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With “La vengeance m’appartent”, by Marie NDiaye, doubt is allowed

Revenge is mine

by Marie NDiaye

Gallimard, 240 p., € 19.50

MBut who was Principal for her? ” Who is he, then, knocking on a misty January morning at the door of Mr.e Susane, so that the lawyer can defend his wife accused of infanticide on their three young children? What designs nourished this man of good family “Discreet, small, insignificant in face as well as in silhouette” and who nevertheless provokes in her a dazzling and dull burn?

→ CRITICAL. “Three pieces” by Marie NDiaye, dialogues of the deaf

“How to know, how to trust this exhilarating, hurtful, disturbing intuition that he had been the adolescent she had fallen in love with forever, in the past, in a house in Caudéran that she would have been unable to recognize today. hui? “

Exploring the heroine’s intimate demons

From the dark Me Susanna with a troubled memory, Marie NDiaye pursues inner demons and intimate battles. The imposing and charmless forty-something, “With proletarian origins” buried in the twists and turns of a stifling childhood, presents itself both protected today by the social armor that it once acquired and walled up by it – remaining “Me Susane ”, the lawyer, without her first name ever being mentioned.

Yet she carries on her broad shoulders the hopes of her parents’ ascension, even to disgust and sacrifice – “She was comforting them, thinking: When will you finally comfort me? Is it really loving me to forbid me, by the fact, to confide my insufficiencies to you? “

Around her, the witnesses of her dark journey: Marlyne the infanticide, “Monstrous heroine” dazed with loneliness and renunciation; Sharon, M’s housekeepere Susane “With such a fine, golden and throbbing neck”, object of all the solicitations of his boss; Rudy, with whom she lived a love without passion, and her little daughter Lila, the only flash of innocence in this little theater of shame and denial – “Me Susane, from the birth of Lila, had taken for her a sweet, melancholy and cheerful love »…

Silence and restraint

Marie NDiaye is a gifted person, writing with an implacable demand – first publication at 17, at Minuit, le Femina for Rosie Carpe, the Goncourt for Three powerful women, first woman to enter the repertoire of the Comédie-Française during her lifetime with Daddy must eat, in 2003…

“La Chef” by Marie NDiaye, at the writer’s table

Terrible and fascinating are her novels, by this freedom which she offers to the reader to carry her text in one direction or the other. It is on the shores of oddity and strangeness, where the human soul truly reveals itself, that it draws what upsets and what grabs: silences and restraint, from which hollow its About, slowly rising from the unspeakable and its decay.

It is because Marie NDiaye, who writes as she breathes, invites us in each of her texts, novels or theater, to keep us on the lookout. not to, never to come to terms with what is offered to us.

Frozen tale

Because this “Principal” object of his morbid passion, he delighted the heart of Mr.e Susane, over thirty years ago, where did he have it “Sacked” ? What repressed obsession, what outrage is it the name?

“Her dreams suggested that they knew more than she did, more and better, and that by submitting to their injunctions of vengeance she would enjoy a justice far superior to that of society with its doubts, its procrastination, that also of his awakened self which, doubting, procrastinating, made him forget any idea of ​​punishment towards the one who had perhaps been called Gilles Principaux. “

Revenge is mine is a frozen tale where objects come alive with the flame of their owners, where enchanted mansions and “Milky woods” bewitched attend the most terrible outrages, are sometimes accomplices – “The house knows everything and forgets nothing”. Where evil lodges, sacrificed children disappear – Me Susane once, the Principals today. And Lila, perhaps, whose Me Susane feels in her neck “A strange smell – something sour, scared Only the adults in the grip of their demons stand on the threshold.


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