mercredi 18 juin 2008

Portrait du père

Ou le portrait du mauvais homme qui ira en enfer, parce qu'il est fier de toujours dire la vérité, comme le fustigeait Jankélévitch, dans son éloge du mensonge :

'But', said his father, stopping in front of the drawing-room window, 'it won't be fine."

Had there been an axe handy, a poker, or any weapon that would have gashed a hole in his father's breast and killed him, there and then, James would have seized it. Such were the extremes of emotion that Mr Ramsay excited in his children's breats by his mere presence ; standing, as now, lean as a knife, narrow as the blade of one, grinning sarcastically, not onloy with the pleasure of disillusioning his son and casting ridicule upon his wife, who was ten thousand times better in every way than he was (James thought), but also with some secret conceit at his own accuracy judgement. What he said was true. It was always true. He was incapable of untruth ; never tampered with a fact ; never altered a disagreeable word to suit the pleasure or convenience of any mortal being, least of all his own children, who, sprung from his loins, should be aware from childhood that life is difficult ; facts uncompromising ; and the passage to that fabled land where our brightest hopes are exintguished, our frail barks founder in darkness (here Mr Ramsay would straighten his back and narrow his little blue eyes upon the horizon), one that needs, above all, courage, truth, and the power to endure."

Ce que j'admire, enfin qui m'épate le plus chez Woolf c'est cette capacité à faire vivre un livre uniquement en laissant se déployer, respirer, ses personnages. Très peu d'intrigue, un phare, un père de famille irritant, dans Mrs Dalloway une réception, Orlando juste l'histoire dynastique d'Angleterre. Elle les présente, les épanouit, nous met dans chacun d'eux, et les laisse tisser leurs fils, la trame se faisant peu à peu, par eux seuls.

"and all at once he realized that it was this : - she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen.
With stars in her eyes and veils in her hair, with cyclamen and wild violets - what nonsense was he thinking ? She was fifty at least ; she had eight children. Stepping through fields of flowers and taking to her breast buds that had broken and lams that had fallen ; with the stars in her eyes and the wind in her hair - He took her bag.

"good-bye, Elsie,' she said, and they walked up the street, she holding her parasol erect and walking as if she expected to meet someone round the corner, while for the first time in his life, Charles Tansley felt an extraordinary pride ; a man digging in a drain stopped digging and look at her ; Charles Tansley felt an extraordinary pride ; felt the wind and the cyclamen and the violets for he was walking with a beautiful woman for the first time in his life. He has hold of her bag.


'No going to the Lighthouse, James,', he said, as he stood by the window, speaking awkwardly, but trying in deference to Mrs Ramsay to soften his voice into some semblance of geniality at least.

Odious little man, thought Mrs Ramsay, why go on saying that ?"

"All these young men parodied her husband, she reflected ; he said it would have rain ; they said it would be a positive tornado."
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf.

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