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Auteurs primés

Meelis Friedenthal, Estonie

A propos de l'auteur:

L’écrivain estonien Meelis Friedenthal (né en 1973) est l’auteur d’une thèse de doctorat à l’université de Tartu sur un traité philosophico-théologique du 13e siècle consacré à la vue et à la vision. Friedenthal a enseigné à la faculté de théologie et d’histoire et est actuellement chercheur principal à la bibliothèque de l’université de Tartu.

Il a acquis une réputation d’auteur de fiction spéculative. Son premier roman, L’Âge d’or, traite du rôle de l’histoire dans le façonnement de notre identité et a fini troisième lors d’un concours littéraire national en 2004. L’année suivante, ‘Nerissa’ a remporté un prix estonien de science-fiction. Friedenthal est également membre du comité de rédaction du webzine Algernon, qui publie des récits de science-fiction, des actualités et des articles. Il a également écrit une postface approfondie sur le contexte historique des événements décrits dans le roman.

Editeur:

AS VARRAK
Pärnu mnt 67a, 7. korrus
Tallinn 10134 - Estonia
varrak@varrak.ee
Krista Kaer: krista@varrak.ee
Tel +372 2 6161 038
Fax +372 2 6161 030

Droits étrangers:

Droits vendus :

Livre primé:

Mesilased (The Bees)

Synopsis:

Friedenthal décrit les aventures de Laurentius Hylas, un étudiant qui quitte l’université de Leiden pour se rendre à l’académie Gustavo-Carolina de Tartu, en Livonie.

Laurentius arrive en Estonie quelques années avant la fin du 17e siècle, accompagné de son perroquet Clodia. Le tempérament sanguin du perroquet est censé aider à contrer la mélancolie dont souffre Laurentius. Tartu est réputée pour ses muses, mais Laurentius ne voit que des gens affamés derrière les portes de la ville, et des maisons humides. Sa mélancolie empire et il commence à craindre de voir ressurgir les fantômes qui le hantent depuis son enfance.

Tout ce qu’il avale a un goût de boue et de putréfaction, et il se sent faiblir de jour en jour. Il tente de trouver un quelconque remède à sa maladie mais ne parvient qu’à éveiller des soupçons de sorcellerie. Il a le sentiment que ces soupçons sont fondés, car il se croit porteur du mauvais œil. En effet, toute personne qui le regarde dans les yeux tombe malade ou est victime d’un accident.

Laurentius entend un professeur parler des théories médicales de Boyle et subit sur son conseil une saignée censée le guérir. Hélas, l’intervention n’a pas l’effet escompté et Laurentius perd connaissance. Dans les brumes de son évanouissement, il aperçoit une fille aux “yeux tels de l’or, tels du miel foncé, au souffle vrombissant”. Elle fait des apparitions nocturnes et Laurentius commence à découvrir une série d’événements étranges tout autour de lui. Il ne sait pas trop bien s’il s’agit là de phénomènes naturels ou surnaturels, étant donné que les théories philosophiques dont il est adepte offrent les deux possibilités.

Extrait:

Translated by Adam Cullen

It rained all the time. Rain had rotted the crops on the fields, had covered the wooden walls of the buildings with mold, had made ships' deck boards as sopping as seaweed. For already several months' time, Laurentius had been eating rotten bread, had been living in mildewed buildings, and in the last week, had also been sliding across the soggy deck of a ship. Black bile collected within him like sludge atop a stake driven into a riverbed. Now, he finally stepped from the lurching boat onto the harbor dock, onto the slippery boards nailed onto logs that were rammed into the mud beneath the water, and peered hesitatingly at his surroundings. The wind flung drizzle into his face in bursts from the low sky, and he strove to understand what sort of land it was, to which he had arrived by his own free choice. The bare, white sand and lone patches of reeds along the strip of shore, as well as the identical gray clouds very much resembled the harbor, from which he had set off. The mast of the post ship looked just the same against the gray sky, and the sheets that had been raised on it appeared just as gray and featureless as they had when he cast off. Next to the pier, which extended far out into the sea, a jetty buried halfway beneath the muddy water could be seen, and on top of it was an old watchman's house crouched down in the water, which no one had apparently used for already quite some time. These ruins could be found in every harbor, and despite their pitiful appearance, such an image rather instilled a sense of confidence in Laurentius for some reason. Here as well, the harbors had been rebuilt; here as well, they had been enlarged for new ships to dock, and the old watchmen's houses had been abandoned.
He sighed, and nervously adjusted the cover over the cage dripping with rainwater.
He had not been required to make all that much of an effort in bringing his paraphernalia along—one chest hammered together from oak planks fit what he had deemed necessary for bringing with him to school entirely. It was sent to customs together with the goods carried in the ship's hold, and he would apparently only receive it that evening. The ship's cargo—even its passengers' personal baggage—was looked through carefully, and anything at all that could be subject to a tax was written down. There was actually no real worry about that—Laurentius had nothing of great value in the chest; every one of his few personal books was also officially permitted, and he had taken along only the bare minimum of medicines. What posed a difficulty was actually the cage containing a rose-ringed parakeet.

Plus d'informations sur l'auteur avec extrait en v.o. et EN ou FR (PDF)

Autres travaux:

Kuldne aeg (Golden Age)

Tuum, 2005