• Prix Marcel Aymé 2015

Aden, août 1880. Jules Suel, gérant du Grand Hôtel de l'Univers, a décidé de s'offrir un cliché publicitaire. Il convie quelques fidèles à poser autour de lui. Tous se prêtent au jeu, plutôt de bonne grâce. Seul un employé de la maison Bardey, un être taciturne vêtu comme un ouvrier, se fait prier – et ce personnage n'est autre qu'Arthur Rimbaud.
S'inspirant de la célèbre photo retrouvée par hasard en 2010, Serge Filippini imagine les deux heures qui mènent à la prise de vue. Il entrecroise les vies des six hommes et de la femme bientôt figés dans leur portrait de groupe. Qui sont-ils, ces commerçants et ces explorateurs? Quelles obsessions, quels rêves les animent? Quels secrets sont-ils venus cacher dans la chaleur accablante et la poussière d'Arabie? Et pourquoi Rimbaud refuse-t-il l'amour qui s'offre à lui?
  • Vermillon
  • Paru le 10/04/2014
  • Genre : Littérature française
  • 152 pages - 140 x 205 mm
  • EAN : 9782710371816
  • ISBN : 9782710371816

Foreign Rights


All rights available

Prix Marcel Aymé 2015

Aden, August 1880. Jules Suel, the manager of the Grand Hôtel de l’Univers has arranged for a photograph to be taken for advertising purposes. He is feverish in his chequered suit, yet determined to pose amongst his faithful clients and friends. They all volunteer themselves for his little game out in the oppressive heat and dust of Abyssinia. It is only the Bardey factory foreman, a quiet fellow dressed in white, who is reluctant to join in – this man is none other than Arthur Rimbaud.  

Inspired by the famous photograph stumbled upon by accident in 2010, Serge Filippini imagines the two hours leading up to the taking of said iconic picture. He brings together the lives of the seven characters called upon to appear in the group portrait, six men and one woman, shopkeepers and explorers alike, describing their dreams, ghosts, nightmares and obsessions. What are they doing in Aden? What are their expectations in life, from the future, and of themselves on this particular afternoon? How can Lucereau, the explorer, be so angry with Rimbaud? Why is it that, on the other hand, the sinister Jules Suel is so fond of him? And what is it that binds Émilie to the one she secretly baptised “Rimbaldo”?

Born in Pontarlier, Serge Filippini lives and works in Paris. A writer, translator and scriptwriter, he is the author of more than ten novels. Amongst them is The Man in Flames which has been translated into five languages, and which recounts the tale of the infamous heretic visionary Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake in Rome during the Inquisition on the 17th of February 1600.

“As a talented novelist, Filippini knows that a painting or a photograph which does not include narration invite us to give free rein to our fantasy, to imagine what the characters were doing and saying a few hours before the famous ‘Nobody moves’.
Who are they? What happened to them? Find out by reading this remarkable book which shows that a novel can substitute for the real story.” La Marseillaise

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