mercredi 14 juillet 2010

John Irving, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, Ballantine Books, New York, 1998 [1978]

"Don't you want to know how I die?" Garp asked them.
They didn't say anything.
"I kill myself," Garp said, pleasantly. "In order to become fully established, that seems almost necessary. I mean it, really," Garp said. "In the present fashion, you'll agree this is one way of recognizing a writer's seriousness? Since the art of the writing doesn't always make the writer's seriousness apparent, it's sometimes necessary to reveal the depth of one's personal anguish by other means. Killing yourself seems to mean that you were serious after all. It's true," Garp said, but his sarcasm was unpleasant and Helen sighed; John Wolf stretched again. "And thereafter," Garp said, "much seriousness is suddenly revealed in the work - where it had escaped notice before."
Garp had often remarked, irritably, that this would be his final duty as a father and a provider - and he was fond of citing examples of the middling writers who were now adored and read with great avidity because of their suicides. Of those writer-suicides whom he, too - in some cases - truly admired, Garp only hoped that, at the moment the act was accomplished, at least some of them had known about this lucky aspect of their unhappy decision. He knew perfectly well that people who really killed themselves did not romanticize suicide in the least; they did not respect the "seriousness" that the act supposedly lent to their work - a nauseating habit of the book world, Garp thought. Among readers and reviewers.
(p. 466-467)

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