Thursday, 5 July 2012



May 2012, 128 pages

Under the German occupation, Jérôme Bourdaine settles into a hotel nestled above Monte Carlo. The tale draws us into this quaint haven peopled with ghosts and frequented by a Russian immigrant and his wife, whom Jérôme is not indifferent to. A novel bathed in a dreamlike haze, as if outside the real world. 
Written in 1942, HOTEL DE LA SOLITUDE takes us on the tracks of Jérôme Bourdaine, a shining post-war light cavalry officer, who retreats to the singular Hotel de la Turbie on the Riviera to pursue his reverie. Cut off from the rest of the world, this timeless refuge with Quranic calligraphy adorning the walls, this product of the mind, was run by a sweet bustling couple, the Barcas, happy to invoke richly-coloured shadows from the past, ghosts of 1900 who were the glory of the hotel. Into the heart of this daytime institution for lost hearts enters Zoya Sernitche, a beautiful woman accompanied by her comical husband, jittery like a bat. It’s the start of a love affair between Jérôme and Zoya among the antique ruins that decorate the place. A ballet of weary shadows and spirited hearts that evaporate in the morning, a short-lived romance.
Born in Toulouse in 1905, René Laporte is drawn to literature from a very early age. A great admirer of Apollinaire and the Surrealists, he founded the magazine Cahiers Libres and the publishing house of the same name. Both a poet and a novelist, he won the Prix Interallié in 1936 for LES CHASSES DE NOVEMBRE. He wrote in clandestine magazines and turned away from Surrealism in favour of political poetry. He was barely forty-eight when he died of an accident in March 1954.