Over the course of 164 fragments—and an exceptional year—Angèle tells us how “life wasn’t something commonplace anymore” after she met Ueno Takami. As though predestined, they first spot each other in an art gallery, then meet at the park or at the Rinella printing house, where Ueno is putting together an art book. Their relationship quickly takes up a startling depth, releasing “a feeling of transparent whiteness,” and fully blooms at Ueno’s cabin overlooking Setting Lake. Le soleil du lac qui se couche invites us to the discovery of an unexpected Manitoba, to the contrast between identities, to the contemplation of totemic beauties—the beauty of incompleteness, of imperfection, of impermanence. The story of Angèle and Ueno, a young Metis and an old Japanese man, rings “as clearly as a bell in the empty sky.”
Publication: October 16, 2013 138 pages, 978-2-923530-62-8, $20.95, Rights : Islande (Dimma)
Praise for Le soleil du lac qui se couche
A tiny novel put together like a movie script, inhabited by a gentle tenderness and fed by a style as sober as it is elegant.
David Lonergan, Nuit Blanche
It is well worth returning to this novel which came out a few months ago in Quebec, but was published in 2001 in Manitoba! This unlikely love story between an architecture student, Angèle, and an old Japanese artist, Ueno, is too beautifully told to gather dust on a shelf. … Chance rubs shoulders with fate, and serenity, and passion, in this book comprised of 162 fragments which can be read in one sitting. There is not a word too much—or too little.
Le soleil du lac qui se couche is a little Zen mixed with some Jacques Poulin, and a pinch of Haruki Murakami among the foliage. Resonances which are perceivable mainly in the general tone—restrained, chiaroscuro, and loaded with empathy.
… J. R. Léveillé’s novel vibrates at a subtle magnitude.
Cut into 164 small paragraphs, yet succinct and fluid, this novel flows smoothly and leaves us with an impression of simple beauty and gentle happiness. Everything residing between poetry and art, between nature and the observation of life—even though all isn’t perfect, and life catches up quickly with the story. We emerge from the experience a touch unsettled, as coming across such sweet and yet uncomplicated sentiments seems very rare indeed. This novel is like something from another planet. It stands out among the current plethora of tormented books, all harsh and rather depressing.
Composed of fragments, this delicate novel offers a description of the inner journey of a woman who has fallen under the spell of a timeless being. It is also a tribute to art’s initiatory dimension, to this ability of uniting in the same movement the eyes of the artist and of the viewer. This book by J. R. Léveillé, first published in St. Boniface in 2001, now experiences a second literary life, thanks to La Peuplade’s dynamic team.
Choix de Sébastien, Librairie Gallimard de Montréal
Here’s what’s touching in the concept of republication: we live so much in a time when everything is new, everything moves so much, all art concepts are ephemeral, everything leaves its mark on us, and then it’s over. But this idea of a work that endures through time, of prolonging the journey, of giving a second life to the work, I think it’s a great initiative by La Peuplade. I encourage you to pick up this little novel.