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Titel: First Novel
Verlag: The Harvill Press, London
The Harvill Press 1999; A novel good to very good in paperback; 214 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 17384
Inhaltsangabe: Set in London and Paris, this novel covers two months in the life of Agathe, who, with her boyfriend Victor, forms the nucleus of a bohemian intellectual elite that believes anything is possible. That is, until reality shatters their principles.
Rezension: The "secret" daughter of France's former President , François Mitterand, Mazarine Pingeot has published her first novel aged only 23. Wittily called First Novel, it explores the lives of a couple of sophisticated Sorbonne students and the young intellectual elite they are a part of. Some of it must be autobiographical, as Pingeot also studied philosophy, like her 23-year-old protagonist Agathe. Agathe and her lover Victor are at the centre of a Parisian social scene which converses, philosophises, parties and loves intensely. Agathe religiously believes in liberating herself and her friends from the constraints of conventional fidelity and moral behaviour; they take drugs, drink and give in to sexual impulses when they want to with an intellectual awareness of the rules they are flouting. She and Victor are allowed other lovers because their fidelity to each other is untouchable. Casualties of Agathe's ambitious vision of life trail in her wake and inevitably, her carefully controlled world temporarily crashes around her when an unexpected disaster occurs. The back-cover blurb hails Pingeot as the Nineties' version of Simone de Beauvoir and Francoise Sagan but her first novel lacks the emotional maturity and jaggedness of those two seminal French feminists. She is impressively in control of her material nonetheless, and the sensual passion of her protagonists is compelling.
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