While reading If…. I sometimes get the feeling that I’m not reading a book but that someone is telling me about a book he has read.
In this chapter a traveler is waiting at what may be an old or new train station with luggage that he might or might not need to give to someone. Certainty? Hah. This chapter is noncommittal about everything. I did enjoy the Traveler giving away the author’s secret of hiding him in long paragraphs without dialogue.
Mme Marne reveals that she sold a suitcase identical to the main character’s. Shortly after that the chief of police whispers code words to the traveler and tells him to dump the suitcase and run away on another train.
Was he part of the mob? Was he a spy? Will we ever find out?
I’m not sure because Chapter  tells me that the printer has made a mistake and I’ve been reading the wrong book. You, me, the reader… what we need to get our hands on is a Polish book instead. As a possible love interest, there’s a girl at the bookshop that’s had the same experience the reader (plus you and I) is having.
“I prefer novels,” she adds, “that bring me immediately into a world where everything is precise, concrete, specific. I feel a special satisfaction in knowing that things are made in that certain fashion and not otherwise, even the most commonplace things that in real life seem indifferent to me.”
Oh, bookshop girl, me too! Me too!
Did you notice the paper knife? 🙂
It looks like we’ll never know what happened to the Traveler. …the novel you are holding has nothing to do with the one you were reading yesterday.
Get ready for take two!
P.S. Is anyone keeping a list of characters?