Monday, 9 January 2012

"Belle Famille," - "Nice Family," by Arthur Dreyfus

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The Prologue

I don't believe in the truth. Like the human spirit, it has its moods. It has its humour. You think you can grab it by the tail. Then it shies away, forcing us to dream. That is all the writer is doing: dreaming the truth. In his way, he changes it: like the soft caramel produced by the
'white aprons' on the streets of Brittany.

The novelist's basic approach is not rigid. It floats around him. There are tears. There are stories. Some, almost invisible, like those in a provincial newspaper, some over impressive, like a column in a national.

Magritte painted a man looking at an egg, painting a pigeon.

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I am grabbed, cautiously, by this egg. I have emptied it. From inside, I have poured new life.

Like the man with the pigeon, I only succeed with one of the possible ways of reality. Among many thousands. Apart from the rays of the sun and the wind off the sea, a quick calculation of probabilities subsequently induces me to confess that everything is false. Save for my opening of the shell, any resemblance to real people and situations, past or present, can only be attributed to what Louis Aragon called the eternal rights of the imagination.

The writer is never faithful to the truth. He prefers her little sister, possibility. Forgive him this allegiance, because you must agree that a pike, a snake or a seagull lies more comfortably in an egg than three hundred and thirty Bengal tigers.


Thanks to Frencheuropean for sending the original to me.

The book can be purchased here.


Himself said...

You may be needing a better front cover before you are done.

There's a cartoon in that somewhere, I don't know what as yet, but there's one it for sure.

AnnaEsse said...

Thank you, Himself. Perhaps you could get busy with that new front cover, then!