Any author writing about contemporary experience in their own country can be seen as providing some kind of historical record. Modiano, however, goes further. His oeuvre – upward of twenty novels, plus poetry, plays and children’s fiction – acts as commentary and analysis of the French post-war experience. Interviewed about his Nobel win, he says: ‘I have the impression of writing the same book for forty-five years’. That book could be said to be a study of the disruption of the Nazi Occupation and its effects on identity in France, and an investigation into – as the Nobel Committee hints – the construction of memory and, indeed, of fiction itself.
Over at 3:AM Magazine, West Camel goes deep into recently Nobel Prize awarded French novelist Patrick Modiano’s career, looking at its close ties to his birth country and to contemporary society.