The Paris of Modiano: layering, sedimentation and landslides


  • Clara levy Universitat de València


The literary work of Patrick Modiano appears to be inseparable from the city of Paris, and especially from the Paris of the German occupation: the writer, his readers, his critics, and even the Swedish Academy which awarded him the Nobel Prize in 2014, unanimously agree on this point. Space and time are intimately intertwined by Patrick Modiano, and his texts often connect Paris with the historical period of the Occupation, although the city is traversed and also described in a literal way on other occasions. The author’s stylistic methods, consisting of interconnecting space and time and which blurs chronological boundaries create a nebulous, ambiguous, and indecisive image of the city, in which, as in Dora Bruder, several layers of time are superimposed.


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Biografia de l'autor/a

Clara levy, Universitat de València

Clara Lévy is a professor of sociology at the Institut d’études européennes [Institute of European Studies] at the University de Paris 8 and is a CRESPPA-LabToP researcher. She mainly works in the field of the sociology of art and culture, and more specifically in the sociology of literature and reading. She published Écritures de l’identité. Les écrivains juifs après
la Shoah [Scriptures of identity: Jewish writers after the Holocaust], PUF, in 1998. She subsequently investigated the sociology of books read at bedtime and published this work under the title Le Roman d’une vie. Les livres de chevet et leurs lecteurs [The novel of a lifetime: bedside books and their readers], Hermann, 2015. Lévy is currently researching the writer Patrick Modiano and the Nobel laureate’s development.




Com citar

levy, C. (2019) “The Paris of Modiano: layering, sedimentation and landslides”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, 3. Available at: (Accessed: 1 December 2022).