Paris. A thousand lives
Original title: Paris, mille vies
One summer’s evening outside the Gare Montparnasse, the narrator is accosted by a man in a state of agitation. At the invitation of this wandering soul, he embarks on a distressing walk down the road where his father died. During this meander through a curiously empty Paris, he is beset by visions of the past and different eras begin to overlap, from the Boulevard Saint-Michel along which General Leclerc’s division paraded after the liberation of Paris to the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève where Villon killed a priest in a street brawl.
When they reach the center of town, the narrator realizes his guide is a prisoner and that he will become one himself if he does not cast off his melancholy. And thereupon begins a return to the light and an evocation of the Paris of love and of a rediscovered lust for life. He returns to the reality of this noisy, busy city and also to writing, the only tool with which he can accomplish his task of telling and retelling the stories of a thousand lives.
- Under option: Italy, World English