Princess Casamassima, by Henry James, translated from English by François-René Daillie reviewed by Annick Duperray. Edition of Annick Duperray. Gallimard, “Folio Classique”, 928 pp., € 11.40.
It was on his walks in London that Henry James, born American in 1843 and died English in 1916, must to have written Princess Casamassima published in 1886, political and popular novel. An exceptional theme in James’ work. The hero is not the princess who is worth his title to the novel but a character that the reader discovers first as a little boy and who is “The bastard of a prostitute”, prostitute also kills.
An Algerian memory, of Benjamin Stora, Laffont “Bouquins”, 1088 pp., 32 €.
Benjamin Stora, born in Constantine in 1950, talks about the great chapters of his life and his commitments on the left, punctuated by fighting and disillusionment. The historian has devoted a large part of his career to the study of this country which saw it born sixty-nine years ago, and “An Algerian memory” includes six of his books, notably the very beautiful Les Clés found who tells of her childhood in Constantine.
Monotobio, by Eric Chevillard, Midnight, 176 pp., 17 €. Ebook: € 11.99.
How to talk about yourself without seeming to talk about yourself? How do you do it by pretending to talk about something else? In other words: how to create an autobiography where the form puts autobiography at a distance, where egotism is subject to the shady oversight of man and to the directed imagination of language? After Bardadrac by Gérard Genette, published in Le Seuil almost fifteen years ago, Eric Chevillard writes one of the most original companies of a kind which, unlike hypermarkets, is not in danger of shortage.
Elmet of Fiona Mozley, Translated from English by Laetitia Devaux. Joëlle Losfeld, 240 pp., € 19. Ebook: € 13.99.
John Smythe came to live with his children, Cathy and Daniel, in their mother’s native region of Yorkshire. They lead an ascetic life in a small house built with their hands between the edge of the forest and the rails of the London-Edinburgh train. They live on the fringes of the law by hunting for food and receiving lessons from a neighbor for education. From elegiac the novel becomes political: we must fight against the boss who owns the land, the houses, enslaves the employees, drives out the impecunious tenants, meddles with the fate of our heroes.
Sacred Witches, by Roald Dahl, adapted by Pénélope Bagieu, Gallimard Jeunesse, 304 pp., € 23.90. Ebook: € 16.99.
Sacrea witches by Roald Dahl has terrified decades of young readers since its release in 1983. The story of an orphan who lives with his grandmother when he is faced with a plan to destroy children by witches. The novel was part of the personal mythology of Pénélope Bagieu who revisits this cruel tale by modernizing it with a lively stroke.
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