L’évnènement is Annie Ernaux’ real life story of a botched abortion, that happened in secret. It is depicted as the most crucial event in her life, that would shape her thoughts and behaviour for years to come.
It talks about the struggles of being in such a situation in the 60s in Paris, and all the social stigma that comes along with it. What really struck me, was the way she talks about herself. After all, she is narrating her own story. However, she steps from self loathing to arrogance back and forth. Yes, she is very intelligent, almost to a point where she doesn’t feel like she needs to prove anything to anyone who she considers beneath her. But her emotions are worthless, at least to her. She talks about pain with so much coldness, that I had to re-read the same sentences twice to fully understand that this is how she means it. There seems to be a disconnect between her emotions, her body and her rational mind. Unfortunately this does not lead to happiness. She talks with brutal honesty, not leaving much to the imagination. The insights we get on what society in a European capital was like in the 60s is sobering. Especially for women. Sadly, I believe this novel will resonate with many girls today, and that’s why this book is a classic.