The jury of Femina has chosen to reward on Tuesday, “aerolite” literary by giving its price in the discrete Marcus Malta, a pseudonym, for his novel “The boy” (Zulma).
“It is an aerolite, which just fall into our beds” literary”, welcomed Mona Ozouf, president of the jury is 100% female.
Marcus Malta has received 7 votes to 3 to Nathacha Appanah (“Tropic of violence”, Gallimard), for this novel of over 500 pages, which invites us to cross the start of the Twentieth century alongside a boy with no name and who never will deliver a speech.
The prix Femina novel overseas has been attributed to the American-lebanese Rabih Alameddine for “The lives of paper” (Stopovers) and the Femina of the test Ghislaine Dunant for “Charlotte Delbo, The new-found life” (Grasset).
The book of Marcus Malta is “a great epic, a magnificent story that resurrects the myth of the “wild child” that manages to civilization,” said Mona Ozouf. “It is a great novel for learning, an allegory of the going wild of the men by the war,” added the president, stressing that the discussion between the members of the jury had been “courteous” but “lively”.
“The boy” which speaks to Marcus Malta, 49 years, is a be almost wild. “Even the invisible and the intangible have a name, but he has not.”
in the first lines, one is struck by the power and the breath of writing. The reader feels from the outset that it will not come out unscathed from the reading of this novel river.
The story spans from 1908 to 1938. It is the time of the historical fresco -there is much talk of the “slaughter” of 14-18 – and the novel of initiation.
- an ogre of the Carpathians –
Marcus Malta, known for his thrillers, the author of a dozen novels including “Garden Of Love”, it likes to surprise.
“I wanted to use a register of language that is very different from what I usually do,” he said in his soft voice after the delivery of the prize. “The fact of placing my story a hundred years back forced me to change my language register”.
“I hope that my novel will cause your emotions in the reader. This is what counts,” added the writer who refuses to speak of him.
“I prefer, rather than talking about me, rather than talking about my life, which, in my view has no interest to the readers, to live myself in other lives through the characters and stories that I tell”.
At the beginning of the novel, we discover “the boy” in the most complete destitution. Of the world, it only knows that his mother and in the vicinity of their hut in a land arid in the south of France. However, his mother is dying. The boy, “dry and hard” dressed”with an assortment of threads that are being likely to be formed on the back of a scarecrow”, walking bare feet, wearing her mother dying on the back. Without it, this boy, wild child, lost, without no doubt.
And, of course, it is wrong. The boy is not going to sink. It accompanies a time on the road Brabek, “the ogre of the Carpathians”. It will be adopted by the old Gustave and love his daughter Emma who gives her name as Felix and introduces him to the love.
“It says things like, Take me. Rejected me. Crack-me. Pierces me. Eat-me. Floods me. And he takes it and splits, and eat, and adds his wish without it being requested”.
This sensuality into the text has been welcomed by Mona Ozouf.
But the beauty of the world suddenly flickers. While the two lovers are lying under a willow tree, exhausted and happy, “full of themselves”, they hear bells ringing on the fly. We are the 1st August 1914. The summer that we believed in the lord is finished.
The pages on the war are horrific as the war itself. Marcus Malta has spared nothing in its drive to describe the horror. The letters of Emma, sensual and vibrant, there will be nothing. Destroyed, the boy returns to the wild child of the beginning of the story. The boy is naked and it is our humanity that suffers.
25/10/2016 15:26:23 – Paris (AFP) – © 2016 AFP
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