maison internationale
des écritures contemporaines

maison internationale des écritures contemporaines

Plateforme collaborative des publics

de la Villa Gillet

Plateforme collaborative des publics

de la Villa Gillet

Necropolis or the mundanity of life

In 2013, Eleanor Catton publishes a very short novel entitled Necropolis. The plot, despite its singularity, remains simple, reflecting the character’s lives. Indeed, Sharon and the narrator are two « simple » characters quite empty of depth. Their lives consist in smoking cigarettes and gossiping at work. But something interrupts their small talks and spices up their day : they discovered the corpse of a headless dog ! Or so they thought… The plot twist at the end is at first glance strange, insignificant, and gloomy but when we look closer, we realize the point of this whole novel. Small talks, mundane lives, death, and vanity are the main ingredients of this work. Death and more precisely tempus fugit are dealt with through Sharon’s behavior: she doesn’t feel any emotions, nothing seems of interest to her. She is the very example of human vanity. Eleanor Catton conveys this feeling through short sentences written in a factual and emotionless way. Death is omnipresent throughout the novel. Necropolis, the title, refers to ancient burials, in other words : something other. We can assume that the moral of the story is to “pick the day”, carpe diem. Life is made to feel emotions which characterize the human soul because without them, we would be dead inside – like Sharon.

Eleanor Catton, Necropolis (Nouvelle publiée dans The Best New Zealand Fiction, vol. 5, édité par Owen Marshall, Random House, 2008) par Lola, Romane, Lori, Enzo – Classe de première européenne, lycée Blaise Pascal (Charbonnières-les-Bains)
jeudi 16 mai 2024

© 2023 Villa-Voice       Partenaires       Mentions légales

Lycée

Necropolis or the mundanity of life

In 2013, Eleanor Catton publishes a very short novel entitled Necropolis. The plot, despite its singularity, remains simple, reflecting the character’s lives. Indeed, Sharon and the narrator are two « simple » characters quite empty of depth. Their lives consist in smoking cigarettes and gossiping at work. But something interrupts their small talks and spices up their day : they discovered the corpse of a headless dog ! Or so they thought… The plot twist at the end is at first glance strange, insignificant, and gloomy but when we look closer, we realize the point of this whole novel. Small talks, mundane lives, death, and vanity are the main ingredients of this work. Death and more precisely tempus fugit are dealt with through Sharon’s behavior: she doesn’t feel any emotions, nothing seems of interest to her. She is the very example of human vanity. Eleanor Catton conveys this feeling through short sentences written in a factual and emotionless way. Death is omnipresent throughout the novel. Necropolis, the title, refers to ancient burials, in other words : something other. We can assume that the moral of the story is to “pick the day”, carpe diem. Life is made to feel emotions which characterize the human soul because without them, we would be dead inside – like Sharon.

© 2023 Villa-Voice       Partenaires       Mentions légales

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