vendredi, décembre 21, 2007


Grâce au blog du toujours impeccable Claro, je suis allé voir d'un peu plus près Omega Minor, de Paul Verhaegen - sans en être encore revenu. Qui aurait pensé que dans les derniers jours de l'année, un livre allait détrôner Tree of smoke, de Dennis Johnson, au titre de meilleur livre 2007? Et bien c'est fait. Cela faisait des mois que je n'avais pas ressenti un tel plaisir de lecture, une telle évidence, de celle qui vous frappe lorsque vous découvrez Les trois fermiers s'en vont au bal, Purple America ou encore White Noise. Je pense, et j'espère que Fausto en parlera plus longuement, et sûrement de façon plus précise que moi dans Tabula Rasa, nous sommes là en présence d'un grand, d'un très grand, d'un immense livre. Richard Powers a une fois de plus raison, en disant que "tout le 20ème siècle est dans ce livre", sur le fond comme dans la forme - Hitler, Himmler, Mengele, Speer, Heisenberg, Honnecker, Gorbachev, de Potsdam à Los Alamos en passant par Auschwitz, le Berlin d'après la chute du mur, Verhaegen nous offre un grand moment d'histoire, un grand moment de littérature. Que vous souhaitez de mieux pour bien finir l'année - ou commencer la nouvelle : plongez-vous vite dans Omega Minor - vous en ressortirez émerveillés, foi (jaune) de Pugnax! Et merci encore à Claro! (Sur ce, je m'en vais tranquillement franchir l'année seul avec les oeuvres complètes de Daniil Kharms sous le bras!)

Une mise en bouche (si j'ose dire), les premières lignes du livre :

"Im Anfang war die Tat – In the Beginning was the Act.
And to conclude the act – that serpentine pas-de-deux so skillfully performed against the satin backdrop of the blackest night – a lightning bolt hurls itself upward, a blinding curve of pristine white, the laws of gravity suspended for a quarter-second. A gushing garland spouts into the springtime air pregnant with moonlight, a string vibrating with unbound energy, and then a scream of triumph – and with a dull thud the alabaster blob flops on a silken belly, smoothly shaven, tan and taut. In the panting silence after the touchdown the room echoes with the silent howl of half a billion mouths that never were: 23-chromosome cells thrash their tiny tails in terror on the barren skin. The illicit hand elicits another power surge from his penis, fiercer still than the first, and a compassionate tongue descends, its trembling tip dipping into the basin of his navel. A sticky thread of pearls connects the woman to the Center of the man’s Being (his hara? Hare Krishna! Silver-blue G*d of futile Creation!), but only for an instant, for then she swallows – she drinks my seed, he thinks, she WANTS my seed, and the thought makes his heart swell, not with love but with misguided pride – and then her lips slide full over his lingam and the last fruit of her labor slides down her shiny throat. And while the man’s mouth is still screaming in triumph the gametic hordes yell out in Todesangst, for their worst nightmare has come true: In the woman’s churning stomach the cell membranes break open, the molecules dissolve, and the strands of the Code itself unwind, and naked lies the Blueprint, the secret of who Goldfarb is – the nucleic acids adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine swirl in irreparable chaos; their alchemy forever lost. Here lies a man, and he exults over the demise of a world population.

In the Beginning – beresheet – was the Act.
And the Act was sterile. That didn’t make it less pleasant. Or less meaningful. Mystic, maybe, or even magical, that act, but certainly maniacal.

It did not occur to Goldfarb to ask the question: ‘Was it as good for you, maa’m, as it so clearly was for me?’ Goldfarb does not need verbal confirmation. Goldfarb observes the cosmos. In Goldfarb’s presence, a woman’s body never lies. Goldfarb’s women are always satisfied. Right?

The technology is with us. We can use the permanence of memory to our advantage.
We rewind time, we force the clock to swallow its own digits. We choose the starting point and we take it – slowly – from there. Remember. It is springtime. Even though there is still a dusting of snow on the ground, the daffodils outside the Gästehaus wave their heavy crowns in the golden light of the lamp that hangs above the entrance. Time rewound through memory’s trickery. The young woman withdraws her lips from her lover’s cock, a narrow thread of pearly liquid flows from her mouth onto his belly, and then that stream suddenly jumps back into his puffed-up glans. Watch how it swells; see her tease the creamy harvest back down to his balls – and is it not so much more exciting to watch this in slow motion? Let us release the clock again: Behold the purple head that sways so swiftly on its heavy stalk; see how it glistens with her spit and juices; watch the little crater at the top spit out its zigzag line – out shoots the slime, the whirling weathervane, the drunken comet climbing past the stars, and in the moist cloud chamber of Donatella’s room a signal lights up in silvery white, an almost perfect circle described by the tumbling ribbon of spunk, an acrobatic snake snapping at, but missing its own tail – an ancient Greek symbol, the letter Omega, capitalized – Ω. "

jeudi, décembre 20, 2007

Alexander Theroux

Le Scandale est né dans le New York Times, il commence à se répandre ça et là sur la toile, dans la presse écrite. Le héros de Laura Warholic serait raciste et mysogine. Donc Laura Warholic serait raciste et mysogine. Donc Alexander Throux serait raciste et mysogine. Les cons.

mercredi, décembre 12, 2007


On avait bien aimé Negativeland - on va essayer ça : Doug Nufer writes fiction, poetry, and performance pieces that seem to be based on formal constraints even when they are not. Never Again, the most audacious example of his work to date, is a novel in which no word appears more than once. It is the story of a gambler who narrates how he set out to avoid the mistakes of his past by doing (and saying) nothing he ever did (or said) before.


Après THE ROAD et TREE OF SMOKE, un petit nouveau qui, d'emblée, se hisse au niveau des massifs. Matthew Eck, un nom à retenir!

A unit of young American soldiers lost in an unnamed city in an unnamed desert nation struggle to maintain a tenuous grip on their lives in this haunting debut novel by Eck, a veteran of U.S. Army efforts in Somalia. Narrator Joshua Stantz recounts his wanderings with such quiet objectivity that the horrors he witnesses evoke winces and poetic details stand out in contrast: there are wounds that hiss and bubble, but there is also a girl's lone eyelash falling from the creases of a letter. Early in the book, Joshua is part of a group of six soldiers who, separated from their unit and under murky circumstances, kill two boys, but almost everything else about their circumstances remains unclear: where exactly are they and why? and who is the enemy? With these questions in the air, the formal rules of engagement become all but useless as the troops navigate a landscape rife with dangers-warring clans, armed thugs, the elements. Eck goes beyond the on-the-ground chaos of battle to capture the physical and psychological disorientation of modern war.

mardi, décembre 04, 2007


Enfin, le monstre arrive. 600 pages. (On préférait le premier projet de couv.......)

Book Description
A brilliant satire from one of the great novelists of his time.

In his first novel in nearly twenty years, Alexander Theroux, National Book Award Nominee, returns with a compendious satire, a bold and inquisitorial circuit-breaking examination of love and hate, of rejection and forgiveness, of trust and romantic disappointment, of the terrors of contemporary life. Eugene Eyestones, an erudite sex columnist for a Boston cultural magazine, becomes enmeshed in the messy life of a would-be artist named Laura Warholic, who, repulsing and fascinating him at the same time, becomes a mirror in which he not only sees himself but through which he is forced to face his own demons. Not only does she inadvertently supply him with material for his columns, but she exemplifies all that Eugene considers wrong with contemporary America (of which the publishing profession and its recognizable denizens serves as a microcosm)—a garish and dunce-filled Babylon that Theroux scorches with inventive and relentless satire. Nostalgic for the old days and old manners, a way of life lost to grace, loving from afar a mysterious beauty named Rapunzel Wisht, Eugene fights against the rising tide of stupidity, focusing on Laura in the hope that by saving her he can validate his ethical beliefs. But feckless Laura and the colorful but bizarre cast of characters surrounding Eugene—brilliant bigots, nihilists, Generation-X slackers and zanies of all sexual persuasions—threaten to pull him under, leading to the novel's unforgettable conclusion, a climax of betrayal and redemption of Dostoevskyan power.

As in all of Theroux's works, his maximalist and pyrotechnic prose style and searching intellect are the chief attractions, capable of outrageous comedy, nuanced philosophical discussions, winsome love scenes, flame-throwing tirades, subtle theological musings, and an unflinching genius for a profound if merciless look at the human condition. Horrifying and hilarious, damning and demanding, Laura Warholic in its uncompromising power will surely be one of the most talked-about novels of the season, and for years to come.