Julien Gracq – In Argol Castle (Chateau d’Argol)

The Ivory Tower of Gracq

Presumptuous as few, Gracq describes a ménage a trois, often sublimated by the symbolic world, without ever writing a single dialogue (but connoting the dialogues of the characters and leaving the reader to guess) in a subtle but soon threadbare game, especially since the writer seems to look from above and inflicts his specious and sterile fiction as if it were a privilege to go deep into his mind’s meanders. Some beautiful descriptions, but philosophizing for its own sake, in a manneristic late-romanticism, leaves the characters hanging at the mercy of the unreality of their stories and of the pleased irresolution of the author. The classic example of the ivory tower.

Translation by Anna Anzani (edited by Chiara Canova and Robert Mardle)