❮Reading❯ ➶ L'Inquisitoire Author Robert Pinget – Dailytradenews.co.uk

L'Inquisitoire chapter 1 L'Inquisitoire, meaning L'Inquisitoire, genre L'Inquisitoire, book cover L'Inquisitoire, flies L'Inquisitoire, L'Inquisitoire b3cdc5743a302 The Inquisitory Consists Entirely Of The Interrogation Of An Old, Deaf Servant Regarding Unspecified Crimes That May Or May Not Have Taken Place At His Master S French Chateau The Servant S Replies Which Are By Turns Comic, Straightforward, Angry, Nostalgic, And Disingenuous Hint At A Variety Of Seedy Events, Including Murder, Orgies, Tax Fraud, And Drug Deals Of Course, The Servant Wasn T Involved With Any Of These Activities If The Reader Chooses To Believe Him In Trying To Convince The Inquisitor Of His Innocence, The Servant Creates A Web Of Half Truths, Vague References, And Glaring Inconsistencies Amid Forgotten Details, Indicating That He May Know Than He S Letting On


10 thoughts on “L'Inquisitoire

  1. says:

    This is something like a masterpiece, but I m not sure who I could recommend it to Well, the usual Dalkey aficionados, naturally, but I don t know who else Composed entirely of a series of questions and answers between an unnamed inquisitor or inquisitors and the aged, deaf servant of a country chateau, The Inquisitory iswellit s something else, alright Okay, so something s happened, but we don t know what Something nefarious, assumedly This servant of the chateau is being interrogated about what he knows if he actually does know anything about supposed misdoings centering around the chateau and the surrounding provincial area Something about the secretary of the chateau leaving So what is the servant asked about Anything Everything If a name is mentioned casually by the servant, know with certainty that the inquisitor is going to ask who they are, where they live, what they do, who they know usually right away, but sometimes ten or twenty pages later when you ve already completely forgotten about them And if a house, or a road, or a room, or a hallway, or a staircase, or any structure made by man is mentioned, a thorough description will be forthcoming Amid this seemingly random torrent of information, a chiaroscuro of corruption, perversion, and iniquity of every sort is slowly revealed Murder, pedophilia, necrophilia, tax scams, and maybe some kind of satanic death cult or maybe I just read too much into things you name it So, if the cops are looking for something, there s plenty to be found Maybe Or maybe not See what I m getting at Pinget courts reader frustration boldly and with audacious glee, and ultimately makes it his bitch He practically dares you to stop reading, Come onI dare you, Robert Conrad than Joseph Conrad, assaultin batteries I almost abandoned it somewhere before the halfway mark at the uninterrupted, ten page description of a drawing room and every piece of furniture and appointments therein Why does the inquisitor need to know this Why do I need to know this Why does anybody need to know this Fuck if I know The servant will even get frustrated and start asking Where is this all going or What s the point of all this , seemingly just to let you know that yes indeed Pinget is fully aware of what he s doing to you But I couldn t stop reading Pinget writes in a breathless, propulsive style, that kineticism aided by the lack of conventional punctuation no periods, no question marks, and commas used almost haphazardly It s unconventional, but certainly not unreadable, and it adds to that forward momentum If you re unsure where to stop, it makes it that much harder to actually do so So anyway, somewhere around that halfway mark I started to have fun with it I felt like I was in on the joke The endless questions, answers and constructions of real or imagined people, places and events forces you to ponder the nature of truth, knowledge, and storytelling While reading it I felt like my brain chemistry was being rewired, and that s something I think great art should do, right Soyeah Masterpiece.


  2. says:

    The Inquisitory by Robert Pinget is a very idiosyncratic novel which isn t easy to interpret.Masters and servants what does a servant know about his masters, about the surrounding world and society Yes or no yes or no for all I know about it you know, I mean I was only in service to them a man of all work you might say and what I can say about it, anyway I don t know anything people don t confide in a servant, my work all right my work then but how could I have foreseen, every day the same the daily round no I mean to say you d better ask my gentlemen not me there must be some mistake, when I think that after ten years of loyal service he never said a word to me worse than a dog, you pack up and go you wash your hands of it let other people get on with it after all I mean to say, man of all work yes but who never knew a thing it s enough to turn you sour isn t, me gentlemen didn t care so long as I did my work, at the start I was sure it couldn t go on like that let s at least try to have a little chat from time to time but in the end you get used to it you get used to it and that s how I ve been for the last ten years so don t come asking me, a dog you understand and yet they chat to him there was one they used to take with them on their trips, my gentlemen took him with them on their tripsIt s not about the dog it s about him, when did he leaveThe interrogation is long and scrupulous but it isn t clear if there was a crime or not And if there was one then of what nature.The servant s answers are thorough and often meticulous but it isn t clear how precise are they They may turn out to be just a part of his imagination, wild guesses, misconceptions, wishful thinking, hearsay, gossips or results of his imperfect memory Every one of us lives in the world painted with one s imagination and memory and restricted with one s cognition of the outside reality.


  3. says:

    Another twenty rooms and then there ll still be and you ll tell me to describe them, and and kitchens servants tell tale tittle tattle secrets of the bedchamber families mile upon mile of streets and stairs and lumber rooms and junk shops of antique dealers grocers butchers skimping and scraping everywhere in our heads how dreary it all is always starting over again why, all these dead people around us all these dead people we third degree to make them talk when will you have finished I haven t asked anything, am I always going to have to start again the evenings in the bistro in the street what how whyPull yourself together, describe them Describe what The contents of the book words stories I don t know, what part are you after Is this an encyclopedic work I never called it encylopedic that would have been some other review or I think probably a list perhaps that Nathan NR he s always on about your encyclopedics why not give him an ask on that one Tell me what you know of Nathan NR Not much besides the books he reads honestly types in odd formatting likes digging things up unburying and perhaps resurrecting dead or now maybe undead literatures if you will good bloke runs a group I m not even sure how old he may be though his picture or avatar or what have you for ages I took it for him I think now it might be a young Vollman I don t even know if he s a real Gaddis, NR or not and if Would you consider this an encyclopedic work Nah like rather gazetteeric or that and a telephone directory I would say an encyclopedia one would think would encompass a somewhat broader knowledge area than just the people and places and some goings on in one small district of france that no one has heard of that I gather does not exist at all oh or maybe an auction catalogue perhaps, I could see this being arranged like the other if only it would incorporate pictures really much easier that way floorplans and whatnot than just trying to render each thing down to minute and irrelevant detail agonizing at times I say in just words alone really now Why shouldn t a novel render itself in words alone Even the narrator agrees it s on the page Then why do you continue to read It has its intrigues I like the voice a tad familiar at times even if breathless fellow he seems to never let up vomiting out his words and descriptions doesn t he even pause for a moment, and intrigues like I say you get fifteen pages of furniture and street crossings but then next page its a poisoning or some dirty pictures worse than animals he says and then clams up I don t wonder they sound awful or rather I do wonder it s that that keeps you reading really the not knowing where its all going and what little bits of the unexpected will come popping up I liked the bit in the woods too the superstitions and all or rather I guess I do know where it s going or has to be all the insinuations and hints actually seem to be pointing at different things all divergent not convergent not even the interrogator knows what he s after or at least he can t make up his mind maybe he s just bored but like I say it s probably going mostly nowhere much there ll never be an end to it Why do you say that Pinget he s a nouvelle roman bloke as they say surely falling in with that crowd he s after something else than telling a reasonable story like respectable people might you know with a plot and a beginning middle end not that there aren t plots mind you but they re just not At what point did you realize that there would never be an end to it Probably pretty early on the suspicions started I have some familiarity with those nouvelle romans also the post modernists you know the type but even then the intrigues another one is waiting to see just how the book will make itself keep going really on the edge of my seat at times to see how there could possibly be another two hundred pages of this I m only sort of exaggerating it has a compulsive quality Was there a specific point Of what A specific point at which it seemed to be going nowhere Fairly early really I told you and not too many books inspired such a blend of annoyance and adoration it seemed likely to be of the somewhat elusive variety of postmodern storytelling Which you dislike Not at all it can be entirely effective if it drags the reader against their best intents Were you dragged in then Yes and no I was but I wasn t each time I d become completely caught up, the incident or description would end, perhaps never to return again each time I was driven utterly to distraction something exciting would spring up, and as far as the knowing it would have no end goes or suspecting I still suspect but I haven t actually finished yet that Nate or Nathanimal wrote a review where he gave up after 10 pages of drawing room details so I knew we couldn t be building up to a major change of pacing or content or what have you Nate is this the same one No not NR but Nathanimal like I say and not that other Nate D either Who is this Nathanimal You could know as much as I if you d check the profile reads the surrealisms sometimes has strokes of insight on strange books surprised he didn t make it further on this one but I don t say I can t see the frustration either there s only so many books anyone can read in a lifetime does it really need to be a list of estates and aristocrats with a few hairdressers and senile aunts chucked into the mix for good measure Who is this Nate D another character on the Goodreads thought he was a bit of an androgyne with the eye shadow and all but it turned out the portrait or avatar if you will was a different bloke as well from the early 80s new wave character later made a television show played a terrible boss you ve seen it Who is the interrogator What do you mean who is the interrogator Who do you imagine is asking the questions The police someone after something a blackmailer a jealous friend could be anyone really now couldn t it that s the point of the device an open book endless possibility or most of all it seeing as this is some manner of nouvelle roman so they say it becomes rather inescapable to not see the questions as originating with the author which of course they must as he s the bloke doing the writing now isn t he, but that is to say so even if it s a nouvelle roman as I told you there s always the chance that the whole is some kind of model of the writing process itself the author interrogating himself in order to generate and flesh out every possibly useful detail of the world the interrogator as writer as generative literary tool to pull the raw materials of writing direct from authorial brain to create an entire world or setting in which he might eventually put a story or a novel yes And if he s a generative writing tool what would you say I am The same a transparent device for composing a review I should say And now And now what Your reactions You ve heard them haven t you I can t imagine what you re after You were reading before and now you ve done your reactions haven t changed then Yes and no I was about ready to put it down I was skimming a bit through a lengthy wedding scene that doesn t seem to have been terribly important I was resolved to hit the halfway at last it seemed a good bet for having seen the most of the book giving it a good shot and like I say the actual reading of it was pleasant enough it was just the time who has it and so many other books piling themselves off the shelves all the time Which ones Nothing related in particular Drexler Malin Burns Brooke Rose Vesaas Brossard Duras and on and on there ll never be an end to it particularly with all the new ones they re writing all the time Your reactions Why yes I d thought we d just get some of the montage as Knig says lots of disconnected bits of interest floating alone in a narrative void say spaced out by lists of things I wonder if they inspired the lists of furniture and architectural detail in House of Leaves even it s a possibility given all the other post modern canon that found its way in there Who is this Knig Another reader ended up trailing off read in little disconnected bits to fit the style say not so impressed it s all down there Your reactions So I thought all this as I said but then imagine after the wedding the narrator trips up a bit and it turns out there s a whole personal story quite moving rather frightening in there that he d been burying heavens I d never have guessed, and what s his story would seem to brush up against some much bigger things murder conspiracy occultism madness secret passageways the other reviews hinted as much but I d really not have guessed that it can be all made to be connected into one quite developed story or its all debatable but at least one character would say so so all at once here I am quite caught up all in not so many pages never fully explained or finalized of course some big gaps left to wonder but it keeps you reading and throughout after that old Pinget a crafty one he s back to modulating your boredom again bait and switch perhaps reader attention and how to frustrate and cultivate it is the actual story here but in any event from there on he s got all of this intrigue to keep brushing back in or to withhold as needed carries right through to the end rather moving at that point too I ll be missing that narrator even if he s a xenophobe the things he refuses to talk about show his hearts mostly in the right place What was the book about then As I said a how to on modulating reader attention What was the book about It s a telephone directory and gazetteer of a bit of rural france What was the book really about Memory what you hang onto what you lose what means the most when you look back at the end What else was the book about Stories and storytelling the interrogators are determined to drag out a whole interconnected plot and they ll get it in the end it just might be a real frankenstein of fabrication and insinuation could they be the readers themselves then those determined readers hmmm yes I like this the interrogator as the reader who really wants a lurid story and he or she will get it in the end even at the expense of plausibility or maybe of the truth at all we readers have such demands we ll plow under all sorts of other concerns in pursuit of our plots wouldn t you say Was the book about anything else Sure it was about the things that make up a life and what it actually feels like to live it it s a little different from just the memory bit the narrator says something about setting nets to trap the wind everyone one does it naturally its all for naught we scurry after these things hunt down that bizarre old edition of that french novel in translation that s not really been about in decades or that apartment or the girl or the fellow for that matter and years pass and what difference does any of it make yes setting nets for wind it s all anyone can do Is that it Is that it Is that it now answer carefully It ll never be it of course it all just goes on and on rooms and rooms and all those fading faces clamoring for a shred of dignity or attention an encyclopedic really yes I ve come around a true encyclopedic but one that carves up its subject as much as illuminates the faces that clamor for attention are in some way degraded by it to look too close is to lose sight one incident can dominate a lifetime once set upon the printed page or a lifetime is reduced to a handful of details why keep on with the searchlights when they ll burn up all they touch in the end it s from this alone that narrator hides his memories or as he says the interrogators will get the story they wanted all along in the end that s the only endpoint of it all if any the reader interogator will demand will recreate will force will will will


  4. says:

    Yes or no answerYes or no yes or no for all I know about it you know, I mean I was only in service to them a man of all work you might say and what I can say about it, anyway I don t know anything people don t confide in a servant, my work all right my work then but how could I have foreseen, every day the same the daily round no I mean to say you d better ask my gentlemen not me there must be some mistake, when I think that after ten years of loyal service he never said a word to me worse than a dog, you pack up and go you wash your hands of it let other people get on with it after all I mean to say, man of all work yes but who never knew a thing it s enough to turn you sour isn t it, my gentlemen didn t care so long as I did my work, at the start I was sure it couldn t go on like that let s at least try to have a little chat from time to time but in the end you get used to it you get used to it and that s how I ve been for the last ten years so don t come asking me, a dog you understand and yet they chat to him there was one they used to take with them on their trips, my gentlemen took him with them on their trips Those are the opening two paragraphs from The Inquisitory Some things to note of note yes, I like lists 1 So, the really obvious one yeah, there is no punctuation Excepting commas Commas are okay apparently likely this book would not work as well without them But no periods, no exclamation marks, no question marks It s a bit amusing that a book which is entirely an inquisition has no question marks, but there it is.2 The not quite as obvious from the above the entire book is structured in this way Odd numbered no actual numbering, but you get the idea paragraphs belong to the inquisitor, even numbered paragraphs belong to the servant There is no divergence from this structure so, even when the servant is particularly long winded, you just end up with a paragraph that spans pages.3 There are no breaks the book continues in this way for 400 pages.4 Also not quite as obvious, but can be inferred from the above the entire book being set up in this way means that there is no narrative I mean, the servant s dialogue is its own form of narrative, but there is no description of the conversation, of the speakers, of their expressions or tone or intonation Just spoken words That last one is hugely important, as the success of the book entirely hinges upon this it works, the whole goddamn thing works, and because of that, this book is a small triumph The servant is this crystalline, perfectly defined literary creation, but he is defined entirely in the mind of the reader His emotions are apparent and varied and he resonates and affects the reader as the book progresses.The book also focuses extensively on the nature of truth and memory next to books about writers I would say this is Dalkey s other favorite topic of literature the servant is both observant and forgetful, at times intentionally and explicitly withholding information and obscuring facts and at other times it is up to the reader to infer where the truth ends and the memory lack of memory churlish withholding begins The inquisitor itself himself herself who knows speaks only in clipped questions demands, but even the inquisitor evolves as a sharp intelligence, drawing facts and statements together into a complex web that traps and trips the servant following up on statements made pages earlier, and ferreting out small inconsistencies and withholding as the inquisition progresses.Not everyone is going to love this book Most readers actually will not What you get in the opening pages is what you get for the rest of the book those that thrill at Oulipo level restraints though I don t believe Pinget was a member and the ability to expand a literary experiment across 400 pages to stretch it to breaking only to stick the landing in triumph those readers will likely love this book Most others will find only tedium That s okay, they can simply look elsewhere.


  5. says:

    I think I m getting used to the post modern novel As recently as a few years ago, I couldn t have handles a novel like Robert Pinget s The Inquisitory 1962 In the interim, reading Samuel Beckett, Georges Perec, and Laszlo Krasznahorkai has somehow turned my literary prejudices inside out.Here we have a 400 page set of questions being asked by a faceless investigator to an old servant whose name we don t even know, nor do we know anything about the inquisitor or the secretary who s typing up the transcription The servant happens to be deaf, so we must presume the questions which are all short are written on slips of paper The questions range from demands for the layout of various rooms at the mansion where he was working for two dodgy males in their mid fifties , to rooms in bars and private dwellings in several of the surrounding towns The old servant gives incredibly long answers, showing a minute knowledge of people, their relationships, room layouts, paintings, and antiques that go far beyond what any individual could be expected to remember As the questioning goes on, the servant becomes increasingly rebellious and starts talking back to the inquisitor Another twenty rooms and then there ll still be and you ll tell me to describe them, and and kitchens servants tell tale tittle tattle secrets of the bedchamber families mile upon mile of streets and stairs and lumber rooms and junk shops of antique dealers grocers butchers of skimping and scraping everywhere in our heads how dreary it all is always starting all over again why, all those dead people we third degree to make them talk when will you have finished I haven t asked anything, am I always going to start again the evenings in the bistro in the street what how whyYou may have noticed there are no periods and lots of run on sentences Every once in a while, the old man goes into what could be called a fugue of description, of which the following is just a short excerpt On the other side of the organ there s a little wooden chair a straight one all painted with flowers and cows and birds that s Swiss too, one of them s got a broken leg I stuck together again but the radiator s too close it comes unstuck, then between the second and third windows there s a big picture on the wall of peasants playing kinds of games like blind man s bluff and so on and so on until even the inquisitor tells him to cut it short and moves on to the next question.If you think there s any tendency to the questions, you re wrong They spiral around several hundred people living in scores of streets in over a dozen towns, and back again Dinner parties, fetes, and other events over a period of over ten years are discussed in great detail, as well as who was there, how they interacted with one another, and what the furniture looked like, who were the servants, and so on ad infinitum There s no tendentious direction to the questions They just swirl and swirl and even come back to the beginning.Like Georges Perec s Life A User s Manual, the accumulation of description assumes a value on its own The selection of details implies a back story which is never quite spelled out for us We have to make all the connections ourselves Yet somehow, it all works on a strange level which I am not quite sure how to properly describe.And yet the answers are mesmerizing.


  6. says:

    This might be the toughest book I ve ever read I came to a point where I almost set it down But, magically, I got I was able to find the current of this book and follow it through to the end It turned out to be quite readable by the end, but I have never been so close to stopping a book I ve seen other folks compare this to Perec s Life A User s Manual and I definitely see the similarities I think there is of a payoff to Life and it s also fun to read a book which you never really want to end This one, in contrast, was one I was quite pleased to finish That said, I m not sorry that I spent a few weeks on it A very singular reading experience with a protagonist if that s the right word whom I ll never forget.


  7. says:

    It is difficult to adequately praise this strange and unsettling book I will try by saying that I have never read a book that so thoroughly engaged the full spectrum of my imagination It is tedious, thrilling, mysterious, and desperately sad It addresses such a vast range of experiences that I am tempted to say it is a kind of encyclopedia, but that would actually diminish its achievements It is horrific and epic, while dwelling unapologetically on the minute and the mundane I will read it again.


  8. says:

    No punctuation, no discernible plot, endless descriptions of furniture and hundreds of characters, most of whom appear for 1 or 2 lines never to be brought up again It s a difficult read not a page turner at all.There are some rare moments of reflection by the person being interrogated on the nature importance of memories and truth Which means that all those descriptions may not even be true.


  9. says:

    Interesting premise, but total struggle at the moment To be revisited.


  10. says:

    Robert Pinget, on his birthday July 19 Dreamscapes and phantasms of Absurdism and Surrealist weirdness, coupled with a rigorous scholastic subversion of the three unities of traditional French theatre time, place, and character, Robert Pinget brought a relentless methodology to his creative partnerships, as if Descartes had a driving passion for the arts With a compositional vision and structure derived from his musicianship which permeates his style of language, and sentences which mimic natural breathing in oral poetry taken directly from his model Walt Whitman, his writing displays a poetic lyricism as unique as a signature Among a small group of authors who were also superb musicians, always interesting to me as my side gig is music, his transpositon of music into language reverberates across time and flowers in musician novelists as diverse as Anthony Burgess in Napoleon Symphony and Robert Coover in Pricksongs and Descants Famously a collaborator with Samuel Beckett as fellow playwrights, Robert Pinget was also a painter who had studied with a student of Braque as well as a musician of the Baroque chamber orchestra, and all three of these influences can be observed in his literary works It is possible that he achieved Nietzsche s Total Art in his synthesis of disciplines and reinvention of form Among his classics of world literature we have The Inquisitory, regularly compared to Perec s Life a user s manual due to the playfullness and variety of his word games, Passacaglia, a transposition of music into language, and possibly a mystery, Baga, the lives of a mad king across the centuries reminiscent of Jarry s Ubu Roi, Between Fantoine and Agapa, a surrealist notebook of future works and a travel guide to an alternate dimension like that of Akutagawa s marvelous Kappa, Monsieur Levert, referential to both Beckett s Waiting for Godot and , as the play Dead Letter, to Beckett s companion play with which it shared a stage, Krapp s Last Tape We have also the absurdist hilarity of Mahu, the mad ravings of a useless nobody who slowly dissociates in soliloquies of imagined superiority to just about everyone Consumed by dementia, his rotting brain misfires in bundles of hallucinatory and childlike racism, paranoia, rages, twisted desires anyone who has worked with patients in an Alzheimer s ward will recognize the symptoms My response to objectionable content is to consider its context and intent in this case to describe the mental decline of a character whose function is to provoke and disturb as a tool of social criticism Reading it gave me impulsive fits of wanting to rewrite the novel as the senile maunderings of a Trump like American President who was a former clown of grotesque terror and whose art of politics in the white house is the same as in his fabled circus performances to offend, terrorize, and totally gross out his audience For then we would have a novel in which transgression is liberating, affirming, and useful.


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