By Marc Cholodenko
Vidé, privé d'énergie, le roman proceed sur sa lancée à assumer des tâches et se proposer des buts que les médias modernes ont repris à leur compte de manière plus efficace et même, si on en croit les chiffres de l'édition, plus séduisante, au aspect que certains romanciers leur ont emboîté le pas et fait allégeance, sans doute involontaire, pour produire des romans-reportage ou romans-réalité, sans parler des romans humans qui font fond sur los angeles floor médiatique de leurs auteurs, ainsi bouclant los angeles boucle et lui passant au cou le deadly nœud coulant. Bref, pour les écrivains sérieux, le roman est mort depuis longtemps. Pour l'écrivain amusé, il peut être divertissant de lui insuffler un peu de vitalité en rassemblant ses membres épars, comme Isis healthy pour Osiris – sans aller jusqu'à prétendre lui refaire le phallus qu'il a perdu à tout jamais – comme dans ce texte, ou tissu, où il invite le lecteur à se sentir libre de progresser au gré d'une flânerie enfantine dont los angeles logique et le cours ne se laissent pas perturber par les sautes de sujet, de temps, de lieu et d'action, en fait comme un poisson dans l'eau que ne dérangent que les coups de queue, ou brusques retournements que, poisson lui-même, s'invitant dans son propre élément, il a tenté ça et là d'y donner pour l'agrément de ceux qui préfèreront une approche plus attentive. Cela avec l'ambition, ou plus modestement l'espoir, de donner à ses confrères l'idée de s'engager dans los angeles voie ainsi ouverte, et d'avoir ainsi fondé un sous-genre romanesque : le graduation, qui pourrait se décliner en milieu ou fin, redonnant ainsi au style un peu de l. a. vitalité qui lui manque.
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Additional info for Deux cents et quelques commencements ou Exercices d'écriture ou de lecture amusants
Some attribute his love of silence to his application (with his strictly observant piety) of the noble hadith that says, “If one of you speaks let him be brief, or let him stay silent”—though at the same time, with his vast wealth and extraordinary inﬂuence, he does not in fact need to talk much because his word is generally ﬁnal and has to be obeyed. To this should be added his wide experience of life that enables him to grasp 49 things at a glance, for the aging millionaire, who is past sixty, started out thirty years ago as a mere migrant worker who left Sohag governorate for Cairo looking for work, and the older people on Suleiman Basha remember him sitting on the ground in the passage behind the À l’Américaine in a gallabiya, vest, and turban with a small wooden box in front of him—for that is where he started, shining shoes.
She would go for days depressed and melancholy and one day when she went with her mother to visit the tomb of El Hussein, no sooner had she entered the sanctuary and found herself surrounded by the incense and lights and felt that deeplyrooted hidden presence that ﬁlls the heart than she burst into a long, unexpected bout of weeping. On the other hand, since retreat was not an option and she could not stand her feelings of sin, she started to resist the latter ﬁercely. She took to thinking of her mother’s face as she told her that she was working as a servant in people’s houses.
He worked for a time as an ofﬁce servant in the Babik ofﬁce supplies store, then disappeared for more than twenty years, suddenly to reappear having made a lot of money. Hagg Azzam says that he was working in the Gulf, but the people in the street do not believe that and whisper that he was sentenced and imprisoned for dealing in drugs, which some insist he continues to do to this day, citing as evidence his exorbitant wealth, which is out of all proportion to the volume of the sales in his stores and the proﬁts of his companies, indicating that his commercial activities are a mere front for money laundering.