mercredi 21 juillet 2010
Siri Hustvedt, THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN, New York, Henry Holt, 2008
Inga met Max when she was a graduate student in philosophy at Columbia. He gave a reading at the university, and my sister was sitting in the front row. Inga was a twenty-five-year-old blond beauty, brilliant, fierce, and aware of her seductive power. She held Max Blaustein's fifth novel in her lap and listened intently to every word of his reading. When he was finished, she asked him a long complicated question about his narrative structures, which he did his best to answer, and then, when she laid her book on the table to have it signed, he wrote on the title page, "I surrender. Don't leave." In 1981, Max was forty-seven years old and had been married twice. He not only had a reputation as a major writer but was also known as a profligate seducer of young women, a carousing wild man who drank too much, smoked too much, and was, all in all, too much, and Inga knew it. She didn't leave. She stayed. She stayed until he died of stomach cancer in 1998 when he was sixty-four.