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I try to read at least one novel by each Nobel Prize Winning Author, just for the hell of it - for my own self-improvement, I guess. Having always considered myself fluent (or at least highly conversational) in French, and having read some pretty tough little books in French before, I decided to tackle one of Patrick Modiano's works in his native language, so I had my mother-in-law find and ship me a really nice copy of <<La Place de LÉtoile>>, one of his most important works. I read the preface, and understood the double-entendre. Great! I was going to blitz through this 211-page book in a couple of months. Then I got to the second page, and was staring down things like this list of idiomatic invectives, one right after the other: ... rantanplan ... Vlan! ... cet effréné empaffeur de petites Aryennes! ... Rastaquouère des cocktails infâmes! and so on, and so on. It took me an hour - with a dictionary - to read one page, and I closed the book and said, "To hell with it - this isn't French; this is Martian." So I took the more sensible route - or so I *thought* - and bought a translated book (and there weren't many available): "Missing Person," translated by Daniel Weissbort. One mistake was followed by another, the second being so significant that it stole six months from my life. First of all, "Missing Person" is some editor's *impossibly bad* translation of the novel's real name: <<Rues des Boutiques Obscures>>, which translates much more appropriately - and poetically - to "Streets of Obscure Boutiques." This book is, you see, a mystery novel in which the detective is also the subject - he can't remember who he is, so he spends the entire book chasing down leads as to his real identity, some of which are good, some of which aren't - hence, the beautiful title which was completely ruined in translation, the imagery of some poor man scurrying up-and-down streets with strange, but familiar, looking boutiques a near-perfect allegory of his search for himself. I was hell-bent on giving Modiano the respect of trying to solve this mystery before I got to the end of the book - so much so, that I wrote down, and kept track of, every single name, proper noun, street, etc., in the *entire book*, so when they were referred to again later on, I could go back and find the page on which they were originally referred. That's dedication, right? Yeah, that's dedication. Assuming the book has an ending. When I was 20 pages from the end, after spending about six months reading it, studiously assembling my study guide, an uneasy feeling came over me ... this book wasn't going anywhere. And then I cursed the author when I was 5 pages from the end, because I knew then that this was going to be one of "those" novels - this wasn't a mystery novel; it was a meditation on existence, and all that work I did was for *nothing*. Nada. Zilch. This was going to be a story without an ending. Then I read the final word, closed the book, and said to myself, "That bastard." It was like having read "Waiting for Godot" (for those who don't know: Godot never shows up), diligently writing down every possible clue throughout the entire story, only to have zero payoff at the end, and to have realized you wasted about forty hours of work. If I had only known, I would have read it differently, but I had no way to know. Well, I hope you all enjoy my Study Guide to NOTHING. I even went so far as to separate Rues, from Boulevards, from Avenues, and to think with about 50 pages left, I thought to myself, "You know, I'm going to have to read this a second time and write down all *phone numbers*, because what I'm doing isn't going to be enough. Listen up! Learn from my mistake in attempting to read this as a novel in which you can figure out clues. Had I done this properly, I would have included phone numbers, and also the page numbers for the dates at the very bottom. As it stands, *the entire project was a mistake*, and the novel is best blasted through without worrying about details. Read it in a week; not in six months. Trust me - my loss can be your gain. I will add that I just this moment purchased the hardcover version of this novel in French, and I'm going to "blast through it," <<sans dico>>, both to improve my French, and because I know I'll understand it very well, even though I won't know certain individual words - plus, I now have a brand new hardcover copy for my tiny, personal library, and also a paperback English-language copy to lend to my friends - one thing I am not, is a quitter. Enjoy! I sure as hell didn't. There are no spoilers here, and the page numbers represent the very first time in the book that something was referenced. This is an important note: The reason these lists look so "condensed" is because I often tapped them in on my cell phone, and was trying to keep one note per line. I had no intention of making these public, and they were for my own benefit - but it's obvious to me (now) that someone, at some point in time, might get some use out of them, so here they are in their "raw" format, with my apologies. Don Rockwell's Study Guide to ... NOTHING! Note: This ONLY applies to This Edition of "Missing Person" The sleuth *and* the subject is named Guy Roland - the entire story is about him trying to find out his true identity. Links that Guy Roland uses to get from one lead to the next: Hutte Sonachidze (how?) -> Heurteur Styoppa (funeral of de Rosen) Blunt (photo & funeral of Orlov) Howard (Lutte's directories) Pilgram (Howard's pic + Hutte) Ruddy bartender (Denise born) Mansoure (magazine cover) People mentioned in the story (again, the page cited is the very first time a name or person was referenced in the book - if something "important" shows up later, I'll sometimes write something such as [see 119] which means "see also page 119"): Guy Roland 1 Constantin von Hutte 1 "The dark little man, puffy face" 1 The dark little man's wife 1 Another dark little man 1 Paul Sonachidze 5 Jean Heurteur 7 Styoppa de Dzhagorev 10 Marie de Rosen 13 Georges Sacher 13 Giorgiadze 27 Mara "Gay" Orlov 27 Pedro the South American 27 [identified by Bob 64, lying on bed 115] Bernardy Mac Mahon 32 Kyril Orlov 32 Irene Giorgiadze 32 Waldo Blunt 33 Jean-Pierre Bernardy 33 [see 159] Lucky Luciano 38 Howard de Luz (Jean Simety) 40 (48) John Gilbert 41 Dany Blunt 42 MmeMabel Donahue Simety 48 Claude Howard 49 Freddie [Alfred Jean 158] Howard de Luz 50 Robert "Bob," the Valbreuse caretaker 54 [named 58] French billiard-playing woman 61 Freddy's jockey friend 64 [see 124] Robert Brun 66 (same as Bob 54?) R.L. de Oliveira Cezar, CG 67 Helene Pilgram 68 Policemen standing sentry 71 Mr [Pedro?80] McEvoy 72 [Dominican Republic working at legation 119] Denise [Yvette Coudreuse] 73 ["Muth" 119] Leon Van Allen 73 [Dutch 119] Paul Coudreuse 79 Henriette Bogaerts 79 Jimmy Pedro Stern 79 Oleg de Wrede (Paris) 81 [see 137] Ruddy bartender 86 Jean-Michel Mansoure 89 Hoyningen-Huene 95 Alec Scouffi (Greek-Egypt) 97 Blue Rider (Scouffi's killer) 99 Richard Wall 102 10-yr-old girl w/Denise 103 Fat, bald man in pic w/cig 104 Jacques [F 119] dressmaker Denise worked for on Rue la Boetie [#32 119] 107 Sir Basil Zaharoff 108 Pretty dark-haired tropical Latina 112 Man on beach with son 114 King Gustav of Sweden 117 De Swert 118 Mrs. Kahan 118 Georges Stern 120 Giuvia Sarano 120 Cueva 122 Colonel de Basil 122 Andre Wildmer 124 Porfirio Rubirosa 127 [killed in car under?accident 129] Bob Besson 132 Mrs. Jeanschmidt 136 Mrs E. Khan 137 Louis de Wrede, Comte de Montpensier (called Oleg) 138 Duchess rof Uzes 138 Duke of Windsor 138 Mrs. Henri Duvernois 139 Fair-Haired Man at Gare de Lyon 143 [Kyril 146] (Not Gay's father) George (Bar Owner in Megeve) 150 Joseph Simety Howard De Luz 158 Louise Fouquereaux 158 Alex Maguy 162 Japanese actor and his wife 162 Evelyne and a pale young man 162 Jean-Claude the Belgian 162 Fribourg 165 Fat Maori 165 Alain Gerbault 165 Rues (a <<Rue>> is a Street - I left the word "Rue" out of every one except the very first)Rue Vital 1 Anatole-de-la-Forge 5 [see 162] Cambon 7 [Hotel Castille, 8th 119] Claude-Lorrain 13 Charles-Marie-Widor 15 Marie-Widor 15 Boileau 16 Chardon-Lagache 17 [#9 121] Julien-Potin 22 [Pedro McElvoy? 121] [Porfirio Rubirosa 129] Ernest-Deloison 22 du Mont-Thabor 25 du Cirque 33 [21, 23] Rayounard 48 de Bassano 49 [10A] Cambaceres (8th) 68 Jenner (school) 89  Gabrielle (18th) 92 Coustou 93 Lepic 93 des Abbesses 93 Germain-Pilon 93  de Rome 5th floor (17th) 96  de Naples (8th) 105  de Berne (8th) 105  de Rome (17th) 105  de Rome (17th) 105 la Boetie 108  de Rome 4th floor (17th) 110 Molitor (16th) 112 Mirabeau (16th) 112 Royale 114 Saint-Honore 114 Longchamp 117  Bayard (8th) 120 Jouy-en-Josas 123 du Docteur-Kurzenne  de Picardie (Nice) 137 Francois-1er 137  Foucault #5 160 Rude 162 de Saigon 162 Chagrin 162 Avenues (for some perverse reason, I thought it might be important to separate out rues, avenues, and boulevards - again, I only used the word <<Avenue>> in the very first one): Avenue Paul-Doumer 1 Niel 3 de la Grande-Armee 7 [see 162] des Champs-Élysées 7 de Versailles 18 Montaigne 33  du Marechal-Lyautey 33 de New-York 40 Hoche 108 Victor-Hugo 109 Boulevards (again, I only used the word <<Boulevard>> in the very first one>>): Boulevard Maurice-Barres 22 Richard-Wallace 22 de Clichy 93 Moulin Rouge 93 Graff's 93 des Batignolles 107 de Courcelles 108 Emile-Augier 113 Places (again, I only mention <<Place>> in the very first one - a <<Place>> is like a Square, i.e., Times Square, Mount Vernon Square, etc.) Place Pereire 3 Blanche 92 des Abbesses 93 Clichy 107 de L'Etoile 108 de Levis 109 de l'Alma 114 de la Concorde 114 Malesherbes 140 des Saussaies 142 All other nouns except for People: Paris 1 Hutte's office and furnishings 1 Nice 2 Hortensias (cafe) 3 Ville d'Avray 6 Saint-Cloud 6 Porte de Saint-Cloud 7 Langer's 7 Hotel Castille 7 C.M. Hutte Agency 9 Tanagra 9 Alaverdi 11 Sainte Genevieve-des-Bois 13 Russian Orthodox Church 13 Le Herisson 18 School of Pages 19 Porte Maillot 22 Pont de Puteaux 22 Seine 22 The Emigration 23 Georgian Consulate 27 Yalta 28 Quai du General-Koenig 29 Bar-Restaurant de l'Ile 29 3 Addresses for Gay Orlov 33 Hotel Chateaubriand 33 Hilton Hotel Bar 33 Sur les quais du Vieux Paris 34 Sag Warum 35 Que reste-t-il de nos amours 35 Quai Branly 37 Pont Bir-Hakeim 37 Palm Island Casino 38 Arkansas 38 Quai de Passy 39 Trocadero Gardens 40 [see 161] Pont d'Iena 40 Hollywood 41 Pont d'Alma 41 Museum of Modern Art 41 Eiffel Tower 44 Auteuil Race Course 46 Military Cross 48 Club du Grand Pavois 48 Motor Yacht Club of the Cote d'Azur 48 Valbreuse, Orne (61,Alencon) 48 Square Henri Pate 16th 49 Golden Tripe Competition 49 Mauritius 49 [Port Louis 158] Chateau Saint-Lazare 54 [named 67] Biarritz 59 The billiard table in the summer dining-room 62 LU Biscuit box 63 Photographs in biscuit box 65 La Baule 65 Port of New York 66 French Argentine Consulate 66 DominicanRepublic passport67 ANJou15-28 67 Ph#s - 10A RueCambaceres68 Lists of embassies/legations 69 Dressmakers workshop 73 Paramaribo, DutchGuyana 74 Dominican Embassy 74 Megeve 74 Gilt box - English cigarettes 75 Dominican Legation 75 "Charlie Chan" 79 "Anonymous Letters" 79 Department du Seine 79 (13th) 9A Quai d'Austerlitz 79 AUTeuil54-73 81 "History of the Restoration" (L. de Viel-Castel) 85 A La Marine (cafe) 85 "Men Spreekt Vlaamsch" 85 Photo of Antwerp 86 Gare d'Austerlitz 87 Belgian cigarettes (Laurens) 87 Quai d'Austerlitz 88 [#9, 13th 119] Belgium 88 Botanical Gardens 91 Wine Market 91 Montmartre 94 Sacre Coeur 94 Vogue 95 Wehrmacht musicians 96 Marie Brizard 97 Alexandria, Egypt 98 "Ship at Anchor" (Scouffi) 98 Skeletal phone conversation 99 Montmartre funicular 100 Sacre Coeur gardens 100 Seine-et Oise (was 78) 103 Seine-et-Marne (77,Melun) 103 Versailles 103 Hotel de Chicago 105 "At The Golden Fish Residential Hotel" (Scouffi) 105 Salle Playel (Brussels) 105 Theatre de la Monnaie (Brussels) 105 Cafe at corner of Rue de Rome and Boulevard de Batignolles 108 Parc Monceau 108 Basque restaurant w/ Gascony fresco 109 The Royal-Villiers, Place de Levis 109 South American legation (Hutte's townhouse) 112 16th arrondissement 112 Cafe at intersection of Rue Mirabeau and Avenue de Versailles 113 Auteuil 113 Chausee de la Muette 113 Russian restaurant with zither player 113 Cours-la-Reine 114 Queen Astrid's 115 Faubourg Saint-Honore 115 Portugal via Switzerland 116 #6 Square de l'Opera 9th 119 Megeve, Haute-Savoie 119 Annemasse, Haute-Savoie 119 Hotel Lincoln 8th 120 Via delle Botteghe Oscure 2 Rome, Italy 120 Valparaiso 122 Plaza Echauren 122 Cerro Alegre District 122 Avenida Errazuriz 123 Protestant church 123 Robin Hood Inn 123 Jouy-en-Josas 123 Wine bar / grocery store on Ave Niel 124 Giverny, Oise 125 Alsace-Lorraine Gardens 127 Eden Roc 127 Square des Aliscamps 128 Neuilly 129 "El Reloj" and "Tu me acostumbraste" (guitar tunes)  Luiza School - Pedro's father would pick up him and Freddie  [Luiza and Albany School 135] Vincennes 132 Vichy 133 Parc des Sources 133 Hotel de la Paix 133 Cafe de la Restauration 133 Border at Hendaye (closed) 135 Chez Arkady (Russian restaurant) sometime around 1937 137 Siberia 138 Courcelles Metro Station 140 Square Edouard-VII 141 The Cintra 141 Côte d'Azure 141 "Collection du Masque" novels 142 Gare de Lyon 142 Sallanches 143 "Invisible" Mentioned 146 "The Southern Cross" Chalet 147 Rochebrune 147 Paris-Sport Magazine 147 Hotel du Mont-Blanc 149 L'Equipe (Adult Chalet) 150 Comet Garage 153 [see 160] Valda Lozenge 157 Port Louis, Mauritius 158 5 Addresses for Alfred Jean Howard de Luz 158 Island of Padipi 159 Papeete, French Polynesia 164 Bora Bora 165 Salle Pleyel 165 Tuamotu Archipelago 165 Marquesas 165 Moluccan Blackbirds 166 Seaside Resort in Southern Russia 167 Dates (Often given in the form of letters written to Guy Roland from people he asked questions to in his quest to find out about his life - I should have written down the page numbers also, but I didn't): 1872?Marie Rosen born 1885-04-28 Scouffi born 1910-09-30 Waldo Blunt born 1912-07-30 Alfred Jean Howard De Luz born, Port Louis, Mauritius 1912-09-30 Jimmy Pedro Stern born, Salonica Greece 1914 Mara Orlov born 1914 Photo of "black and white" dinner party 1914/1918SalonicaArchivesFire 1917-12-21 Denise born 1920 Scouffi to Feance 1936 Mara Orlov USA->France ????-02-14 Denise and Pedro 1939-04-03 Pedro weds Denise town hall (17th) 1939-04-03 Certified Abstract 1940 Jimmy Stern disappears 1940-12 Pedro McElvoy resides at #9 Rue Julien-Potin, Neuilly, Seine 1941-04 Van Allen opens fashion house #6 Square de l'Opera 9th 1941-07-15 Consulado letter 1945-01 Van Allen's fashion house closes 1943-02 Denise disappears crossing French-Swiss border 1947 C.M. Hutte formed 1950 Mara Orlov dies 1950 Jean Alfred Howard de Luz leaves France for the Island of Padipi, Polynesia, near Bora Bora (Society Isles) 159 1952 Waldo Blunt in Paris 1965-10-23 Gay Orlov memo 1965-11-07 Scouffi memo 1965-11-27 Letter to Pedro from Mrs E. Khan (representing Hutte) telling Pedro all she knows about Oleg de Wrede