I see that I’ve never told you how I listen to music—I gently rest my hand on the record player and my hand vibrates, sending waves through my whole body: and so I listen to the electricity of the vibrations, the last substratum of reality’s realm, and the world trembles inside my hands.
Clarice Lispector, Água Viva
This is a tricky novel to review. I’m not even sure it is a novel. And I’m not certain as to whether its fragmentary nature belies an organic structure of astutely sewn intention or is merely a disingenuous device to conceal a let’s-get-something-out cobbling together of unpublished material lying around the writer’s desk. What I can tell you is this: I was powerfully engaged and richly entertained by Sergio De La Pava’s PERSONAE.
In an early interview with THR on Nymphomaniac, before his self-imposed ban on making public statements, von Trier cited literary inspirations such as Marcel Proust’s monumental, and heavily digressive, classic In Search of Lost Time as an example of the kind of literary style he was aiming to transfer to film.