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The limited feasibility of desire

Cloud Faces

Gie Bogaert

Lambert, a trader in old mirrors, finds his counterpart, Lana, when she, on becoming blind, wants to dispose of her mirror. At her request, he reads to her on a weekly basis from books from her own library. She is someone he knew when she was still a child and, again, as a student. On both earlier occasions their careful approaches were cut short, and although his virgin desire now resurfaces, Lambert chooses not to make himself known to her, as he has cancer. And although Lana knows exactly who he is, she too restrains herself from tak­ing things further. During their last session, he reads to her what he has written over the years they lived apart.

Extraordinarily beautifully formed sentences full of magnificent words

Narrated alternately by Lambert and Lana, this is a novel of searing beauty, uplifting in spite of the lost opportunities for love and the pain it causes. A novel that confirms that loving, even at a distance, gives life great quality. Bogaert often works with stilled, intimate scenes, very precisely drawn miniatures full of fine details that attest to an extraordinary gift of observation. His seemingly modest prose shimmers with sensibility and emotion, with melancholy and muted tragedy.

Heart-breaking. Left me breathless and moved to tears
Cutting Edge
A gem of modest but effective prose