In "L’Arrivée", the first volume of the "Orpheid", we meet ‘our presumptuous little hero’, Orfeo Perduto. A failed film critic who has fled his life of misery and penury in Australia in order to live out his dream of being an artist in Paris, we discover him on the penultimate day of his vie parisienne sitting in the Tuileries Gardens, reflecting on the series of events which have brought him to this pass.
Thus commences an epic odyssey into the mind and memories of our young man, catapulting us back to the beginning of Orfeo’s Parisian adventure. Riding triumphantly into Paris with him in the back of a taxi, on the crest of that wave of circumstances which have brought him halfway around the world, we are conducted through the streets of Saint-Denis and Paris on a singular psychological tour of Orfeo’s thoughts and memories as he attempts to isolate the exact moment when the adventure to his present reality first began.
This whirlwind ride of Orfeo’s life culminates in his arrivée at the place which will be central to his experience of Paris: the unprepossessing square Caulaincourt in Montmartre, with its ‘inconvenient’ hostel perched precariously on the side of the butte, and its luminous golden café, Le Cépage Montmartrois. We follow our intrepid explorer as he sets foot upon foreign soil for the first time in his life and takes his first tentative steps in a strange atmosphere, negotiating the various perils and obstacles which surround him as he seeks his safe harbour.