The exile in fragments of memories

L’exil en fragments de souvenirs

The Boxes of matches, throw a soft light on a particular experience that is immigration.

The key to the novel by Martina Chumova is located at the very end, in three paragraphs, which are the praise of literature, ” the last bastion of freedom on earth “. As long as you avoid to talk about love, art, madness, exile, spring, passion…, ” themes really out, and that it would be a good idea to avoid “.

We smiled because that is what it has been discussed throughout the short story. However, the way in which the author discusses has nothing to do with worn-out. On the contrary.

Thus, such a nice chapter titled ” Questions of names, issues of language “. The narrator, like the author, is that, in other times, it was called Czechoslovakia. So, in Quebec, we speak Czech at home, French as soon as the nose outside. But then he must pronounce it differently than his first name to be understood. It is disconcerting !

In addition, some of the accents of the Czech language do not exist in French. Then out of boredom to explain, you end up dropping them.

This kind of details give of the flesh to leave their country and settle elsewhere. They return to the memory of the narrator because she separates from her spouse and she should, again, lugging the boxes and start her life over again.

Time gone

She tries to share pieces of memories coming back to her with her new lover. But this bland character with not listening to that mindless – so that we who read are attentive to each sentence as they are evocative !

The narrator tells the story of the time of childhood, in Czechoslovakia, crushed by communism, but the solidarity was present, even when the great-grand-father was imprisoned for a year.

She is also on a political time past when, before the fall of the Berlin wall, his parents fled their country with their two children. They had tampered with documents to cross the border, but see what the decline !, we can no longer hold the stress of this passage, but rather the cocasserie.

Then there was the time of the installation in Quebec city, where the girl attended the daycare. She discovered toys unknown in Czechoslovakia : food plastic !

There are also the times of love, the innocent, and then the arrival of a child.

Even the search by the narrator of affordable housing in Montreal that lacks trace a path-sensitive through the city. The apartment with appliances on Bélanger, the light-well on Bordeaux, the sticky floor on Bellechasse, the queue for the 4-and-a-half-Fabre…

In a few words, Martina Chumova arrives to revive an old photograph, a moment lost, or to create an image that we are still in the lead.

Thus, by small keys, a landscape unfolds, where the borders are angry with each other, where yesterday and today blend together. And where we understand that the exile is made up of marks imperceptible.

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