Aki Shimazaki No-no-yuri
Actes Sud, 176 pp., € 16.50 (e-book: € 11.99).
Kyôko, a 35-year-old single woman living in Tokyo, has a lover. He’s married, which does not stop him from being jealous of Kyôko’s boss, an American who is also married: what if he seduces Kyôko? What if she gave in to his approaches? Without a word louder than the other, Japanese-born author Aki Shimazaki points to the narcissism of those who want butter and butter money. As usual, she imagines a plot caressed with a gentle perversity. The beautiful Kyôko is composed, cultured and free, but men occupy her thoughts a lot. One day, his boss is replaced by the attractive Mr. Green, divorced and “Japonofil”. He wants to go out with Kyôko, but he wants to separate private and work life. That’s his behavior in the office “from a very strict superior”. Kyoko is destabilized. Between “radish tsukemono”, the smell of miso and the things that have not been said, this novel is a gem and a bath in Japanese identity. VB-L.
Les Pérégrines “The Audacious”, 128 pp., € 18.
Sophia does not appear in the pictures or in the biographies about diva assoluta Maria Callas. As if she had not existed. Also in the twilight of her life and to recreate the truth, she tells a young musician about her relationship with the sublime soprano who was her best friend. Except that everything is invented and that the pseudo-narrator shamelessly feeds this parallel universe with undisguised cheers. In this very well-documented parody of reality, she takes Callas on a road trip, begs her, gives her a child, disguises her, mystifies her, turns her into a man and then makes her disappear. With a lot of love for this crooked Maria, Sophie Rabau (also a teacher-researcher) builds a new legend and distorts what may, after all, be just an invention. REACH
Anne Tyler Our tender atrocities
Translated from English (USA) by Cyrielle Ayakatsikas.
Phébus, 350 pp., € 21 (e-book: € 16.99).
Why are some families not united? Is it really necessary “a dark secret” for a sibling to spread? In 1959, the Garrett family goes on vacation for the first time, a week at the edge of a lake. The father succeeded his stepfather as the manager of the plumbing shop. Alice, the eldest daughter, has “the strange feeling of being older than his mother”, who spend more time painting than cooking. Lily, the other, is naughty. David, the cheerful and sensitive little brother, is only 7 years old. Later he will teach literature and theater. Anne Tyler follows them until 2014, with her usual skill, gradually adopting the views of each of Garrett’s over several generations. The novel opens in 2010. Lily’s daughter at the train station in Philadelphia is not sure she recognized her first cousin, David’s son. The original title is French Braid, “French braid”, because you do not completely get rid of your family, just as the hair retains waves once the braids are loosened. Cl.D.
Kwong-Shing Lau hong kong fallen city
Translated from Chinese (Hong Kong) by Bertrand Speller. Rue de l’Echiquier “BD”, 192 pp., € 24.90.
How far away that time seems and Hong Kong another planet. Demonstrations, slogans, shouts, tear gas flood the streets of the area to criticize the extradition law to China. It was spring 2019 and Hong Kong people marched in droves. In these new comics, which are as much a mobilization chronicle as a tale of anticipation of the coming incarceration, Kwong-Shing Lau tells of the slow locking and suffocation of freedoms in Hong Kong. The graphic designer who spent his childhood in Japan is projecting himself into an oppressive future in 2028, which in recent months has become a suffocating gift against the backdrop of sanitary inclusions. In a lively staging that alternates between tight portraits and wide shots, navigating between fiction and reality, this black and white story testifies that Hong Kong has ceased to be the acceptable showcase for the concept of “one country, two systems”. Beijing has got its will. OUCH
Souleymane Bachir Diagne
From language to language. The hospitality of the translation Albin Michel, 184 pages, € 17.90.
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, born in Senegal, professor of philosophy and French at Columbia University, is herself a “place” of translation, crossed by African, French and American cultures. In the very titles of his works, one reads more than his interests his diverse and mixed identities (which are discussed in his latest my bundle of memory, 2021): Time and development in sub-Saharan African thought, Islam and open society, philosophizing in Islam and Christianity, Postcolonial Bergson. The élan vital in the thought of Léopold Sédar Senior and Mohamed Iqbal, etc It was therefore expected that one day he would directly address the issue of “language of languages” itself, namely the translation. The work is from Jensen Memorial Lectures given in English by Souleymane Bachir Diagne at the Frobenius Institute at the University of Frankfurt. Without neglecting the factors that “frost” with dominance and hierarchy, which lowers peripheral languages by making “superpowers” central language, the philosopher praises translation, the extraordinary power it has “to create a relationship of equivalence, of reciprocity between identities, to make them appear, that is, to appear together on an equal footing, by ensuring that we speak and understand each other from language to language”. The translation is humanism. “The goal of the very work of translating, with the task of the translator, his ethics and his poetics, is to create reciprocity, an encounter in a common humanity.” RM