Solo Viola

A Post-Exotic Novel

2021
Author:

Antoine Volodine
Translated by Lia Swope Mitchell
Foreword by Lionel Ruffel

Solo Viola

A harrowing early novel by one of France’s most unusual contemporary writers


In one of his first forays into post-exoticism, Antoine Volodine takes the reader into a fictional world where a variety of characters collide. All are trying to survive in an absurd and hostile environment of authoritarian spectacle, at the mercy of a tyrannical buffoon, and seeking the strange counterbalance of hope in a viola player, whose stunning music might save them all.

At once humorous and horrifying, Solo Viola is one of Antoine Volodine’s first forays into post-exoticism. He takes the reader into a fictional world where a variety of characters collide: three prisoners just released from jail, a band of circus performers, a string quartet, a writer, and a bird. All are trying to survive in an absurd and hostile environment of authoritarian spectacle, at the mercy of a tyrannical buffoon, and seeking the strange counterbalance of hope in a viola player, whose stunning music just might save them all, if only for a moment.

Solo Viola

Antoine Volodine has written more than forty novels, using various heteronyms in his ongoing post-exoticism project. Other works in translation include Radiant Terminus, We Monks and Soldiers by Lutz Bassman, and In the Time of the Blue Ball by Manuela Drager.



Lia Swope Mitchell holds a PhD in French from the University of Minnesota. Her translations include Survival of the Fireflies by Georges Didi-Huberman (Minnesota, 2018).



Lionel Ruffel teaches comparative literature and création littéraire at Université Paris 8 (Vincennes-Saint-Denis). His most recent works include Brouhaha: Worlds of the Contemporary (Univocal/Minnesota, 2017).


Solo Viola

Contents


1. Afternoon of May 27


2. Evening of May 27


3. Morning of June 27