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Invitation to a Journey

by Sylvie Germain

There is a melancholic, dream-like quality to this book. Through a series of surreal encounters the main character learns to reconnect to, and appreciate, the world. I found this quite a difficult book, but many of the images keep coming back to me. I think you could read it several times and get more from it each time.

Extract

Ludvik raised his eyebrows, then the young man opened his dubious beige parka and revealed a glimpse of the soluble flower he was holding very carefully under the lining. A strange flower, with bizarre petals, like tumescent growths, with semi-transparent grey surfaces and a glassy stem spiked with thorns and irregular-shaped leaves.
'It's a salt rose' said the young man with a big smile. 'It took me weeks to grow. Isn't it beautiful?'
Translated by Christine Donougher

Parallels

The Trial by Franz Kafka
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
 

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