Gaddis (1): Citations

Ces citations ouvrent une longue liste de messages consacrés à William Gaddis. Vous trouverez d’ici peu un article sur son premier roman (1955), « Les Reconnaissances » . Suivront d’autres extraits, d’autres critiques, d’autres résumés sur le reste de l’œuvre du grand écrivain américain. Se lancer dans un de ses romans demande parfois un certain courage, c’est pourquoi entre les périodes qui lui seront consacrées, vous trouverez un petit bruit de fond, des distractions : mes autres lectures, les moments où je me repose un peu l’esprit, loin du bouillonnement qu’induit un livre à la sauce Gaddis.

« The women who admonish us for our weakness are usually those surprised when we show our strength and leave them. » (p. 151)

“Today, at any rate, most of what we call genius around us is simply warped talent.” (p. 229)

“Originality is a device that untalented people use to impress other untalented people, and protect themselves from talented people.” (p.252)

“(…) the educated classes, an ill-dressed, underfed, overdrunken group of squatters with minds so highly developed that they were excused from good manners, tastes so refined in one direction that they were excused for having none in any other, emotions so cultivated that the only aberration was normality, all afloat here on sodden pools of depravity calculated only to manifest the pricelessness of what they were throwing away, the three sexes in two colors, a group of people all mentally and physically the wrong size.” (p. 305)

“Nobody resents you more than somebody who’s loved you” (p. 462)

“You’re the only serious person in the room, aren’t you, the only one who understands, and you can prove it by the fact that you’ve never finished a single thing in your life. You’re the only well-educated person, because you never went to college, and you resent education, you resent social ease, you resent good manners, you resent success, you resent any kind of success, you resent God, you resent Christ, you resent thousand-dollar bills, you resent Christmas, by God, you resent happiness, you resent happiness itself, because none of that’s real. What is real, then? Nothing’s real to you that isn’t part of your own past, real life, a swamp of failures, of social, sexual, financial, personal, ….spiritual failure. Real life. You poor bastard. You don’t know what real life is, you’ve never been near it. All you have is a thousand intellectualized ideas about life. But life?” (p.602-603)

“How you would have done it. Not how it should have been done, but how you would have done it. When you criticize a book, that’s the way you work, isn’t it. How you would have done it, because you didn’t do it, because you’re still afraid to admit that you can’t do it yourself.” (p.603)

“- Why do they get excited about the ruins in Rome here? Berlin is just as good now.
- You can always see an ancient city better when it’s been bombed.” (p. 909)

“(…) the French were still taken at their own evaluation. They were still regarded as the most sensitive connoisseurs of alcohol. Barbaric Americans, the barbaric English, drank to get drunk; but the French, with cultivated tastes and civilized sensibilities, drank down six billion bottles of wine that year merely to reward their refined palates: so refined, that a vast government subsidy, and a lobby capable of overthrowing cabinets, guaranteed one drink-shop for every ninety inhabitants; so cultivated, that ten per cent of the family budget went in it, the taste initiated before a child could walk, and death at nineteen months of D.T.s (cockeyed on Pernod) incidental; so civilized that one of every twenty-five dead Frenchmen had made the last leap through alcoholism.” (p. 943)

William Gaddis, The Recognitions, Atlantic Books, £10.99


0 commentaires:

Clicky Web Analytics