En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies. Ces derniers assurent le bon fonctionnement de nos services. En savoir plus.


Salman Rushdie Le clown Shalimar.

Un des meilleurs livres que j'ai pu lire ces derniers temps. En plus avec les événements de ces dernières semaines, cela crée une résonance toute particulière.

Une histoire dans l'Histoire ou comment décrire le déchirement du Cachemir à travers 4 récits de vie entrelacées. Une écriture puissante qui m'a émue, un style à la fois exotique mais aussi très évocateur.

Shalimar : l'ado, homme, qui fut un clown, un amant, un mari, un fils, un meurtrier.

Boonyi: L'ado, la femme qui fut amante, traitresse, trahie, mère, fille, fantôme....

Max: qui fut fils, résistant, mari, diplomate, traitre, père

Hindi qui fut la fille et qui part à la découverte de cette histoire à la mort de son père

J'ai aimé découvrir le Cachemir, ces villages et ces personnages, ces rituels, ces traditions.

Quelques lourdeurs... Une fin improbable peut etre de trop mais sinon un livre à lire. Pour mieux illustrer ces points je partage un extrait d'un article du Gardian

"Once we get through this vast flashback and return to the point of the murder we realise what was hidden from us the first time it was played out: the grand symbolism of the act. So the resentful Muslim, in revenge for what he sees as the corruption wreaked by the west, is being used by greater political forces to try to cut down the American Jew; leaving in his wake a confused individual, neither western or eastern, who is nevertheless determined to understand and to survive.

Rushdie has previously made his characters' fates mirror the fates of nations: Midnight's Children brilliantly wove the conceit of the child born at the moment of India's independence, entangling his desires and disappointments with those of India itself. But that was a humane novel in which the parallels to wider stories never weighed down the characters. The characters in Shalimar the Clown, by contrast, are almost crushed by the freight of nations that they carry around on their shoulders. If you're prepared to take this novel as an impassioned lecture on the roots of violence and the awful fate of Kashmir, it can work powerfully. But lose sight of the lecture, and you are left with an increasingly absurd plot and a style that is more and more mannered.

The best parts of the novel are undoubtedly those set in Kashmir; Shalimar and Boonyi's youth and family background are realised with humour and sensual detail. And the destruction of Kashmir is the true heart of this book. When dealing with that tragedy Rushdie's style is genuinely passionate; this is a paean of love to a destroyed homeland. By contrast, when Rushdie journeys into the past of Max Ophuls the tale becomes coldly decorative. We are taken to Strasbourg at the oubreak of the second world war, where Ophuls escapes across enemy lines and seduces a German military assistant; but history is here being used merely as an excuse for some highly coloured yarn-spinning.

One metaphor running throughout is Shalimar's tightrope-walking talent, reprised when he starts to work as an international terrorist. "He remembered his father teaching him to walk the tightrope, and realised that travelling the secret routes of the invisible world was exactly the same." Max Ophuls thinks similarly of his double identity during the war: "Entering the Resistance was, for me, a kind of flying ... One lifted oneself away from one's life." Flying and tightrope-walking are the ideal images for a book in which history becomes one enormous, highly coloured pattern seen from above. "Everywhere was now a part of everywhere else," we learn in the first chapter. "Our lives, our stories, flowed into one another's, were no longer our own."

But even if our lives flow into one another's, they do in fact still feel like our own, day by day. This individual ordinariness is what escapes Rushdie in this book, and the problem becomes particularly acute when we are left with India Ophuls at the end. Her grand destiny is to confront all the horrors of the past, and she symbolically renames herself Kashmira. But the problem with a character who is not allowed to be just an ordinary person is that she may turn out to be not even that. Although Rushdie has complained that people read his novels as being partly autobiographical, in fact that is the reading that gives this book most resonance. Because if we read the last pages as being about India/Kashmira, they are hopelessly unaffecting, but if we see them as Rushdie's song both of sadness and of hope for himself and his world, then they have more power to move us."

En ce qui me concerne j'ai beaucoup aimé car ce livre m'a permit de mieux comprendre certaines choses. Le rôle de la religion, l'ambiguité des US tout cela se retrouve dans ce roman qui m'a donné envie de lire d'autres livres de Salman Rushdie que je ne connaissais que de nom. Je lirai sans doute les enfants de Minuit bientôt.

C'est ce que j'aime dans les romans quand ils vous font voyager, découvrir de nouveaux univers tout en vous apprenant.

La première phrase à venir en Anglais car c'est la langue du livre que j'avais.

Les commentaires sont fermés.