Dondog and the Post-Exotic After All


Nearly twenty years after SubStance devoted a special issue to the contemporary French writer (and translator) we know as Antoine Volodine, we are thoroughly pleased to be publishing in this issue the opening of Dondog, a novel that Ben Streeter has translated with inspired exactitude and brilliant tonal precision. In English or in French, entering Dondog is not unlike entering any other “post-exotic” text (I will come back to this label shortly). One has to learn how to orient oneself to the ruination of Modernity, within the dysfunctional memories of post-traumatic subjects, between dark humor and luminous despair, in the liminal space between life and death, between humanity and animality, and, in the odd beauty of a language that gives transmissible form to the experience of our contemporary hellscape.

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