mercredi 21 juillet 2010
Siri Hustvedt, THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN, New York, Henry Holt, 2008
"There were two Maxes," Inga likes to say, "My Max and the one out there - the literary commodity: Mr Genius." Writers come in every form, but Max Blaustein represented some idealized cultural notion of the dashing novelist. He was handsome, but not in an ordinary way. He had gaunt, delicate features, a full head of hair that had turned to an even white early, and signature wire-rimmed spectacles that Inga thought made him look like a Russian nihilist. The Max Blaustein out there, the author of fifteen novels, four screenplays, and a book of essays had inspired devotion and fanaticism in his readres and, from time to time, all-out hysteria. At a reading in London in 1995, the author was nearly trampled to death by a hopped-up crowd that surged forward to get close to the idol. The memorial service had brought out hundreds of weeping fans, people who despite their demonstrated sorrow, pushed and shoved one another as they pressed into the hall. "He inspired adoration," Inga said, "that sometimes bordered on sickness. He always seemed bewildered by it, but I think his stories scraped on some darkness in people. I'm not sure anybody could or can explain it, Max least of all, but sometimes it frightened me - what was in him."