Le grand cahier – Agota Kristof
Thoughts: I read Le grand cahier in winter-spring 2019, after having seen it recommended as a book in French that was easy for beginners in the language. I recall it being dark, but as engaging as a French novel could be at that point in my French-learning journey. Written in the notebook I was keeping at the time, I recorded a couple of impressions upon finishing the book:
Kristof, Agota. 1986. Le grand cahier. Seuil.
- so I missed a lot of fine detail, skipping over a bunch of words I didn’t know, but I feel that I got the gist of it quite well. It never felt like work to read. It would be interesting to revisit the book, either after a year of continued study, or just with a French-English dictionary.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ending.Both of them had the opportunity to escape, so why didn’t they? I guess they had reached a point where they needed to go their separate ways, but ending up on different sides of the Iron Curtain feels a bit extreme. Also, if just one of the two escaped/disappeared on the same day someone died trying to cross no-man’s land, wouldn’t it be really easy to suspect the remaining twin of helping to mastermind it? Especially when their footsteps are visible?
Posted: May 26, 2023. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.