Catherine Certitude

Catherine Certitude

Patrick Modiano (author) & Sempé (illustrator)

Gallimard, 2009 (1988)

Literature – young adult, french, 99 hlm.

This petit book from a french writer, Patrick Modiano, tells a story about a french ballet dancer living in New York, Catherine Certitude, when she was remembering, in a nostalgic manner, her childhood life in Paris with her dad. Her life was among rue d’Hauteville in the tenth arrondissement, and the school, the dancing classes, his father’s office, and ultimately the affectionate conversations with her dad. Dad was always there in the time while her mom, also a ballet dancer, had gone back to America, to her home country. After 3 years of separation and ‘having mom only in the form of letters’, Catherine and her father rejoined the mother in New York.

In the times of difficult situations, Catherine, who was wearing glasses, would put down her glasses and the world would become blur. She would then enter into a dreamy world, beautiful and rather unreal. This is a simple story told in a light and ludic way about a piece of childhood, where being in a dream is still perfectly fine, and about the warmth of dad’s companion.

The german translation edition, Catherine, die kleine Tänzerin (Diogenes, 1991) (Wikipedia)

The theme of father in Modiano’s works is said to be recognizable as one of his central themes. Having not known very well his father himself, as he was almost always away from his life, Modiano developed continuously the theme of searching identity (of self and others) and of the paternal love. This book also quite much reflects the story of Modiano’s family, where his mother is also an artist.

Illustrated by the formidable sketches and water color works of Sempé, this little book has become an enjoyable reading and art in hand. Jean-Jacques Sempé is a famous french illustrator whose works are well recognized, among other things, in the series of Le Petit Nicolas (together with René Goscinny).

Modiano was born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1945 of an italian jews father and a flamande (Belgium) mother, and has written many novels (contemporary literature) and scenarios.

Paris, 7 juin 2010

Mei

10 thoughts on “Catherine Certitude

  1. astridfelicialim

    mei, udah lama nggak mampir sini, kangen =) really nice book you have, eh? hehehe…any plans to come to Indonesia soon? Pengen nitip buku” seperti ini, hihihi….

    1. mademelani

      halo tid.. aku sndr jg lg jarang mampir sini heheh… udara gerah summer jd bikin kurang bookish.. (alasan!). yup, this book is so nice and cute, i adore the illustrations! i bet you will, too! boleh banget tid kl mau nitip buku ini ato sejenisnya, i’m counting down my time here, i’ll be back (for good)… (email me to made_melani@yahoo.com)

  2. Halo Mba Made Melani,

    Saya punya buku cerita ‘Catherine Certitude’ ini. Waktu itu saya beli di toko buku QB di daerah Sarinah dan sekarang toko buku-nya udah ga ada lagi..😦 Awalnya karena tertarik dg ilustrasinya. Setelah baca ceritanya jadi makin suka..🙂
    Sayangnya, agak sulit mencari buku2 ilustrasi pak Jean-Jacques Sempé ini di Jakarta ya.. Saya suka sekali dg garisnya pak Sempé yg tipis2 tp tetap kokoh dan sapuan warna2 cat airnya yg lembut. Ah! pokoknya suka sekali dg gaya ilustrasinya deh! hehee..

    Oya, salam kenal mba!🙂

  3. mademelani

    Halo Aldriana🙂

    Aku suka bgt ilustrasimu, gila keren banget! Aku taruh link-mu di sini ya, biar gampang kl mau liat2 lagi…🙂

    Ya di buku Catherine Certitude ini sepertinya ilustrasinya memang lbh menonjol drpd ceritanya sendiri ya, maksudnya ilustrasinya lbh ‘bercerita’ drpd teks cerita itu sendiri. Emg ok bgt si Sempe ini, aku jg fans. Di Perancis bukunya Sempe lumayan byk (bukunya dia sebagai pengarang tunggal), kebanyakan mmg seluruh halamannya ilustrasi dgn teks bbrp baris aja. Sayang aku gak beli (harganya lmyn mahal).
    Btw ternyata toko buku QB itu emg ok bgt ya, byk koleksi bermutu di sana, aku dulu jg sempet beli bbrp buku yg sptnya gak terlalu populer di sini, tp belakangan baru ‘ngeh’ kl itu penulis terkenal di dunia/ eropa.

    salam kenal juga!

  4. Wahh, makasiiiih mba Mei.. baru main ke sini udah di-link!😀
    Review yg mba bikin bagus2 sekali, tapi hampir semua buku2nya belum aku baca, hihi, kecuali ya buku ‘Catherine Certitude’ ini🙂

    1. mademelani

      hi Dian…🙂
      temenku ada yg pernah cari tuh buku catherine certitude ini, yg versi inggris. tau gak dimana bisa dapetin itu skrg? (aku punya yg versi french, krn waktu itu tinggal di sana – skrg udah balik indonesia – di sana gak ada versi inggrisnya, termasuk di amazon.fr, lagi abis kali).

      thx ya Dian, seneng kl tulisannya bisa berguna. emg buku-bukuku ‘rada aneh’ kali ya…🙂, tp jarang bgt lho yg udah pernah baca catherine certitude!🙂

  5. Duh, aku kurang tau mba di mana lg bs dapetin buku ini yg versi inggris-nya sekarang. Duluuu.. belinya ya di QB Sarinah dan ga sengaja. Waktu itu aku lihat stok bukunya msh ada 3 buah. Mungkin di toko2 buku impor di Jakarta kali mba, seperti; Aksara, Times, Kinokuniya, dll.. 🙂

  6. Iya, semoga ada lagi.. Setelah dicek ternyata dulu aku beli buku ini tahun 2004, mba!😀

    PS. Aku baru ngeh loh kalo review ‘Catherine Certitude’ ini ditulis saat mba Mei di Paris!😀

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