of life because he already knows what it is. He enjoys the banal days of work, the little things. Then he meets a girl. They have a whirlwind romance. He meets her father who warns him that she is capricious and changes her mind on a whim. Sure enough, she tells him one day that she doesn't like his face and the marriage is off.

Jean Dezert then contemplates how to deal with this apparent heartache. He embraces drink. After this, he concludes that suicide is the best option. He considers hanging, poison, a revolver, but then settles on drowning himself in the Seine.

But as he stands by the bank, watching the people in the cafes, noticing the little boats... "suicide struck him as useless when balanced against his awareness of being an interchangeable part of the crowd and truly unable to completely die."

Effortlessly brilliant.



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