“Recklessness” by Philippe Mezescaze and the terrible children in rue Rossini

In 2014, the story titled “Two Boys” resumed the author’s passion for one of his fellow students at La Rochelle high school. It was clearly named: Hervé Guibert, future great writer, whose work and destiny continue to nurture an intense focus on admiration.

“Recklessness” takes place right after the fracture …

In 2014, the story titled “Two Boys” resumed the author’s passion for one of his fellow students at La Rochelle high school. It was clearly named: Hervé Guibert, future great writer, whose work and destiny continue to nurture an intense focus on admiration.

“L’Insouciance” takes place right after the breakup with Guibert, around 1975. This time, the book qualifies as a novel. A young man of unparalleled beauty, with haughty pallor, blond as an evil angel who plans to write about his great-grandmothers, bound by a desperate friendship with an already famous actress, Isabelle Adjani: the reader will not know misled about the subject of this ” gone love “, which pushes the narrator to leave Paris, inspiring him to the burning desire for a new life, and encouraging him to accept the unexpected invitation from a gracious curator, director of the museums in Nice:” Come, think of this stay as a parenthesis, a holiday or the beginning of something else, a side road … “


Villa Masséna, one of the museums in Nice, whose narrator for a few months will share life, exhibitions and collections.

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His name was Milo

We say yes and we find ourselves in a small shady room in the Palais Masséna, where we share the life of a museum, its exhibitions, its collections (but it’s at the Chéret Museum, a Carolus-Duran and a Van Dongen fascinate), together with the lord of the place, ten years older, without any sexual ambiguity, establishing a relationship made of “complicity bordering on courtesy”. Without any ambiguity? The narrator is annoyed by the way his host presents him, seems flattered by the gossip, finds him a function à la Penelope Fillon, even dresses him for the boring official parties that the protagonist secretly leaves to flirt in Albert I- the parkeh.

There may also be comic moments in this neoclassical “madness” on the Promenade des Anglais. Passing Giscard, shows up on the balcony as the Queen of England, while Anne-Aymone worries: so many people are pushing against the railing. Will she suffer the fate of Marie-Antoinette in Versailles?

This novel is light and serious, all filled with a “brilliant melancholy” borrowed from the city of Nice

Two other places attract the narrator irresistibly. On the cornice, the villa Orlamonde, where Maeterlinck lived, at that time a desolate ruin that carried dreams, and at its feet some cliffs and a bay, Coco-Beach. We tan there naked, we meet people there. The introduction to the book is: “I remember this boy in Nice, his name was Milo. A regular on this beach whose luminous, enigmatic, benevolent and tragic figure haunts the story.

The “exquisite triad”

The narrator is a cat, an “expert on the run”, he has inherited a penchant for nomadism from his parents. In Villa Masséna, boredom gripped him. He meets Paulina, Georges and Gaspard, whom the curator quickly calls the “exquisite triad”. It’s a clan that’s so little padlocked that the newcomer joins the roommate without difficulty, and when Gaspard moves away, he joins 18 rue Rossini. They are gay, spoiled, funny, free, carefree. Sometimes cruel (they play an ugly trick on Mr. Oreille, a former pastry chef who looks like Dame Tartine, and humiliate the “wizards”, these two decent old gentlemen, provided with a Bentley and a driver who use, with young people of a kind of GHB before class). The triad is for our cat a happy adoptive family, where everyone comes and goes. Their pranks and ailments are often reminiscent of Cocteau’s terrible children.

This novel is light and serious, filled with a “brilliant melancholy” borrowed from the city of Nice. The most beautiful scene? The narrator’s grandmother transferred to him the taste for cemeteries. He walks, on the side of the castle hill, to the Jewish cemetery. There, a tomb, less discreet than the others. Two concrete cubes and three small photos. The face of a child, Sylvio, who died in the early 1930s, and two of his toys, a plane, a car. It’s a Panhard & Levassor. So this carefree young man who loves Malher’s “Kindertotenlieder” sings for the dead boy “At the door of the garage”. By taking care to scroll “r”, and to pronounce as Trained: “Pannard”.

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