Admiration: l’auteur britannique Neil Gaiman est une des meilleures choses qui soit arrivé à l’art de raconter des histoires en général et à la fantasy en particulier, ces dernières années. And guess what? Il tient un weblog! Absolument passionnant et délicieux. Vraiment, j’adore ce mec.

Une petite citation, pour le plaisir:

I love looking at stage magic, reading about it, thinking about it,mostly because all the things I think about magic and magicians are applicable to writing, to genre, to comics, to prose and to film. It’s about thinking outside the box, and about craft, and about skill, and about the willingness to surprise yourself and, maybe, sometimes, to make miracles. Because even lousy miracles are still miracles.

Un autre grand monsieur parmi les tellers of tales modernes, c’est l’écrivain canadien Charles de Lint. Citation aussi, un sage « coup de pied de l’âne » en direction de certains intégristes sci-fi — justement tiré d’une chronique de Charles de Lint à propos de Neil Gaiman:

Fantasy, though older, is often considered to be the mentally-disadvantaged younger sibling of science fiction which prides itself on being “the fiction of ideas.” But let’s face it, new ideas are far and few between in any sort of fiction these days. The thing that’s important is what the author does with an idea.

Tant Gaiman que De Lint écrivent une forme de « fiction magique » qui me séduit tout particulièrement… C’est, au sein de la littérature contemporaine, une des « pratiques » les plus fructueuses, in my opinion. Selon les propres mots de Charles de Lint:

The best definition I can come up with for my writing was in a review that described it fantasy for people who don’t normally read fantasy. I’ve taken to calling my writing « mythic fiction, » because it’s basically mainstream writing that incorporates elements of myth and folktale, rather than secondary world fantasy. I’ve written the latter, to be sure, but an overall view of my work will show that such stories are very much the exception, rather than the rule.

Pour revenir à Gaiman, voilà quelqu’un qui ne cesse de me surprendre, de me séduire…

Je vous recommande, par exemple, une interview qui vient de sortir sur le web. J’aime particulièrement ses propos quant au fait de savoir quelle est son oeuvre la plus importante pour l’instant… Longue citation:

1930. Probably the most prominent English essayist was A.A. Milne. The editor of Punch, famed for his comedic essays and a man with several plays running in the West End concurrently. A man who had bestselling books with titles like The Daily Round and hilarious collections of essays and sketches. One of the funniest writers of his generation and an accomplished playwright. I did an Amazon search several months ago just out of interest to see just what of his was actually in print. And it listed 700 books: all of which, as I went down page after page, were variant editions of the two Winnie the Pooh books and the two books of comic verse for children that he wrote. And that’s all that we have left of A.A. Milne (…).

Actually, that’s not true: there’s one other thing we remember him for. His attempt to revive something forgotten which, again, worked brilliantly. To the point now where we didn’t even know that it ever was forgotten. (…) if Milne had not been a huge fan of this one book, there is no particular reason to think that The Wind in the Willows would have gone on to become the classic that it is.

It’s quite possible that in 100 years time, people will say: You know that guy who wrote the book The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish? He did all this other stuff too? And people will say: No.

J’adore aussi cette phrase — ô combien vraie:

Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: they like being solitary together.

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