Saturday, June 03, 2006
The Mercy Room by Gilles Rozier
In the press I read that Gilles Rozier, author of "Un amour sans résistance", doesn't disclose the gender of the narrator.
While reading in the American translation by Anthea Bell that the narrator's mother likes his "young friend", I start wondering about the original French. Wait a minute, sa jeune amie, son jeun ami, sa copine, son copain, what did Rozier write? I look at the cover of the book.
Mario J. Pulice's design for Little, Brown and Company shows the back of a nicely bound book titled The Mercy Room (the American translation of Rozier's title) which hides the mid section of two embracing naked people. Ahum. These folks are clearly a man and a woman. Or am I anatomically biased?
From an interview with Russell A. Trunk I learn Rozier bent himself backward to leave out any gender specifications. So why, oh why, for goodness sake are we presented with the image of a male and female?
The English translation "Love without Resistance" shows a cover with two roses on a background that's not clear from the small image online, good enough to evade the gender issue altogether.
The cover of the French and French Canadian publication shows a half dressed man in khaki, putting on a tee-shirt, how suggestive!
"Eine Liebe ohne Widerstand, as the German translation is called, comes with a jolly scene of a woman and a man with an accordion. Excusez moi?!
Irony wants that customers who consider buying this title at Amazon.com are suggested to buy a copy of Broke Back Mountain at the same time.
For a review in which I find my own thoughts reflected, check out what Stedman Mays writes at GoodShortNovels.com