Yes, absolutely. It goes back to the idea that The Book of Monelle is an aesthetically anesthetized rearrangement of a lived experience. If you read the stories as they’re written, what you’re essentially told to do is struggle against the inevitable, to struggle against the fact that loss is permanent. The final words that Schwob ever wrote toward this story are, “‘Monelle!’ I cried, ‘Monelle! In the white kingdom is Monelle!’ And the white kingdom appeared barricaded by whiteness. Then I asked, ‘Where is the key to this kingdom?’ But she who was speaking to me remained silent.” And then, in this silence, he stopped writing the book, and he rearranged it. And that, now, is the second-to-last story, which comes before the story “Of Her Resurrection,” in which the narrator is led away by a character named Louvette, essentially a replica of Monelle, toward a place of hope.
An interview with Kit Schuler, who has translated a new edition of The Book of Monelle by Marcel Schwob. [via The Paris Review]