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Description de l’éditeur
One of the final novellas by the acclaimed French writer Jean Giono, Ennemonde is a fierce and jubilant portrait of a life intensely lived
Ennemonde Girard: Obese. Toothless. Razor-sharp. Loving mother and murderous wife: a character like none other in literature. In telling us Ennemonde’s astounding story of undetected crimes, Jean Giono immerses us in the perverse and often lurid lifeways of the people of the High Country, where vengeance is an art form, hearts are superfluous, and only boldness and cunning such as Ennemonde’s can win the day. A gleeful, broad sardonic grin of a novel.
"Roads move cautiously around the High Country..." So begins the story of Ennemonde, but also of her sons, daughters, neighbors, lovers, and enemies, and especially of the mountains that stand guard behind their home in the Camargue. This is a place of stark and terrifying beauty, where violence strikes suddenly, whether from the hand of a neighbor or from the sky itself.
Giono captures every wrinkle, glare, and glance with wry delight, celebrating the uniquely tough people whose eyes sparkle with the cruel majesty of the landscape. Full of delectable detours and startling insights, Ennemonde will take you by the hand for an unforgettable tour of this master novelist's singular world.
Giono (Colline) offers a steady flow of rich imagery and biographical tidbits about the denizens of a mountainous region of southwestern France in this sensual pastoral. The unnamed narrator unleashes what he's gleaned from local gossip in a stream of profuse descriptive paragraphs. The characters often feel like a manifestation of the rugged land they inhabit: the farm girl Ennemonde, for instance, born near the turn of the 20th century, possesses "a fruitlike beauty." She has an idyllic courtship with Honore Girard, who carts wood to factories, but after their wedding, he turns abusive. She devotes herself to her many children, and after Honore is killed by a kick from a mule, Ennemonde experiences a surprising renaissance in the years between the wars. There's also hard-drinking innkeeper Camille and her faithful attendant Long Titus (the son of Armless Titus); Cousin Joseph, who made a fortune in Algeria; Ennemonde's many children; and others. Giono (1895 1970) achieves an engaging and worldly narration, which grounds the reader in this juicy web of anecdotes. Despite a broad canvas, it feels of a piece and will sustain the reader through a single sitting.