Since mid-July, on the airwaves of ICI Tou.tv Extra, we can follow Larry, a series of 10 episodes full of suspense by Stéphane Bourguignon. But that's not all. The writer and screenwriter also gives us his best reading suggestions here.
Is there a book that, more than any other, has meant a lot in your life?
Yes, Les valseuses by Bertrand Blier. It was this book that gave me permission to write my first novel. Written in “I”, it tells the story of two petty criminals who travel through France. The language is very simple, very colorful because the characters are people from the street. For me, it was a revelation to see that one could write using colloquial language. That was within my reach as a young man of 22.
So far, what have been your main literary favorites?
Here I would talk more about literary shocks, books that have marked me. And there have been a few over the years:
And what was your latest discovery?
The Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett, a British author. I found this book very special, even bizarre. It's a bit like a chronicle. There is not really any action, we are in the head of the author and we will follow her thoughts on her vegetable garden, on the circles of her stove, on her neighbors, etc. She often dwells on the little things in life, but with a deliciously original look. It's really very strange and you could almost say that it's badly written or that the author didn't know what she was doing! In any case, it looks like nothing else!
What are you reading right now?
Human, too human by Nietzsche. I came across this book by chance. While shopping on Apple's Books app, I noticed it was on sale for $1.99 so I figured it's time to read some Nietzsche! As these are short texts here, it is not too indigestible. But don't be in a hurry because it's a more leisurely read. You read a little and you meditate a little. And you fall asleep...
Can you now tell us about a novel that you were unable to put down from the first line to the last?
Fighting the why-why of Rébecca Déraspe. The “why-why” is an expression of the author which applies to the incessant questioning, to our mental spinage. This book brings together the texts she had written for Combat de mots on the program Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! If I understood correctly, she adapted them for the stage and that's what she made the book from. It's funny, it's desperate, it's feminist, it's written in a very lively language and it's never dull! I wasn't able to drop it until I was done.
We are curious: what novel would you have really liked to have written?
Any novel that would have made me independent of fortune and that would have allowed me to write what I want and always at my own pace!
To help us completely unplug during the holidays, what would be your best reading recommendations?
I thought of Stolen Doll by Elena Ferrante. It's about a woman on vacation on a beach who steals a little girl's doll. This is a fantastic, disturbing and hard to classify book that is beautifully written. After, we can see the film (with Olivia Colman) that Maggie Gyllenhaal shot.
I also thought of The World According to Garp or Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, an author I have read all my life. These two books take place by the sea and there is a lot of humor in them.
With which book would you like to end this interview?
With Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. It's not the best book in the world, but it's the only one I read regularly. It takes place in the 70s in New York, in a fairly well-to-do environment. A woman will have her hand bitten by the cat she is trying to tame and from there, her life as a couple will fall apart. It is about what appearances hide, the fractures that are there and that we do not always suspect. It's written in beautiful language and the story is set in a society that seems to be in disarray too.