“Private Turbulent Seas”: “painting The Moon” In Cutting Lisa, By Percival Everett

Auteur : Sylvie BAUER


Cutting Lisa narrates the summer John Livesey, a retired obstetrician, spends in Oregon with his son’s family. Tuned to the changing weather of Oregon, this story unfolds in surfacing tensions and discrepancies, climaxing in repeated experiences of loss. It seems as though a painting were taking shape before the eyes of the reader who is a witness to the small strokes of brush that gradually build up the text. Apparently disconnected scenes or moments seem to follow the pace of the summer, yet partake in the building up of a tension all the more stifling as at is silent. Hence, in spite of the mundane setting of a summer vacation, an increasing form of violence crops up, hardly ever voiced, but perceptible in the pervading feeling of always skirting with the limits of the human. This paper aims at analyzing how this apparently simple novel raises in fact the question of the limits of the human.


Sylvie Bauer is a Professor at the University of Rennes, France. She wrote a dissertation on the novels of Walter Abish, Donald Barthelme and Russell Hoban and works on contemporary American fiction. The author of a monograph and of various articles on Walter Abish, she has also published papers on contemporary American writers such as Percival Everett, Donald Barthelme, Philip Roth, Don DeLillo, Colson Whitehead. She is currently working on a book-length project on the work of Percival Everett.

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Pour citer l'article

Sylvie BAUER « “Private Turbulent Seas”: “painting The Moon” In Cutting Lisa, By Percival Everett »,
Lectures du Monde Anglophone / LMA, 1, 2015,
Percival Everett

© Publications Electroniques de l’ERIAC, 2015.

URL : http://eriac.univ-rouen.fr/private-turbulent-seas-painting-the-moon-in-cutting-lisaem-by-percival-everett/