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(en) France, UCL AL #318 - Culture, Read: Impossible (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 16 Aug 2021 09:38:36 +0300

Mountain accident or settling of scores between former comrades in the fight ? Erri de Luca explores the memory of an era. ---- Erri de Luca had several lives. As a child, he experienced poverty in the popular district of Montedidio in Naples. He participated in the Italian rampant mai ( il longo mai ) from 1968 and joined in 1969 Lotta Continua, one of the main organizations of workers' autonomy, of which he was responsible for the service of order. He campaigned there until its dissolution in 1977. A worker at Fiat, then in various companies for fifteen years, he fled for a time the repression of the Italian state by taking refuge in France. We find him driver of a humanitarian convoy during the war in Bosnia or more recently alongside opponents of the Lyon-Turin high-speed line. He is also one of those who speak out in favor of migrants who seek to cross the Mediterranean and many of whom die in the name of a racist reason of state far removed from the supposedly universalist ideals of the governments of the European Union. .

But that's not all, to our greatest happiness, Erri de Luca has been writing articles, poems, short stories and novels for some thirty years. He is also a translator and mountaineer. Impossible is his last novel published in French. It was published last fall and constitutes a good entry into his work and his multidimensional universe.

A man is questioned by a judge. The latter suspects him of having pushed into the void another man whom he would have met on a steep path in the Dolomites. He puts him in custody because he does not believe in a simple coincidence of two men taking a mountain path without meeting or in the thesis of the accident. The judge bases his firm conviction on the fact that the two men knew each other forty years earlier. They were then militating in the same revolutionary organization and the deceased had a past of " repentant ", that is to say of a collaborator of justice who gave names and made plunge many of his comrades, including the suspect. , in order to obtain a reduction of the sentence.

For the former revolutionary activist, the experience of the mountains is one of distancing himself from the world and its turbulence, but he sees himself caught up in the past by " the generation most sued in the history of" Italy " .

The power of words
From there, two truths clash, that of a judge who must find a culprit and that of a man who has not renounced his convictions and is fighting so as not to be crushed by the judicial machine. For this, the latter draws on his resources, his formidable ability to adapt and the ethics that forged his political and social ideal, making us think at times of the experience of Victor Serge ( What every revolutionary should know repression and especially his novel Les Hommes dans la prison ).

Impossible is a poetic, philosophical and political novel. It is about justice, about freedom - that which writing provides. In this, this work reveals the power of literature which thwarts the traps of rhetoric and the falsification of words used and abused by the powerful.

We read there the melancholy evocation of the hope of a revolution and of a generation broken by a supposedly democratic state at the same time as a remedy for melancholy.

We can also see there an exercise of admiration through a praise of the useless which is that of the beauty of the mountain. The mountain fascinates because it is unpredictable and it reveals to whoever wants to hear it the awareness of limits.

For all these reasons, don't hesitate to dive into Impossible .

Erri de Luca, Impossible , translated from Italian by Danièle Valin, Gallimard, 2021, 242 pages, 16.50 euros
Laurent Esquerre (UCL Aveyron)

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