samedi 8 septembre 2012


Impossible de sortir indemne de la lecture de Blonde ... On est littéralement happé par ce chef d'oeuvre de la littérature contemporaine dès les premiers chapitres ... 1000 pages ... Oui ... Certes ... Mais que l'on tourne sans vraiment s'en rendre compte ! Le récit, maitrisé de bout en bout, est intense, haletant, dense, touffu et impeccablement écrit. Entre fiction et réalité (ce qui peut en déranger certains), on revisite le mythe Marilyn, de sa plus tendre enfance à sa mort. Oates a le sens du détail ... Un soupir, un battement de cil, une émotion ... Mais aussi de la formule et du rythme ... Elle ne laisse rien au hasard ! L'auteur réussit de manière tout à fait incroyable à nous faire rentrer à la fois dans la peau de Norma Jean Baker, femme blessée, torturée et expkoitée par les hommes et dans celle de son alter ego : la toujours souriante et glamour MM. Elle décortique ces deux personnages, mettant à jour toute l'humanité et la complexité d'une femme trop souvent réduite à un fantasme, une image figée. Un livre qui hante encore longtemps après l'avoir refermé ... Difficile désormais de regarder les photos de Marilyn avec le même oeil qu'auparavant !

Le premier chapitre le plus génial que j'ai pu lire : 

There came Death hurtling along the Boulevard in waning sepia light.
There came Death unerring. Death not to be dissuaded. Death-in-a-hurry. Death furiously pedaling. Death carrying a package marked *SPECIAL DELIVERY HANDLE WITH CARE* in a sturdy wire basket behind his seat.

There came Death expertly threading his nose at middle-aged horn honkers. Death laughing Screw you, buddy! And you. Like Bugs Bunny flying past the gleaming glittering hulks of expensive new-model automobiles.

There came Death undeterred by the smoggy spent air of Los Angeles. By the warm radioactive air of southern California where Death had been born.

Yes, I saw Death. I'd dreamt of Death the night before. Many nights before. I was not afraid.

There came Death so matter-of-fact. There came Death hunched over rust-stippled handlebars of a clumsy but stolid bicycle. There came Death in a Cal Tech T-shirt, laundered but unironed khaki shorts, sneakers, and no socks. Death with muscled calves, dark-haired legs. A curvy knuckle-bone spine. Adolescent bumps and blemishes on his face. Death nerved up, brain-dazzled by sunshine flashing like scimitars off windshields, chrome.

More horn honking in Death's flamboyant wake. Death with a spiky crew cut. Death chewing gum.

Death so routine, five days a week, plus Saturdays and Sundays for a higher fee. Hollywood Messenger Service. Death hand-delivering his special packages.

There came Death unexpectedly into Brentwood! Death flying along the narrow residential streets of Brentwood near-deserted in August. Here in Brentwood the touching futility of meticulously tended "grounds" past which Death pedals briskly. And routinely. Alta Vista, Campo, Jacumba, Brideman, Los Olivos. To Fifth Helena Drive, a dead-end street. Palm trees, bougainvillea, red climber roses. A smell of rotting blossoms. A smell of sun- scorched grass. Walled gardens, wisteria. Circular driveways. Windows with blinds drawn tight against the sun.

Death bearing a gift with no return address for

Now on Fifth Helena, Death was pedaling more slowly. Death was squinting at street numbers. Death hadn't given the package so strangely addressed a second glance. So strangely gift-wrapped in candy-cane-striped tinsel paper with a look of having been used before. Adorned with a ready-made white satin bow affixed to the box by transparent adhesive tape.

It was a package measuring eight inches by eight inches by ten. Weighing only a few ounces, as if empty? Stuffed with tissue paper?

No. If you shook it, you could tell there was something inside. A soft-edged object made of fabric, perhaps.

There came, in the early evening of August 3, 1962, Death ringing the doorbell at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive. Death wiping his sweaty forehead with his baseball cap. Death chewing gum rapidly, impatiently. Hearing no footsteps inside. And he can't leave the goddam package on the doorstep, has to get a signature. Hearing just the vibratory hum of a window air-conditioning unit. Maybe a radio inside? This is a small Spanish-style house, a "hacienda," just one floor. Fake adobe walls, glaring orange tile roof, windows with drawn venetian blinds, and a look of grayish dust. Cramped and miniature like a dollhouse, nothing special for Brentwood. Death rang the doorbell a second time, pressing hard. And this time, the door was opened.

From Death’s hand I accepted the gift. I knew what it was. I think. Who it was from. Seeing the name and address I laughed and signed without hesitation.

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