(Under the name of Lorette Nobécourt)
Thanks be to them, Grasset, 2011.
— Some people have to look after of the shadow of the world, otherwise the world would become even crazier and sicker than it already is…” Roberto looked up slowly at the assembly, lowered them then looked up once more. From the front row you could tell now he was breathing uneasily, his gaze moving slower and slower to and fro, from the faces of the crowd to Kola’s, the little brown boy sitting next to the woman in white. What was her name? Sylvia Lorca. How old were they? Suddenly he no longer knew. He lingered on them without really seeing or even recognizing them, yet getting back to them over and over again, unable to stray too long from them, perhaps to draw from them the courage or the strength to continue his speech, while his right hand seemed to beat the rhythm of an invisible instrument, perhaps that of his heart, as he remained unnaturally silent, until the moment when, feeling that a man was approaching him – maybe Jim Cabré – he went on: – Now, I would like to go back in time seven years back, when I met her in Barcelona in October 1984…
But he suspended his sentence.
“One must forgive life for being only what it is, for the missing absolute is in us,” Roberto wrote to his son, Kola. Roberto is a writer, like his wife, Unica. Both had fled Chile. They met in the bohemian Barcelona of the 1980s. Bound by a roaring passion, they invent for seven years a radiant existence so far from conventions, made of joy, quarrels, sorrows, and foremost writing at the heart of everything . But books do not replace life and soon Unica can no longer stand the world nor its madness. She commits suicide, thus leaving Kola behind.
We meet him again as a young man in Rome, in the heat and bliss of summer. Extravagant, full of arrogance, he takes his freedom for granted but he is haunted by his family’s past. He decides to leave for Chile, following in the footsteps of his family.
A major tribute to literature, “Grâce leur soit rendue” is a magnificent novel about transmission, and an ode to freedom carried by unforgettable characters.
Traduction de Narjisse Moumna