Margarita or all fields of prospects

Marguerite Yourcenar was a feminist, however you’ll by no means see her burn her bra in an illustration. She was the primary lady admitted to the Académie française by way of the efforts of Jean d’Ormesson, however nearly by no means set foot there once more after her efficiency. reception. If we neglect that she is of Belgian origin, it’s as a result of she was at the start a citizen of the world. And what about her concern for the surroundings, which she as soon as shared with a couple of hippies … and some scientists who have been already sounding the alarm concerning the degradation of our planet.

His life and work would quickly give delivery to an opera, a four-handed libretto by Marie-Claire Blé and Helene Dorion, to music by Eric Champagne.

Yourcenar. ardour islandwill current a number of passions of the author, two of that are crucial. Their title is Grace Frick, first his translator, then quickly his spouse, but in addition the custodian of his work, and later Jerry Wilson, his sweetheart of current years, who died of AIDS in 1986, after which mercilessly.

This romantic trajectory, stretching from the Nineteen Thirties to the Eighties, in itself proves this lady’s nice style for freedom, first instilled by her father, an everlasting nomad, wealthy and joyful widower after the demise of her mom Margarita shortly after the delivery of the latter. and who was not offended in any respect by his daughter’s first novel, Alexis, or A Treatise on the Futile Battlewhich offers with the difficulty of male homosexuality in 1929.

Nonetheless, whoever needs to, don’t enter into his plentiful work, passing from poetry to theater and from check to translation (Virginia Woolf, Henry James). One who studied Latin and Greek and discovered English in London confirmed unsurpassed information. Simply learn Reminiscences of Adrian (1951) and others. Soiled work (1968) to see the good artwork of Yourcenar, two essential novels, particularly when it comes to reconstructing the considered the good figures of the previous.

Rethinking historical past

Jean-Francois Chasse and Robert Lalonde keep in mind properly their first contact with Marguerite Yourcenar. “I attempted to learn it on the age of 20, however at that age it’s unattainable,” says the primary author and professor of literature at UQAM. “In 1971, whereas on a cruise in Greece, I stop Soiled work there’s a lot overboard that I discovered it twisted and complex! recollects the second, the writer of a number of novels and an actor. Just a few years later, a second try proved appropriate for them.

Any literary work consists of a mix of visions, reminiscences of actions, concepts about data obtained throughout a lifetime by phrase or books, and scrapings of 1’s personal existence.

AT In the event that they instructed me the science. literary students (Éditions du Seuil, 2009), Jean-Francois Chasset returned to Yourcenar, dedicating a chapter to Giordano Bruno, a Renaissance scientist and thinker who is alleged to have impressed Zeno, an alchemist at coronary heart Soiled work. “Zeno continues to be a collage of various thinkers of the Renaissance, from Leonardo da Vinci to Tommaso Campanella,” Chasse clarifies, “and this e book, like Reminiscences of Adrian not historic novels, however fictions based mostly on Historical past aren’t the identical factor. Yourcenar comes from the probabilities of Historical past to attempt to make sense of it. Even when it gives a purely subjective perspective, it’s all the time backed up by spectacular documentation and, after all, nice tradition.

An remark held by Robert Lalonde, however this evaluation was not all the time shared throughout Marguerite Yourcenar’s lifetime. “Early in her profession, she was described as an instructional type author who writes historic novels. This was already the primary misunderstanding when she used Emperor Hadrian, for instance, as a way to say something about life, ”says the writer This coronary heart is the final to die. And, like several good author, she was in a position to depend on her creativeness, drawing inspiration from actuality, admitting, for instance, that an opportunity assembly in Quebec throughout a lecture tour in 1957 impressed her partly. darkish man (1981).

This confession Robert Lalonde, in flip, utilized in walled backyards (Boréal, 2002), recounting this journey wherein Marguerite and Grace uncover the Quebec of the Nice Darkness, but in addition revealing the grey areas of their couple. Thus, between biographical components and literary freedoms, the writer reconnects with what he believes he has already encountered up to now. “It’s an impression, however the dates are the identical: my cousin and I have been promoting lemonade close to the railroad in the direction of Ottawa, and I do not forget that a French lady, accompanied by an American lady, purchased us a drink on the pier. It impressed me so much. »

Nice simplicity

He isn’t the one one who has been deeply impressed by Marguerite Yourcenar. In 1975 as a part of the present lady of at the moment aired on Radio-Canada tv, actress Françoise Fauchet was doing nice interviews on the time, and it was by likelihood in {a magazine} article L’Specific on the time of launch pious reminiscences (1974) that she discovers {that a} world-famous literary determine lives “a stone’s throw from us,” extra particularly, on Mont Deserts Island, Maine. This interview is likely one of the biggest moments of her life, because it was additionally the start of a friendship that lasted till the writer’s demise in 1987, when the actress had the distinction of staying at Petite Plaisance, the legendary residence of Yourcenar. “The worst evening of my life,” laughs Françoise Fauchet. I didn’t shut my eyes as a result of I used to be so bored with sleeping on this charming home, on this room adorned with work by Marie Laurencin, and with Marguerite within the subsequent room! »

This place mirrored the values ​​and manias of the writer The lights (“a collection of portraits of ladies of extraordinary depth”, in response to Fochet), surrounded by a powerful backyard, however not essentially sensible in its practical character. They even say that Yursenar refused to have a fridge within the kitchen for aesthetic causes, the absence was confirmed by the actress herself. “No Quebecer would need a delicacies like this! However this lady was quite simple: she earned her personal bread, she all the time tried to keep up a correspondence with nature, which made her an ecologist forward of time. As well as, she understood the whole lot on this matter, foresaw the whole lot, and may nonetheless inform us the whole lot. »

opera Yourcenar. ardour island brings it again to the information, to the delight of Françoise Fauchet, who attended her final main convention, held in Quebec in September 1987, particularly on the environmental problem. However we can’t scale back his work to the safety of water, land and animals. “His memoirs supply a really lovely studying of the twentieth century.e century, emphasizes Jean-Francois Chasset. On the identical time, when she digs into the distant previous, she will make it very related. Soiled work, she has been desirous about it because the Nineteen Fifties, noting what is occurring in Algeria, Suez and Hungary: in every single place she noticed borders, like Zeno in entrance of these between Catholics and Protestants, and no elementary distinction between all these partitions that have been erected between people. »

Aside from her visionary facet, her distinctive pen and her extraordinary erudition, many agree that Marguerite Yourcenar represented the perfect of freedom in her personal proper. With its share of calls for on others …

“Jean d’Ormesson, who fought arduous for him, hoped for extra recognition when he entered the French Academy,” says Françoise Fochet, “as a result of all she stated was that he was great! Robert Lalonde confirms this character trait. “The portrait I make of him in walled backyard in response to some, it was not so removed from what it was. She had a brash and ruthless facet, however she additionally inspired younger writers to take heed to nobody however their very own voice. In keeping with Grace Frick, she was all the time at work, even when she was in actuality, she had as many issues with the Roman Empire as with the escalator. Even at the moment, this represents an enormous alternative each for us and for literature.

Yourcenar. ardour island

Marie-Claire Blé and Helene Dorion, Éditions de l’Homme, Montreal, 2022, 160 pages.

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