Obviously, the connection falters. Obviously, the conversation between France and California begins with a succession of ” You hear me ? »,« Ah! I don’t see you anymore! “, and other exclamatory rumblings that the reader will be spared – who will probably know nothing about it after so much time wielding the thrilling art of videoconferencing.
This introduction does not help to forget the 9000 kilometers of distance and the nine hours of time difference between Paris and Los Angeles, we try to fill a little the abyss by first undertaking Emma Cline not on the excellent novella. Harvey, which has just been published in France, but on our shared admiration for a scandalously underrated American writer in France, Norman Rush. She indeed had the good taste to publicly quote her book Coupling (Fayard, 2006) as one of the readings that marked her the most.
The young woman (she was born in 1989) with the shy smile becomes enthusiastic as soon as the title of this enormous novel of lost political and amorous illusions is pronounced: “Yes, what a marvel! You can read it and reread it and constantly find something new! ” Emma Cline had “19 or 20 years old” when she first read it. She was studying at Columbia University in New York with a “Major in arts and not in literature” : “It allowed me to read outside of a specific program, to be able to be carried away by the pure pleasure of the text, without having to dissect the reasons. ” She would have “Hard to say” how he influenced her, but has no doubts that Norman Rush, « comme Zadie Smith ou Mary Gaitskill », helped shape her as a writer.
We will note (before ending this ode to Norman Rush, to which the writer nevertheless encourages us: « Tell people to read it! “) qu’Coupling offers, among many other things, a fabulous description of the power dynamics at work within a couple as well as a community. Clearly, Emma Cline is passionate about this subject, who traces her fascination with growing up in a family of seven in California (the parents were Napa Valley winemakers). This gave him plenty of time to observe the logic of alliance, dependence, even oppression, governing, in a hidden or visible way, the life of a group.
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