un soir, un train

Nightmare of a Divided Self and Nation

Jonathan Rosenbaum, 2022

Displacement in relation to language stands at the center of André Delvaux’s troubling and troubled Un soir, un train (1968) – so precisely and so relentlessly that even the disquiet created by the collision of disparate nouns in the poetic title (a time and a place/thing/vehicle, improbably yoked together like a chance meeting between a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table) arguably becomes lost or at least diluted in its English translation.