20 May 2019

Pierre Citron: Jean Giono 1875 [sic] –1970 (1990)

Pierre Citron's Giono 1875 [sic-1970 gets off to a bad start because the title page (as opposed to the correct cover title) makes his date of birth twenty years before it in fact was: he was of course born in 1895. That weird proofreading oversight – all the weirder because Seuil is a major publishing house – notwithstanding, this is still a huge contribution to knowledge of Jean Giono, a masterly work, on a great author, written by someone who not only had access to Giono's papers, but who knew him over a large period of time. I hesitate to call this the definitive work on Giono only because I believe Citron's later unpublished 'Les Ordres étranges. Sur les amours de Giono' should adjust the gaping hole in this biography – when the opening of it is allowed in, I think, 2040! But more of that below.

This biography is a work by an academic, a considerable 670-page book with copious textual apparatus. It's also a critical biography, including Giono's many works: his novels, plays, non-fiction, newspaper articles, film work, etc. And Citron often gives his opinion of the value of these works in Giono's oeuvre as a whole. I found Citron's brief mention of Giono's earlier substantivising of adjectives fascinating: 'le sensible des cuisses', 'le gluant du courant', 'le profond de sa pipe', etc –  this is part of his description of how Giono's writing develops between the years before and after World War II.

Citron's book isn't a eulogy of the man, either: it includes his faults, although that is at the same time a way of fleshing the man out, humanising him more. And of course in so doing it adds humour to the text: it's interesting to learn, for instance, of Giono's clumsiness, of how he tried to learn to drive earlier in his life when he was working in a bank in Manosque but failed to get the hang of a work colleague's Citroën. So it may appear odd that Giono, in his correspondence home during World War I, should mention apparent physical feats: Citron realises that Giono is merely trying to put his worried family's mind at rest, knowing from his experiences of playing darts and boules with him that Giono really was incorrigibly clumsy, that he had great problems with objects. He even mentions the time that Giono, in his Le Paraïs home, called out an electrician to mend his broken radio: he'd just forgotten to plug it in.

In Giono's work untruths have an importance, and as a story-teller – in other words a kind of professional liar – he often had a cavalier attitude to the truth: he couldn't, for instance, understand why Readers' Digest didn't like the work he had, as asked, sent them ('L'Homme qui plantait des arbres') but invented (which wasn't asked for) the man who planted trees: why bother to commission a story-teller if he wasn't allowed to tell stories? Pure and simply, Giono was often economical with the truth, treated it not so much perhaps with contempt but with indifference: any numbers he mentioned might well be exaggerated, certainly they changed frequently during different tellings.

This, in a roundabout way, brings us to how Pierre Citron, in writing this book, entered into a 'moral contract' with Giono's daughter Sylvie not to make any mention of Giono's extra-marital affairs, and this contract was also included in the Pléiadisation of his work. This means that there is only a fleeting mention of Simone Téry, only a few mentions of Hélène Laguerre (as a pacifist friend), but no mention at all of the woman who influenced a number of aspects of Giono's work (including the bizarre second half of the biography on Herman Melville – Pour Saluer Melville (1974)), a woman who appears in Giono's work under different guises, with whom Giono had a passionate love affair, and to whom he wrote well over a thousand letters between 1939 and the year of his death in 1970 : Blanche Meyer, who first came to Manosque with her solicitor husband, and first came to Giono's attention when she wanted a copy of Joyce's Ulysses from a local bookseller.

The vast majority of Giono's letters went to Yale University in Connecticut, and from these Patricia A. Le Page wrote her university thesis 'Space of Passion: The Love Letters of Jean Giono to Blanche Meyer' in 2004. The truth was at last out. Annick Stevenson's book Jean Giono et Blanche Meyer reached a larger public in 2007. In 2013 Pierre Citron's widow Suzanne wrote an article in Histoires Littéraires revealing the existence of the 232-page typescript 'Les Ordres étranges. Sur les amours de Jean Giono', which her husband had deposited at the Bibliothèque nationale. The half-title refers to an expression which appears in Giono's novel Le Chant du monde: 'Dessous campait cette partie de sa chair d'où jaillissaient les ordres étranges', which is obviously a reference to an erection. The following year (2014) the novelist and singer Taos Amrouche's Cahiers Intimes were published posthumously; this is a 476-page collection of her writings in her diaries, and it was quite evident that she was very much in love with Giono, although their liaison was brief. She mentions one sentence that a number of writers have repeated: 'Il m’a prise par trois fois et pour la première fois, il a osé me retourner et entrer par-derrière' ('He took me on three occasions, on the first of which he dared to turn me round and enter me from behind'): oddly, the title of the short chapter in Citron's typescript (revealed by Suzanne) is called 'Taos ou la tentation refusée' – an instance of Giono lying again?

My Jean Giono posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Sylvie Giono: Jean Giono à Manosque
Jean Giono: L' Homme qui plantait des arbres
Jean Giono: Le Hussard sur le toit
Jean Giono: Colline | Hill of Destiny
Jean Giono: Un de Baumugnes | Lovers Are Never Losers
Jean Giono in Manosque
Jean Giono: Notes sur l'affaire Dominici
Jean Giono's grave, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Pierre Citron: Jean Giono 1895–1970
Jean Giono: Regain | Second Harvest
Jean Giono: Que ma joie demeure

14 May 2019

André Blavier #7: Alexandre-Vincent-Charles Berbiguier


Alexandre-Vincent-Charles Berbiguier de Terre-Neuve du Thym (1764 or 1776) was a fou littéraire who appears, among other collections of outsider writers, in Pierre-Gustave Brunet's Les Fous littéraires : essai bibliographique sur la littérature (1880) and André Blavier's Les Fous littéraires (1882; rev. 2000). He was born in Carpentras, where he died in a 'hospice', and is most noted for his triple-volume self-published work Les farfadets, ou tous les démons ne sont pas de l'autre monde (1821), all about the little devils, elves, imps, goblins, call them what you will, but they have been making Berbiguier's life a mess for many years.

Berbiguier addresses his monster work of exorcism (as he hopes) – of which I've only read a certain number of pages (the ones in Blavier: a person can, er, only have so much of a 'bad' thing) – to all the leaders of the world, that they may be conscious of the colossal problems of the farfadets, of the torments they can bring to people's lives, for which he makes no apologies for creating neologisms from the root of the common noun: the abstract noun farfadérisme, the verb farfadériser, and the adjective farfadérien.

I'm not sure if it's just a question of Blavier's examples from this huge work, but the overwhelming impression I got from the excerpts was that Berbiguier's problem is at root Freudian: fear of sex, latent homosexuality, asexuality? Who can tell, but when a shameless demoiselle says that she knows what his problem is and puts her hand on his thigh, he behaves as if it's the end of the world – she's a farfadet! He's goes home with his thigh in pain. Furthermore, farfadets make women pregnant when their man is away, wreck marriages, can even cause virgin birth, and illnesses, etc.

Well, the pioneer psychotherapist Philippe Pinel couldn't cure him, so who could? An excellent, very funny rant to be taken in short doses, and I may well return to it for more fun: the book puts Berbiguier well up the with the best of the fous littéraires. And it's available – in full – free online through Gallica.

My André Blavier/Fous littéraires posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
André Blavier: Les Fous littéraires #1
André Blavier #2: Alexandre Ansaldi, G. Clair/Rupin Schkoff, Camarasa

André Blavier #3: Hyacinthe Dans
André Blavier #4: Ernest de Garay, aka Karl-des-Monts
André Blavier #5: Francisque Tapon-Fougas
André Blavier #6: Jules Allix
André Blavier #7: Alexandre-Vincent-Charles Berbiguier

9 May 2019

Guy des Cars: Une certaine dame (1971)

The aristocratically born Guy des Cars, who without  expectation churned out novels at about the rate of one a year, was nicknamed 'Guy des Gares' by his detractors in recognition of his beach, or airport reads. But was he that bad?

Une certaine dame (a 435-page novel) is narrated by Dominique Gonzalez, and is almost entirely in flashback. It begins with the arrival of the stunningly beautiful Dominique with her billionaire Argentinian husband Miguel to a plush hotel in Biarritz with their four-year-old (adopted) son Raphaëlito, where Dominique dazzles the clientele.

But then things go wrong for Dominique: she is recognised by Patrick, a guy out on his luck who now starts blackmailing Dominique: he wants money, or expensive items he can sell in exchange for his silence over Dominique's past.

In the end Patrick ends up dead by a bullet in him, most probably arranged by Miguel, who is now in Sorrento many miles away from wagging tongues, from where no damage can be caused to the reputation of Dominique and her family. And the huge flashback?

This is what is hard to believe, the fact that Dominique's mother – disillusioned by her boyfriend in youth – should, as a result of an unfortunate sexual encounter with him, which resulted in the birth of Dominique, have chosen to shun the male sex so much that she brings the male Dominique up as a girl.

And the damage is big: Dominique is scorned so much by his/her fellow schoolmates, and misunderstood by the teachers, that he/she finds life unbearable. This is the cue for Dominique's mother to arrange for private lessons at home, hormone therapy, and, well...

Dominique doesn't like being a man, and although she enjoys the androgynous club her (and her mother's) friend Rara introduces her to, even later enjoys (with (truly unbelievably) her mother's approval) performing a striptease on stage down to a cache-sexe, she's decided to go the whole sexual hog and completely change sex.

Guy des Cars evidently delights in describing stories of the unusual, at the time no doubt considered slightly risqué, although today of course these matters are par for the course. Will his work continue to be read? I suspect not, although no doubt from time to time there be renewed interest in the work of Guy des Cars from a historical literary point of view.

5 May 2019

Frédéric Mistral: Mireille (1859)

Frédéric Mistral's epic narrative rural poem Mireille was and still is considered a major work of literature by many writers and critics, among them Barbey d'Aurévilly, Lamartine, André Chamson, and (perhaps most importantly for its initial reception) the academic Saint-René Taillandier.

Inevitably, Mireille's story of star-crossed lovers has been compared to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (star-crossed by class rather than family), but also to Goethe's Hermann und Dorothea, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's Paul et Virginie, and Longfellow's Evangeline. Perhaps equally inevitably, this is also considered by many to be essentially a love story, although Mistral intended it (as it is written in both French and Provençal (as Mirèio) as more a renewal of a dying language and as a hymn to the glory of old Provence: the male protagonist Vincent, the son of Ambrose, is from a family of basket-makers and menders in Vallabrègues, a small town in Gard, in fact the only commune on the left bank of the Rhône which is in Gard.

Comparisons have been made between Mistral's work in general and a number of international poets – Virgil, Byron, Burns, Wordsworth and Hardy, for example – although in the case of Mireille Homer is more appropriate: this is an odyssey, but of a very different nature.

Vincent is almost sixteen and evidently comes from a very modest family, but his lover the fifteen-year-old Mireille (a variant (via the Provençal Mirèio: thanks Vagabonde (aka Mireille!)) of Mary, a symbol of purity) is from a far wealthier one: a marriage such as this would therefore be a mésalliance, and very strongly opposed to the wishes of her father Ramon, who lives with his family in the Mas de Micocoule.*

Like Homer's Penelope, Mireille has her suitors, all three of them in possession of considerable property: the shepherd Alari, Veran (a keeper of mares), and the repulsive cowherd Ourrias. She rejects them all in favour of the lowly Vincent, and when her parents object she runs from home in flight across the Crau to Saintes-Maries-de-le-Mer, where she hopes that they will give their approval of the match. Unfortunately she catches sunstroke towards the end of her journey and dies soon after reaching Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

There is a statue of her, taken by me in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, elsewhere on this blog. (Unfortunately for haters of tourism, although of course the opposite for the economy of the area, this is one of the smaller towns that have suffered from the effects of Peter Mayle's eulogies about Provence.)

*A micocoule is a hackberry, an edible (but little eaten) fruit of the micocoulier tree.

My Frédéric Mistral posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Frédéric Mistral at Le Mas du Juge, Maillane
Frédéric Mistral: Mireille
Frédéric Mistral in Maillane
Le Pavillon de la Reine Jeanne, Les Baux-de-Provence
Frédéric Mistral in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Bouches-du-Rhône
Frédéric Mistral in Saint-Giniez, Marseille
Frédéric Mistral, Marseille
Frédéric Mistral in Avignon
Frédéric Mistral in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

4 May 2019

Dominique Mainard: Leur histoire (2002)

The first half or so of this uneven book – which is about trauma and more particularly the hell of illiteracy in a modern world – is exquisitely written in a language of its own, feeding the reader with pieces of information at a slow pace, you can wince for the traumatised characters, feel for their lack of ability to communicate, to cocoon themselves in on themselves. Nadèjda is one of the two main characters, a woman whose literacy stopped at the age of six, when her grandmother died while reading to her.

From then on Nadèjda – whose ancestors come from a country she can't put a name to but from which her grandparents had to flee from to save their lives – is one of the walking wounded. She manages to find work in a bird shop and starts living with a man who is aware of her illiteracy even though it isn't spoken about, although her verbophobia is apparent from the way she tries to steer him away from reading. But the crisis point comes when Nadèjda discovers that her companion keeps what seems to be a journal: she draws a rectangle round each word and fills them all in. By her companion's reaction she feels that she must leave, and he gives her a large sum of money for the abortion of the child she's carrying.

But she decides to have her child, Anna, who is perfectly capable of speaking but doesn't, she carries the verbophobia through to another generation, and because of these problems is bullied at school and moves to a school for the deaf and dumb. The teacher there, Merlin, knows that Anna has something special in her, and he also realises that Nadèjda too has a great number of psychological problems which need bringing to the fore, to exorcise them.

It seems evident where all this is leading, that Merlin is in love with Nadèjda and vice versa, and from there we go downhill, into sentimentality. Some those scenes of the school celebrations are a little too soppy, and although there's a (very unexpected because so rapid and oddly situated) naked sex romp in Merlin's car, and although that's not exactly the end and all three are happy ever after, the final two chapters (and the last in particular) aren't as could be predicted.

That final chapter spins us almost into a dreamscape, almost into a nightmare world set in and around Nadèjda's parents' holiday seaside bungalow, where many odd things happen. There are so many beautiful words in this book that I ended up really disappointed way before the end.

3 May 2019

Zavière Gauthier: La vierge rouge : Biographie de Louise Michel (1999); repr. and addition to L'Insoumise (1990)

Zavière Gauthier's La Vierge rouge is a partly fictionalised biography of Louise Michel: she introduces conversation, mixes her own words and thoughts with those of Michel, generally turns a biography into a novelised creation, and yet it works.

Born in 1830, Michel was the product of a servant (Marianne Michel)  and – most probably – Laurent Demahis, the son of Étienne-Charles Demahis, the owner of a ruinous castle near the very small village of Vroncourt-la-Côte, Haute-Marne. The castle no longer exists, although a memorial to Michel with interpretation boards stand near its place.

Michel received a good and liberal education and later left to teach in Paris. One of her pupils was Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville, who Paul Verlaine married. Michel wrote a brief verse predicting a good future for the marriage, although the world of course knows otherwise.

She is most known, of course, for her anarchistic views, her activities in the Paris Commune, and her friendship with Victor Hugo, with whom she probably had a brief sexual liaison. From a physical and psychological distance, she loved the Communard Théophile Ferré, who was killed in the fighting and buried in the cemetery in Levallois-Perret, where Michel was buried in 1905.

The most interesting part for me came when she was deported to New Caledonia (then the French version of the UK's Australia), to a penal colony where she not only learned the language of the native Kanaks, braved her way into gaining their respect, but sided with them against the prison authorities. They showered gifts on her when she felt she had to leave to see her ailing mother.

After the New Caledonian episode Michel's life – return to prison, followed by seemingly hectic lecture tours all over France – seemed to come as an anticlimax, but then perhaps it was for her to some extent. It is in the nature of the French to love many of their anarchists, and I find it fitting that a large area in front of the Sacré-Cœur has been named after her, and that a statue of her (with a representation of one of her beloved cats snuggling around her skirt) is in Lavallois-Perret.

My Louise Michel posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Zavière Gauthier: La vierge rouge : Biographie de Louise Michel
Louise Michel in Levallois-Perret
Louise Michel in Marseille

Jean Giono: Regain | Second Harvest (1930)

The cover shows Arsule on the banks of a stream that she and Gédémus have pulled him from after a fall. She's been working like a slave for Gédémus, who has a knife-grinding machine he wanders around Provence with, earning very little. But Gédémus in a sense saved Arsule (whose real name might be Irène but Arsule seems to fit better) far from being a singing slave to Tony, playing the bars after walking to various places until she's fit to drop.

While Gédémus is sleeping they go to Panturle's house in Aubignane (modelled on Redortiers), a small village where he's the only person left after Gaubert and la Mamèche have gone. The title Regain can refer to a second harvest, or to a renewal, and is a very apt title because the book is about a number of different kinds of renewal: the life of both Arsule and Panturle are renewed, in the end the couple have new neighbours and the village is renewed, life is coming to it and Arsule is pregnant.

Arsule changes Panturle, renews the man who cared little for his appearance, who brought dirty wood into the house but now leaves it outside, and lived by killing wild animals but now is given a plough by the dying Gaubert and has a horse and a large quantity of corn seed borrowed from a friend from a nearby village. And soon Panturle grows the best (virtually only, but nevertheless very superior quality) corn, which he sells for a good price in town.

Marcel Pagnol made a film of Giono's Regain, although somehow it was a bit too comical, played for laughs as it (almost) could only be with the huge toothed, usually smiling, optimistic Fernandel as Gédémus. The two are rather different stories, but Giono's is the more powerful. It marks the final part of the author's Pan trilogy after Colline (1928) and Un de Baumugnes (1929). 

My Jean Giono posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Sylvie Giono: Jean Giono à Manosque
Jean Giono: L' Homme qui plantait des arbres
Jean Giono: Le Hussard sur le toit
Jean Giono: Colline | Hill of Destiny
Jean Giono: Un de Baumugnes | Lovers Are Never Losers
Jean Giono in Manosque
Jean Giono: Notes sur l'affaire Dominici
Jean Giono's grave, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Pierre Citron: Jean Giono 1895–1970
Jean Giono: Regain | Second Harvest
Jean Giono: Que ma joie demeure

28 April 2019

Jean Giono: Que ma joie demeure (1935)

Jean Giono towers over Provencal literature. How can you describe the power of this big novel, which oozes, sings, and creeps into your system, eventually taking you over with its love of the rural countryside, the power of the mountains, the changes in the weather with the seasons, the bursting of nature, the various animals, trees, flowers, herbs, the joy of living out each second in a wonderland?

Well, it's not such a wonderland as that, and Jourdan is waiting for someone, a kind of saviour, a messiah. And so Bobi comes along, in whom everyone has an instinctive trust: he's a former acrobat who speaks French, but a kind of French that is at times difficult to understand, needs some explanation, which Bobi is only too willing to give.

The nature here – vegetable, wild animal and human animal – drips sex. I suppose Giono got away with it because he came decades after Zola, and was a little more subtle. Maybe so subtle that many missed the point.

The point of this book? There's a proto-ecological tale, even a communistic one, an urge for sharing, for delighting in uselessness for the sake of uselessness. This is a book which is anti-progress, anti-capitalist, it wears its heart on its sleeve, and although it yearns for happiness this is very short-lived.

Death is present amid the tremendous outpouring of life, and can come with age, accident or suicide. In the midst of the push for life, the contingent and the push towards opposition is inevitable.

My Jean Giono posts:

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Sylvie Giono: Jean Giono à Manosque
Jean Giono: L' Homme qui plantait des arbres
Jean Giono: Le Hussard sur le toit
Jean Giono: Colline | Hill of Destiny
Jean Giono: Un de Baumugnes | Lovers Are Never Losers
Jean Giono in Manosque
Jean Giono: Notes sur l'affaire Dominici
Jean Giono's grave, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Pierre Citron: Jean Giono 1895–1970
Jean Giono: Regain | Second Harvest
Jean Giono: Que ma joie demeure

Marie-Hélène Lafon: L'Annonce (2009)

Marie-Hélène Lafon's previous novel, Les Derniers indiens (2008) dealt, of course, with the peasant mountain farmers of Cantal, as does L'Annonce. But the conflict here isn't between the older farmers and the modern-minded neighbours, but between the older generation in the Cantal and a mother and child from Bailleul in the Nord joining the community in the Cantal.

The word L'Annonce has a religious ring to it, the announcement of birth, although the announcement here is a simple man-seeks-woman note in a paper, probably Le Chasseur Français, which the forty-six-year-old peasant farmer Paul from Fridières writes, and to which the thirty-seven-year-old Annette in the Nord replies. There follow a couple of meetings in a halfway, neutral place: Nevers, in the centre of France, where they exchange photos and (tentatively) body fluids.

Again, as in Les Derniers indiens, the language circles constantly, dropping a few pieces of information here and there like a sower sowing, weaves between the past and present casually, adding to the tapestry of time. Annette was the wife of a violent drunken husband, Éric the son, and she wants to begin a new life far from her previous urban background.

Paul has set up a new living area next to his elderly austere uncles, Éric turns out to have hidden rural gifts, and the ready-made family, with Annette working in the nearest supermarket to help them get by, a loving relationship (mercifully without sentimentality) establishing itself. Lafon is my best discovery so far this year.

Links to my Marie-Hélène Lafon posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Le Pays d'en haut : entretiens avec Fabrice Lardreau
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Sur la photo
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Les Derniers indiens
Marie-Hélène Lafon: L'Annonce

Marie-Hélène Lafon: Les Derniers indiens (2008)

This really is a comment on Marie-Hélène Lafon's Les Derniers indiens, but I feel this preliminary paragraph about an English novel is very relevant here. It's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, who actually studied French language and literature at university. Let's take her first sentence in this book, which won the Costa First Novel prize award in 2017: 'When people ask me what I do – taxi drivers, dental hygienists – I tell them I work in an office.' OK, it's written in a chatty colloquial style, as though it is spoken, maybe many readers identify the narrator with themselves, which is why this thing is so popular – even if, in the pages I read, reality seemed to be taking a back seat and I just couldn't believe in the existence of the female narrator. There seems to be something wrong even from that first sentence, and surely this is the fact that the word 'people' is too far removed from the parenthesis? How about 'When people – taxi drivers, dental hygienists – ask me what I do I tell them I work in an office.' That to me seems to be a better worked-on sentence, and although I read several more pages this didn't strike me as an interesting book in any way at all: to be honest it seemed very tedious, and I'd certainly not the least desire to read it. Do most people really read books to identify with themselves, turn pages and pass the time, learning nothing in the process?  If so it's a very sad world, but I suppose at least people are reading something, aren't they?

But are they reading 'finished' books, by which I mean books over which the author has sweated and slaved over a hot keyboard, taking hours to phrase, re-phrase, re-re-phrase, etc, a sentence, paying loving attention and even hours to the place of a comma? I think not, but Marie-Hélène Lafon is definitely one of those writers who care deeply about how they write, but then Lafon seems to be writing out of an inner need, as opposed to Honeyman, who simply appears to be writing to appeal to as many readers as possible, to how much money she can make out of inevitably very drab novels. Lafon believes that most books are 'unfinished' in that nowhere enough time has been devoted to corrections.

But then again, Lafon is no average writer. Now a teacher in Paris, she was born in the département of Cantal, in the Auvergne, to a family she describes as peasant farmers. And her family knew that they were the last survivors – among les derniers indiens – and most of Lafon's books are shot through with her past, the way of life there, and how it is changing. 

Les Derniers indiens may have autobiographical elements, although it is certainly not an autobiography. The narrator is of course not the protagonist Marie (and how can a narrator in a any book ever be the same person anyway?), although we see the novel through her eyes, and the moment of learning that Jean, the man she lives with, is not her husband but her brother, can strike hard. Incest is never mentioned, and physical incest in particular, but the hints of (often port mortem) psychological incest run throughout the novel: the clothes of ancestors kept in the wardrobe, the relationship between Marie's mother and her late son Pierre, the photos, etc.

The neighbours underline the difference between the old world and the new, buying new farming gear, eager to swoop on Marie's property when death comes, and sell the heirlooms off to the local braderies. Lafon's interest, though, is not in making stories, her words – often present in long sentences, adjectives, nouns, adjectival phrases piled on top of each other, swirling around constantly as if birds trying to reach their target prey, enrapturing.

I read recently that there's a saying (or which I was unaware) that goes something like Americans write to tell a story, whereas their French counterparts write to create an act of literature. I wouldn't quite go that far, but Marie-Hélène Lafon's works are certainly acts of literature.

As for Gail Honeyman, well... her work speaks for itself!

Links to my Marie-Hélène Lafon posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Le Pays d'en haut : entretiens avec Fabrice Lardreau
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Sur la photo
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Les Derniers indiens
Marie-Hélène Lafon: L'Annonce

20 April 2019

Carine Fol (ed.): L'Art brut en question | Outsider Art in Question (2015)

This bilingual book on Outsider Art (art brut) is what might be described as a coffee table book, and yet it doesn't come under that description (which usually means dumb, nothing but gloss, mindless, etc) in terms of content. This is a highly scholarly, fascinating book on an art form which is now being recognised seriously, and the proliferation of such books makes me incapable of judging it along with others on the same subject: there are far too many.

However, this book is a history of outsider art, of its increasing acceptance, of its relationship with art produced in psychiatric hospitals, of the acceptance through the not too distant past of art brut not only as therapy, not only as a means of expression, but as part of the art world in itself. Outsider art (art brut) is authentic art and should be recognised as such. We have come a very long way since the objections to Facteur Cheval's masterpiece in Hauterives as naive, amateur or primitive.

Included in this huge book are the works of familiar names such as Adolf Wölfli, Unica Zürn, Aloïse Corbaz, Josef Hofer, Madge Gill, Henry Darger, Gaston Chaisssac, Johann Hauser, Augustin Lesage, Carlo Zinelli, etc, etc. The cover image is by Dirk Martens, and the endpapers by Michel Dave and (together) Cléa Coudsi and Éric Herbin.

Links to my outsider artists (and related) posts:
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Kevin Duffy, Ashton-in-Makerfield
The Outsider Art of Léopold Truc, Cabrières d'Avignon (34)
Le Musée Extraordinaire de Georges Mazoyer, Ansouis (34)
Le Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal, Hauterives (26) 
The Little Chapel, Guernsey
Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Clinton, Tennessee
Ed Leedskalnin in Homestead, Florida
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Street Art City, Lurcy-Lévis, Allier (03)
The Outsider Art of Jean Linard, Neuvy-deux-Clochers (18)
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Jean Bertholle, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jean-Pierre Schetz, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jules Damloup, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Camille Vidal, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Pascal Verbena, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
The Art of Theodore Major
Edward Gorey's Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod, MA
Marcel Vinsard in Pontcharra, Isère (38)
Carine Fol (ed.): Outsider Art in Question
Vincent Capt: Écrivainer : La langue morcelée de Samuel Daiber

Vincent Capt: Écrivainer : La langue morcelée de Samuel Daiber (2010)

Samuel Daiber (1901-83) spent his final thirty-five years in a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland. This book concerns above all a letter held in the Collection de l'art brut in Lausanne, being one of a number Daiber wrote to the head of the hospital, Dr Ralph Winteler, pleading to be released. In 1926 Daiber stood in front of a tram, convinced that he could stop it by his thoughts. Four years later he burned his family's clothes because he believed that the devil inhabited them. He also destroyed his own pottery over a number of years, and was interned in psychiatric hospitals several times over a number of years, but released because of his non-violent behaviour. His final and permanent internment was in 1948.

It is the language that Daiber used in his letters begging to be released that are of interest here, as the language he uses, coming into the category of écrit brut, is of huge importance. In the Preface to this book, Jean-Michel Adam refers to a 'character-concept' in one of Édouard Glissant's plays: le déparleur. In L'Imaginaire des langues (2012) Glissant describes this character as someone 'who accepts entry into the crushed, apparently empty of meaning, apparently contradictory, apparently far-fetched'.

In his astonishing letter to the head of the hospital Samuel Daiber distorts language, invents new words, acts out the world of the déparleur, above all manipulates the French language remarkably. The letter under the microscope is addressed to 'Sieur Wintelet Docteur', the 'Sieur' being an archaic form of 'Monsieur', literally 'My sire': from the perceived medieval serfdom of the asylum, the vassal addresses the lord of the manor? It would seem so.

But that's by no means all. The body of the letter is only four lines long, although the post scriptum (containing more than forty lines) is in effect the real body of the letter. But it is the words used, the neologisms, which are the main interest. Instead, for instance, of saying 'effrayé' (frightened) or 'chassé' (chased), Daiber says 'effrayadé' and 'chassadé'. Furthermore, the morpheme 'ad' frequently appears in negatives, almost as a more emphatically negative version often with a double suffix, as in 'pasadement' for 'pas'. Vincent Capt suggests that the 'ad' is a reversal of Daiber's first two letters, which initially seems like over-interpretation, but on reflection this is quite believable: Daiber is asserting his presence in the world.

Links to my outsider artists (and related) posts:
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Kevin Duffy, Ashton-in-Makerfield
The Outsider Art of Léopold Truc, Cabrières d'Avignon (34)
Le Musée Extraordinaire de Georges Mazoyer, Ansouis (34)
Le Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal, Hauterives (26) 
The Little Chapel, Guernsey
Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Clinton, Tennessee
Ed Leedskalnin in Homestead, Florida
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Street Art City, Lurcy-Lévis, Allier (03)
The Outsider Art of Jean Linard, Neuvy-deux-Clochers (18)
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Jean Bertholle, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jean-Pierre Schetz, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jules Damloup, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Camille Vidal, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Pascal Verbena, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
The Art of Theodore Major
Edward Gorey's Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod, MA
Marcel Vinsard in Pontcharra, Isère (38)
Carine Fol (ed.): Outsider Art in Question
Vincent Capt: Écrivainer : La langue morcelée de Samuel Daiber

15 April 2019

Victor Hugo's description of a fire in Notre-Dame de Paris | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

At the time of writing, 10:30 on Wednesday 17 April 2019 in England, the above Livre de Poche edition of Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) stands at number 1 on Amazon's sales chart in France, with other editions at numbers 3, 4, 6 and 9. This is of course nothing to do with syllabus, and a non-fiction book of the same French name (priced at 85 euros!) stands at number 8.  As France and indeed the rest of the world mourns the awful destruction to perhaps Paris's second major tourist attraction, it is bizarre to read in Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris the imaginary description of a fire in the church. Hugo wrote the book in defence of the church, which at the time was in decay and there was talk of demolishing it:

'Tous les yeux s'étaient levés vers le haut de l'église. Ce qu'ils voyaient était extraordinaire. Sur le sommet de la galerie la plus élevée, plus haut que la rosace centrale, il y avait une grande flamme qui montait entre les deux clochers avec des tourbillons d'étincelles, une grande flamme désordonnée et furieuse dont le vent emportait par moments un lambeau dans la fumée. Au-dessous de cette flamme, au-dessous de la sombre balustrade à trèfles de braise, deux gouttières en gueules de monstres vomissaient sans relâche cette pluie ardente qui détachait son ruissellement argenté sur les ténèbres de la façade inférieure. À mesure qu'ils approchaient du sol, les deux jets de plomb liquide s'élargissaient en gerbes, comme l'eau qui jaillit des mille trous de l'arrosoir. Au-dessus de la flamme, les énormes tours, de chacune desquelles on voyait deux faces crues et tranchées, l'une toute noire, l'autre toute rouge, semblaient plus grandes encore de toute l'immensité de l'ombre qu'elles projetaient jusque dans le ciel. Leurs innombrables sculptures de diables et de dragons prenaient un aspect lugubre. La clarté inquiète de la flamme les faisait remuer à l'oeil. Il y avait des guivres qui avaient l'air de rire, des gargouilles qu'on croyait entendre japper, des salamandres qui soufflaient dans le feu, des tarasques qui éternuaient dans la fumée. Et parmi ces monstres ainsi réveillés de leur sommeil de pierre par cette flamme, par ce bruit, il y en avait un qui marchait et qu'on voyait de temps  en temps passer sur le front ardent du bûcher comme une chauve-souris devant une chandelle.'

A version of this in English:

'All eyes were raised to the top of the building. They beheld a sight of an extraordinary kind. In the upper-most gallery, above the central rose window, a vast body of flame, accompanied by showers of sparks, ascended between the two towers — a fierce and irregular flame, patches of which were every now and then carried off by the wind along with the smoke. Below this fire, below the sombre balustrade, with its glowing red open-work ornaments, two spouts, in the shape of the jaws of monsters, vomited without cessation those silver streams, which stood out distinctly against the dark mass of the lower facade. As they approached the ground, those two streams spread like water poured through the holes of the spout of a watering-pot. Above the flames the enormous towers, each showing two sides deeply contrasted, the one quite black, the other quite red, appeared still larger from the immense shadows which they threw toward the sky. Their numberless sculptures of devils and dragons assumed a doleful aspect. The flickering of the flame gave to them the appearance of motion. Gorgons seemed to be laughing, waterspouts yelping, salamanders puffing fire, and griffins sneezing in the smoke. And among the monsters thus wakened from their sleep of stone by the flames and by the din, there was one that moved from place to place, and passed from time to time in front of the fire, like a bat before a candle.'

13 April 2019

Bruno Montpied: Marcel Vinsard, l'homme aux mille modèles (2016)

Writer, painter, film director and researcher Bruno Montpied specialises in art brut, art naïf, art singulier, art modeste, art hors normes, outsider art, or whatever name anyone cares to label an art form which is outside the boundaries of the conventional. He co-scripted Rémy Ricordeau's film Bricoleurs de Paradis (2011), wrote Éloge des Jardins Anarchiques (2011) and also wrote the colossal Le Gazouillis des Eléphants (2017). His Marcel Vincent is a short and fascinating book under Insomniaque's imprint 'La Petite Brute', containing many photos Montpied took when visiting Vinsard's home in Pontcharra, Isère (38).

The artist Marcel Vinsard (1930-2016) spent thirty years as a men's hairdresser in Pontcharra. Necessarily for such a trade, and by nature, he was a very sociable person and an example of his spindly work, which was inspired by Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche, was installed in the mairie in Pontcharra some years before he died. Apparently it was after being given a book on Alberto Giacometti which provoked Vinsard to begin his huge work in and around his home, amounting to one thousand works. But as Montpied remarks, the cliché made by an unimaginative reporter in a local paper — 'Le Facteur Cheval de Pontcharra' — merely echoes other lame nicknames, and indeed I've heard of L'abbé Fouré described as 'Le Facteur Cheval de la Bretagne', and Rémy Callot as 'Le Facteur Cheval du Nord'.

At first Vinsard began working in wood, such as his bust of his grandfather Célestin Revol, although he soon learned that polystyrene — much lighter, more malleable, easily portable, etc — was far more suited to his needs. There were one thousand figures in all, and Vinsard was not only willing to allow the curious inside his 'chalet' to view his creations, but he openly encouraged it by his self-advertising signs outside his house, and cycling around the village with an advert on his front shopping basket, and a bust of his deceased wife at the back.

Vinsard's figures are rooted in reality, and are arranged in no particular order, members of his family democratically side by side with heads of states and popular celebrities: Gérard Depardieu, Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande, Roselyne Bachelot, Coluche, François Mitterrand, Jacques and Bernadette Chirac, Eddie Mitchell, Groucho Marx, Albert Einstein, etc.

Marcel Vinsard, who was in hospital with a serious heart complaint, died before being able to read this book about him and his work. Before he died many of his works had been plundered, many of them had suffered from neglect of upkeep due to his hospitalisation. It is hoped that they will re-appear in brocantes or other places to enable some of his works to be recuperated.

Montpied refers to a 28-minute video clip on YouTube, made by Yvan Ducognon in 2013, in which Marcel Vinsard describes some of his creations, and this is fascinating: Le Jardin extraordinaire de Marcel V. 

Links to my outsider artists (and related) posts:
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Kevin Duffy, Ashton-in-Makerfield
The Outsider Art of Léopold Truc, Cabrières d'Avignon (34)
Le Musée Extraordinaire de Georges Mazoyer, Ansouis (34)
Le Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal, Hauterives (26) 
The Little Chapel, Guernsey
Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Clinton, Tennessee
Ed Leedskalnin in Homestead, Florida
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Street Art City, Lurcy-Lévis, Allier (03)
The Outsider Art of Jean Linard, Neuvy-deux-Clochers (18)
La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)
Jean Bertholle, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jean-Pierre Schetz, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Jules Damloup, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Camille Vidal, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
Pascal Verbena, La Fabuloserie, Yonne (89)
The Art of Theodore Major
Edward Gorey's Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod, MA
Marcel Vinsard in Pontcharra, Isère (38)
Carine Fol (ed.): Outsider Art in Question
Vincent Capt: Écrivainer : La langue morcelée de Samuel Daiber

11 April 2019

Belinda Cannone: Entre les bruits (2009)


This is a story of confusion, but then that would be expected of a novel which is a spy story (a number of times reminding me of Echenoz's parody spy novel Lac), a detective story, a love story, but most of all an intense study of awareness, of what our minds (and bodies) are capable of. Belinda Cannone explores not only between the sounds, but between the relationships we have with all living people and things, even though we may not be aware of them.

A central subject is hyperacusis, or the ability (some may with reason say disability because of its sometimes devastating effects) to recognise tiny sounds a long distance away: the sounds a 'mute' mouse makes, what people are saying some distance away in a noisy restaurant, the sound a fox makes in a distant forest, etc. Ear plugs are a great help in a town where the noise of chaos can drown out thought, drown out any attempts at communication.

Hyperacoustic Jodel, who works as an acoustics engineer, meets hyperacoustic eleven-year-old Jeanne, and begins to teach her how to distinguish between different sounds, how to to some extent render some order to the chaos, learn what it's like to be different. But then only the different understand.

I was some way through this novel which one reviewer had suggested had strong sexual content, which I thought was maybe a reference to a different book, and then Jodel has sex with Jeanne's mother Jaumette. I don't think the description of sex lasted more than two pages, and for those looking for masturbation go elsewhere, but the description of Jaumette's multiple (and I mean multiple) orgasms stunned me by the realism: Belinda Cannone, er, knows how to write.

Links to my Belinda Cannone posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Belinda Cannone: Entre les bruits
Belinda Cannone: La Chair du temps

L214 and Veganism




Just bought these car stickers from the French vegan group L214. Brilliant!

7 April 2019

Richard Brautigan: The Abortion (1973)

Richard Brautigan has this kind of casual, digressive way of writing that makes you want to follow him. The cover is black and a sort of silver with a multi-colored title and author name but no coffee stain. Oh, and it mentions that he's the author of Trout Fishing in America.

I'd better stick to short paragraphs in keeping with Brautigan's style, but that last book is alluded to by the narrator. See, the narrator is the librarian at the unpublished books library in San Francisco, where people go when they've written books that won't be published. And the librarian says a Richard Brautigan has deposited three or four books there, the first one being something to do with America.

He works from nine in the morning to nine at night, although some people come at any time and the librarian (who isn't given a name ) is only too willing to receive unwanted books which are cherished even if not read.

One such donor is the elderly Mrs Charles Fine Adams, who gifts her 'Growing Flowers by Candle Light in Hotel Rooms' at three in the morning. As she's walked such a long way to get to the library, the librarian gives her a coffee and some cookies. That's the kind of guy he is: he lives at the library and has been there for three years, oblivious to the goings on in the outside world.

He's probably not had sex for three years either, until Vida happens to walk into his life with a book on the horrors of beauty, and she should know because she's unbelivably beautiful, although the librarian – can we now call him Honey as that's what Vida comes to call him?  feels uncomfortable about getting naked with someone he doesn't know.

And she stays, at least until she has to have an abortion, which means taking a trip to Tijuana because it was illegal in the States. So Honey slightly reluctantly leaves his only work associate to mind his precious library. Honey, as the narrator, is as self-deprecating as ever as he tries to describe what Vida is wearing:

'Vida put on a simple but quite attractive white blouse with a short blue skirt – you could see easily above her knees – and a little half-sweater thing on over the blouse. I've never been able to describe clothes so that anyone knows what I'm talking about.'

Two main events, or rather chains of events happen on the way to Tijuana and back: Vida arrests the attention of every male (including young boys) she comes across, even to the point of causing minor accidents. And Honey has great problems adjusting to a world he's forsaken for what Vida describes as a 'monastery'.

Also on the way, Vida starts thinking of what Honey can do for a proper job. But that's really another story, or another life.

Famously (if we can use such a word for a writer people were beginning to forget), Brautigan blew his brains out in 1984 at the age of 49. But his wish to have a library for unpublished books has florished as the Brautigan Library, and unlike the library in the novel, anyone can read the newer .pdfs online.

3 April 2019

Christine de Rivoyre: Reine-Mère (1985)

Last month my partner Penny left several large books in the boîte à lire in the park of the Hôtel de ville in Épernay. This is one of the books I picked up in exchange as it looked interesting, which I suppose it is in a way, but.

La Reine-Mère is called so not because she's a queen mother but because her name is Reine, and she's the mother of three more or less grown kids: Viviane who's a shrink with (to Reine at first, and then almost to the whole family) an awful husband lawyer Thierry; a younger son Vincent, a painter who's shacked up with a scatty philo student Linda, who's not interested in their son Clovis, no more than she's interested in tidying up or doing the washing; and finally the militant (and almost violent) animal welfarist Camille, who changes boyfriends very regularly.

So we have a family story, although not really a greatly disfunctional one. Apart, that is, from Diego, Reine's loutish former husband who's disappeared from the scene (except in brief flashbacks) a long time before the book starts, and the orgy-loving Thierry who disappears from the book about halfway in after Viviane discovers pornographic photos of him in action. Oh, and Linda runs off too, but then that was to be foreseen, and she was hardly a member of the family anyway.

No, this isn't a disfunctional family, it's a family in which the members care for each other, especially for Reine towards the beginning when she stabs a yob in the solar plexis with her keys near the Saint-Michel fountain at five in the morning, when Reine's dog l'Oiseau (as a small puppy, he looked like a blackbird when she picked him up from SPA) decides he wants to go walkies.

The yob of course survived, but here an element of France in the 1980s is clearly brought to light: along with the motor-bikes parked around the fountain at Saint-Michel, this is where drug addicts are plainly visible, where – as her progeny keep telling Reine in their morbid stories of muggings and casual murder, etc – modern life is dangerous, frightening, full of menace around every corner. But Viviane, Vincent and Camille all rally round, protecting her.

So we have a novel of the ups and downs of family life and the horrors that the outside world holds. We also have sympathetic friends, frequent slap-up meals, and beautifully sketched characters. So, a successful book then. Er, no.

As a novel it is highly enjoyable half of the time, but about halfway in I wondered where it was leading, what I was expecting. In fact, the book could have ended there and I wouldn't have missed anything. It just seems to go nowhere, only the characters hold it together, there's no momentum. A very odd book.

Christine de Rivoyre died on 3 January 2019. I saw a two-minute clip of a very young newscaster announcing her death, saying that many young people wouldn't remember her. At 97, Christine de Rivoyre had a long life, but it seems a relatively short literary one.

2 April 2019

Alexandre Vialatte: Pas de H pour Natalie (2019)

Greatly enthused by Marie-Hélène Lafon's inclusion in Le Pays d'en haut of an article by Alexandre Vialatte (1901-71 (the dates are revealing)), I opened his collection of many articles (chiefly from La Montagne) and prepared for the fun. Alas, there wasn't any, as I scarcely knew what Vialatte was talking about: the digressive articles, most of between four and six pages each, mostly speak of other people, but unfortunately people who were known in Vialatte's day, but who now are mainly forgotten.

However, I don't give in easily, and although it's far beyond me to take in so much detail of unknown people at one go, I shall continue to dip into this book, and no doubt discover many interesting characters. One such person has been the cartoonist Chaval (1915-68), whose real name was Yvan Francis Le Louarn, and who killed himself a few months after his wife killed herself after he'd told her of his numerous infidelities. His cartoons are odd, often without words, and often (to me at least) impenetrable. Vialatte felt the same, particularly the one of three chemists fleeing from a storm. They could be anyone, but what is comical about this? It provides Vialatte with much fodder for thought. As I'm sure this book will provide me with when I pick it up again.

Links to my Alexandre Vialatte posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Alexandre Vialatte and Amélie Nothomb
Alexandre Vialatte, 13e arrondissement
Alexandre Vialatte: Pas de H pour Natalie

29 March 2019

Marie-Hélène Lafon: Le Pays d'en haut : entretiens avec Fabrice Lardreau (2019)

'Versant intime' is a series of books, directed by Fabrice Lardreau, in which figures from the world of literature, the arts, sciences and travel speak about mountains, nature in general, their travels, and their relationship with the fragile beauty of the world: Lardreau himself is a journalist with La Montagne et Alpinisme along with being the author of ten novels and works of non-fiction. Here, in about the first two thirds of the book, Lardreau asks Marie-Hélène Lafon a number of questions.

Lafon was brought up on an isolated farm in the north of Cantal, her parents being peasant farmers who expected her to move away from the land because they realised that it was the end of the peasant farming industry. She describes her early life and her contact with the mountains and nature, and even though she is a transfuge, a former member of the peasant class now become an academic and a notable novelist, her previous experiences have moulded her, being something unforgettable: her novels have evident autobiographical elements, and she describes some of these.

She also describes her cultural experiences, the books and songs that shaped her life. Following the interviewing, Lafon includes a number of influential 'mountain' readings: Jean Ferrat's song La Montagne about people leaving the mountains, a song she saw as old-fashioned in her early teens, a song her mother liked, but which had an effect on her too; Julien Gracq's experiences of walking in the mountains near to where she lived; Jean Giono in the Auvergne rather than Provence; etc.

The most fascinating extract Lafon gives us here is from a collection called Vialatte à la montagne (published in 2011) in which Alexandre Vialatte (1901-71) speaks about Puy-de-Dôme. Lafon's parents used to buy the daily local paper La Montagne, which Lafon didn't read. Vialatte had a weekly column in the paper in which he may have written about mountains, or anything which took his fancy to write about. But even if he was writing about mountains, they may well have just been an excuse for him to digress. In the article Vialatte, in a remarkably amusing excuse for exaggerating the truth about the height of the Puy-de-Dôme, moves on to the Larousse encyclopaedia's mentioning Saint-Ferréol-sur-Arzon having a population of 2001. Vialatte points out that while the count was being made, Larousse forgot that the baker's wife had run off to Paris with the postman's brother-in-law, the butcher's wife had had twins, the sexton had died of cold, and the police sergeant had been eaten by a wolf. (Needless to say, Saint-Ferréol-sur-Arzon doesn't exist, but the reader gets a strong idea of Vialatte's humour.)

And the reader gets a strong idea of Marie-Hélène Lafon's psychology in this highly readable book. I shall be reading more of her work, although the Vialatte excerpt reminds me that I have a book of his his which contains many of his writings from La Montagne: I shall read that first.

Links to my Marie-Hélène Lafon posts:
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Le Pays d'en haut : entretiens avec Fabrice Lardreau
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Sur la photo
Marie-Hélène Lafon: Les Derniers indiens
Marie-Hélène Lafon: L'Annonce