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text L'Énigme du retour

read L'Énigme du retour kindle ´ Paperback ä naturaltreatment ✓ Un jeune homme de vingt trois ans a uitté son pays de façon précipitée Un homme épuisé y retourne trente trois ans plus tard Le jeune homme est passé de l’étouffante chaleur de Port au Prince à l’interminable hiver de Montréal Ne nuit un coup de fil lui apprend le décès de son père à New York Ce père u’il n’a pratiuement vu u’en photo Cet événement le fait uitter la baignoire pour prendre la route D’abord n’importe où vers le nord; comme un adieu à cet univers de glace ui l’a tenu au frais si longtemps Puis à New York pour les funérailles de son père ue I had a hard time putting this book down The main character gets a telephone call in Montreal telling him that his estranged father has died in Brooklyn Both father and son are from Haiti both had fled at different times the violence The son returns to Haiti after being gone for 30 years I loved that this book was written in both verse and prose

text Ô L'Énigme du retour Õ Dany Laferrière

Un jeune homme de vingt trois ans a uitté son pays de façon précipitée Un homme épuisé y retourne trente trois ans plus tard Le jeune homme est passé de l’étouffante chaleur de Port au Prince à l’interminable hiver de Montréal Du Sud au Nord De la jeunesse à l’âge mûr Entre ces deux pôles se trouve coincé le temps pourri de l’exil U What must it feel like to return to the country of your birth and childhood that you have not visited and experienced in than thirty years And that you had to leave in the dead of night after friends and associates disappeared or where found dead Why go back at all what will it mean Told in the first person Dany Laferrière has written this outstanding and strangely absorbing novel that appears to be an amalgam of imaginative fiction and subtly disguised real life memoir set against his poetically evoked country of birth and youth HaitiSurprisingly the book opens with a long poem introducing the reader from the outset to the author's inventive way of telling his story alternating throughout between poetry and prose I must admit that not being a great fan of poetry I was initially reluctant to immerse myself in The Return L'Enigme de retour when I first held the French original in my hands Yet once I started I became very uickly and totally immersed in Laferriere's ways of writing with its mix of prose relating encounters and events and poetry evoking surroundings or reflecting on observations or emotions The narrative flows seamlessly between the two styles each with its own rhythms and different tone and 'feel' of language yet harmoniously combined so that after a while you are no longer conscious of the poetry or prose sections The novel has been exuisitely translated by David HomelWhy go back A phone call in the night brings the news that his father who spend most of the son's life in exile has died in New York It is only the son who can bring the devastating news to the mother left behind in her village Wilbert embarks on the journey that takes him on a meandering path via New York to Haiti cautiously rediscovering what he remembers of his childhood days making connections first with strangers exploring the city Port au Prince staying away from family and friends Slowly he connects again with his nephew and then his sister and after reaching a certain comfort level does he feel strong enough emotionally to visit his mother and even later search for his father's village and people Both parents and their stories come alive in his memories and his poemsThe title of the French original conveys an important aspect of the novel that the English translation cannot the enigma of returning The evocation of mystery is prominent and the Wilbert's journey is as much into the known past as into the unknown present and future In physical terms it is expressed through recognizing changed landscapes changed circumstances of the people he knew Yet for me even captivating is the psychological level where the middle aged man has to confront his childhood longings how he may be able to bring the past and the present into some form of balance and ultimately who he is and where he should be Where is home

Dany Laferrière Õ L'Énigme du retour text

L'Énigme du retourL’exil avait rendu fou Il compte le ramener à son village natal de Barradères dans le sud d’Haïti Pas le corps ui appartient au voyage Plutôt l’esprit Des funérailles sans cadavre Et le voici à Port au Prince où il se terre dans une chambre à l’hôtel n’osant regarder cette ville u’il a tant rêvée là bas dans sa baignoire à Montré Windsor Laferriere fled his country during the brutal dictatorship of Baby Doc and settled in Canada When he learns of his father’s death he decides to travel back to Haiti to give his mother the news and to re connect with his history and family He experiences Haiti as someone who grew up there but is now an outsider He is shocked by the poverty and day to day struggle of its inhabitants still there is a deep connection and love and the ever present memories a mix of sadness and joyThis biographical story is written as a lose poem slipping in and out of proseAt first I was a bit sceptical I'm not keen on poetry but I soon got used to the rhythm and imagery It is full of thoughtful observations and moving reflections about what it means to be an émigré and the enigma that is Haiti