dimanche 5 septembre 2010

Philip Roth, THE GHOST WRITER, Londres, Vintage, 2005 [1979]

"Oh, she thinks otherwise. Of course she does. I've seen her fondling each sheet of each draft of each story. She thinks with her it will all be the religion of art up here. Oh, will it ever! Let her try to please you, Manny! Let her serve as the backdrop for your thoughts for thirty-five years. Let her see how noble and heroic you are by the twenty-seventh draft. Let her cook your wonderful meals and light candles for your dinner. Let her get everything ready to make you happy and then see the look on your stone face when you come in at night and sit down at the table. A surprise for dinner? Oh, my dear girl, that is merely his due for a miserable day of bad writing. That gets no rise out of him. And candles in the old pewter holders? Candles, after all these years? How poignant of her, he thinks, how vulgar, what a wistful souvenir of yesterday's tearooms. Yes, have her run hot baths for your poor back twice a day, and then go a week withour being talked to - let alone being touched in bed. Ask him in bed, 'What is it, dear, what's the matter?' But of course you know all too well what the matter is - you know why he won't hold you, why he doesn't even know you're there. The fiftieth draft!"
"That is enough," said Lonoff. "Quite thorough, very accurate, and enough."
"Fondling those papers of yours! Oh, she'll see! I got fondled more by strangers on the rush-hour subway during two months in 1935 than I have up here in the last twenty years! Take off your coat, Amy - you're staying. The classroom daydream has come true! You get the creative writer - and I get to go!"
"She's not staying," Lonoff said, softly again. "You're staying."
"Not for thirty-five more years of this!"
"Oh, Hopie." He put a hand out to her face, where the tears were still falling.
"I'm going to Boston! I'm going to Europe! It's too late to touch me now! I'm taking a trip around the world and never coming back! And you," she said, looking down at Amy in her chair, "you won't go anywhere. You won't see anything. If you ever go out to dinner, if once in six months you get him to accept an invitation to somebody's home, then it'll be even worse - then for the hour before you go your life will be misery from his kvetching about what it's going to be like when people start in with their ideas. If you dare to change the pepper mill, he'll ask what's the matter, what was wrong with the old one? It takes three months for him just to get used to a new brand of soap. Change the soap and he goes around the house sniffing, as though something dead is on the bathroom sink instead of just a bar of Palmolive. Nothing can be touched, nothing can be changed, everybody must be quiet, the children must shut up, their friends must stay away until four - There is his religion of art, my young successor: rejecting life! Not living is what he makes his beatiful fiction out of! And you will now be the person he is not living with!"
(p. 173-175)

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