A journalist takes on a double professional mission: a paper on the closing of a marble factory of funeral monuments in Saint-Maurice-des-Carrières, his native village, and an article on a circus camped out in Brémondville. These reports are gradually invaded by fiction, by the illusions of childhood, dreams, entertainment, drugs, and death.
« A muffled siren, followed by a flash: Guy used his electronic flash to photograph Antoine standing on a chair, hand in his shirt, like Napoleon, declaiming:
- Glory, gentlemen. The only path still open to reach divinity.
From across the room, Robert replied:
- Our image will float everywhere, made with electrons, paper, ink, sound vibrations... We will not be immortal but innumerable.
- Present in gaseous, liquid, and solid states.
Mitka screamed like a teenager in front of her favorite singers.
- What do you think about free love, drugs, the war Yemen?
- Unfortunately, » said Antoine, jumping down from his chair, «we are dreaming, my friends. The Campana twins are no more famous than James the Magician, with whom they perform every night.
He paced the room, stamping his heel on the floor. Then he stopped and crossed his arms.
- Who makes fame overnight, like tailors make a jacket?
He pointed at me.
- No one will deny the unlimited powers of this man. He can pull us out of nothing, make us into characters that are unsympathetic, repulsive, or so lovable and worthy of compassion that grandmothers will hang our portrait above their beds.
Guy and Mitka applauded.
- But to interest the public in our insignificant persons, » Antoine continued, «Monsieur Mercier must make us the heroes of an exciting story. Dare I suggest this one? Chapter One: Robert becomes engaged to Mitka, a well-known model in Montreal.
Arm in arm the couple walked to me, humming a wedding song.
- But bandits kidnap Mitka at her exit of a discotheque. Subsequent despair of Robert.
The latter sobbed on Guy's shoulder.
- I can already see the front page of your newspaper, Mr. Mercier: «Robert Campana confesses: Since my fiancée was kidnapped, I feel like committing suicide. «And a week later, Mitka is found in a village in the Laurentians. To the questions of the police officers, she answers...
A hand on her forehead, her legs faltering, she said in a little girl's voice: »
« - I don't know anything. I was locked up in a cottage for a week. Then they blindfolded me and drove me here to free me.
Mitka and the twins bowed to me, like actors greeting the audience. Their cheeks were flushed, and their eyes were bright. »
Reviews: "Pierre Turgeon's second novel, One, Two, Three is a pivotal book that liquidates the introspective slope of the autobiographical narrative to lead to the phantasmagoria of the contemporary world. The rhythm of the narration is justified in the dizzying melee of a series of split figures: The world is governed by autonomous nightmares." Réjean Beaudouin - Livres d'Ici - "Pierre Turgeon's work remains, here, singular: it must be approached almost without habit, a little like a non-figurative poem. These pages have the indefinable intensity of those of an André Pieyre de Mandiargues". Réginald Martel - La Presse