(Under the name of Lorette Nobécourt)
Within us, the Presence of Dead, Grasset, 2006.
One no longer suffers fifty meters below sea level. Pure oxygen annihilates all pain. The heart throbbing at eight beats a minute. I am certain life has got an unendurable substance down there.
Maybe one cannot settle down that smoothly in a new world vision. Maybe one must fall all of a sudden, stare at the sky and try to grab a new representation of it? Perhaps one needs to leave the surface – along with untamed fears – for the most total depth, where light is out of reach of perception. Maybe one must mutate. Maybe that’s it, yes. But how? I am still on the surface, with heavy sobs shaking in my chest like trouts stirring slowly under my plexus. And yet, I think I shall cry soon.
After all, miracles starts precociously. It takes one years to shape them. It takes immense pain and immense sorrow, to reach the moment when life takes hold of you.
Due to the suicide of his childhood friend, Nortatem withdraws and retreats as a hermit to a cabin in Vermont. Far from it all, he spends his time smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, walking and remembering the past. The mourning which is at work brings him little by little to meet the sensitive world.
He meets people he had never seen before: an enigmatic and voluptuous old Indian woman, an uncouth neighbour and his bewitching daughter… He also starts correspondances with absent women. The characters who people his dreams meet the heroes of his daily readings which take us with him adrift to visit all places and all times, throughout the passion and the folklore of tales.
This is a deep and powerful novel woven of subtle threads bridging legend and ordinary days, set in a primitive scenery where the reader provides consolation not to say salvation to the man who lives.
Traduction de Narjisse Moumna