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Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  dutchclogs on Thu 31 May - 8:10

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  Panda on Thu 31 May - 8:18

Uuum, is this the Guy who wrote the book about McCann Family? The photo never pasted, but he's young and quite dishy,

the life of the price

Discover the winner of the Orange of the 2012 Book Prize

Congratulations to Arthur Dreyfus!

You have elected him winner 2012 price the book for his novel Belle familyOrange, published at éditions Gallimard.

This young graduate of Sciences Po and the Celsa signs his second novel, inspired by the Maddie case.

Arthur Dreyfus also develops audio-visual programs, including the series "A film without". "broadcast on GST Star, and is preparing a documentary on the history of men's fashion, and a documentary series on the forgotten French film actors. He is also writing a comic animated drawing with graphic artists.

He was the 2008 young writer award winner.

Discover an interview with Arthur Dreyfus who says on his work and his life of author (source: lechoixdeslibraires.com):
1.Who are you?!
I am a young man passionate about everything that looks wrong.

2.What is the central theme of this book?
Millions of tiny abdications of our lives of men.

3.If you were to put forward a sentence of this book, which would you choose?
"Laurence thought to Antonin, Vladimir." How much she loved them. For them, it took a decision. "This decision was in three words, that she made in a low voice for the first time: Madec disappeared."

4.If this book was a music, what would it be?
The girl of the sea, Vangelis.

5.What would you like to share with your readers in priority?
A space out of time.

6.Do you have the rituals of writer? (Choice of the place of the schedule, background music)?
No ritual. Write when you can, it is already much.

7.How you just inspiration?
By writing.

8.How is writing entry in your life? Are you told you child or teenager "one day I'll write books?"
No, it is a series of coincidences in dominoes fell on each other.

9.Do you remember your first literary shocks (as a player)?
"The book of my mother" Cohen and "Hair of carrot" of Fox.

10.Do you know what the writers use?
A expand the world.

11.What place do libraries in your life?
Too much space in my small apartment.

Learn more

Come and discover a few days, articles and videos of the ceremony of the Orange price of 2012 book!

Arthur Dreyfus

Beautiful family
view the book

Add to my favourite news


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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 31 May - 9:36

It's a price decided by the readers who vote on line for the five books selected by the jury. I voted for him some weeks ago and I am very pleased because it's the proof that the public appreciated the book and it's the most important. More prizes are to come till the end of the year and hopefully more for him.
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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 31 May - 9:50

As Anna is a bit overworked , I post the fast translation I gave on TMCF, from the chapter 29 till the end .

ch. 29 Fast translation google improved:


Sometimes, for a short while, Laurence believes that Madec has really disappeared but is alive.

Less than two weeks after the Pope's appeal, donations totaled more than three million. Stéphane has required the hiring of a professional accountant. Indeed, as "error is human," he does not want to risk being sued by the IRS on his return to France.

Forty days have passed, during which Andreotti has devoted all his thoughts to a child he never knew. One day he even imagined:
"And if he never existed? It would be a nice play ( Pirandello like). He experiences a sudden tiredness, thinking of the hundreds of cases he has seen in his career. And if he had a child with his girlfriend Venezia?
Then he receives a call from the prison director: Ron Murdoch wants to talk to him urgently.

Tony decided to spend almost all the money of the Association in various private detective agencies "who often had higher average results than the police." Four are chosen, among whose, Control Risks a prestigious group, which had investigate the death of Lady Di "
Tony also wants to use clairvoyance to find Madec. But not just a psychic, an agency which will offer a full range : "reading in the crystal, in the coffee, tarot, reading in card, pendulum, telekinesis, hypnosis, and even deciphering the blood. It was a serious program. "

Stephane can not believe the exorbitant price required. Of course, it's annoying having to repeat forever the same things, but at least, "they are complacent men, and wearing tailored suits."
Since the violent argument with Laurence, he wakes with a start every night next to Laurence asleep, crying, "I killed her!".
He remembers his childhood in a wealthy and cold family and that fateful day when the car driven by the chauffeur of his father was victim of the accident that caused his scar.
The driver, distracted by a pretty redhead on a sidewalk in Pigalle, jumped the red light.
At the hospital, Stephane had looked himself in the mirror:
"With his face torn and stitched, Stephen had made two decisions; never go to Pigalle; become a surgeon."

ch.30 fast translation
It was when he was watching a documentary on TV that Murdoch has recognized the conductor, Laurence , he had seen driving a car in the residence the night of the drama. Now, at the police station, Andreotti can shut up his colleagues who are a little jealous of his celebrity in the medias, explaining that "the main suspect had just accused the mother of the child."

Stephen sent a bottle to the head of the journalist who asked him if he confirmed the news that Murdoch would have seen Laurence, on the night of the disappearance, entering the house from outside, element that was missing in her numerous statements . He wonders why, when he goes out of jail, for lack of evidence, Murdoch professed a wrong thing.

First pretending ignorance, then faced with Murdoch who formally recognizes her, Laurence, who had time to think about an alibi in the car, says she was leaving the residence with her husband but only to get cucumbers for her son. But Murdoch is confident:

"He said she was alone in the car-he was certain. Laurence looked away and swallowed. Tony took the opportunity to stand up and demand to put an end to this grotesque situation. He handed Andreotti the visit card of their lawyers. Money was convenient, he thought. Laurence and her brother left the room without looking backward. Immediately, the inspector took out of his pocket a phone to contact the scientific brigade.
He had a French minivan to comb through. "

Murdoch himself, realized that on Laurence, like on him, lied the heavy weight of guilt.

ch.31 fast google translation: (I like especially the part with the "obvious" resemblance, impossible to "confuse")


"Laurence no longer possessed her husband. Whenever a reporter approached her, Stephane went to the journalist aggressively. He screamed in English: "Leave her alone!" And pretended to hit him. One knew now he was capable of violence. The images of these scenes, broadcasted all over the web, were disastrous for the communication plan. Iphone application were proposing supporting exercises, to train to acquire such a bad French accent that Stephane Macand. "

Laurence Stephen implores him to moderate himself, especially because the first analyses of the 807 are unsuccessful.

Andreotti says to Venezia he is sure that Laurence Macand id guilty. He wants to have a child, but especially "the desire to offer to a son a mother who does not resemble that of Madec."

There is nothing really concrete on the side of private investigators, except for one track in Morocco "which unveiled a photograph of a tourist,in the background of which, one could see, on the back of a veiled peasant, a face that can be that of Madec. The local police had been warned, researchs were already underway. Tony had met his sister and Stephane to show them the photograph. The drawing was of poor quality-and the face of a possible son, lost in a a blured vegetation. The resemblance was obvious, but it was impossible to confuse Madec with certainty. "

Andreotti avoid when possible his colleagues. He can not stand to question Laurence Macand because "she smirked and made him permanently losing valuable time."

Laurence must recognize that her brother, for the first time, was effective (although he is more concerned with the cameras than with the disappearance of Madec). The world speaks of Madec, she became a celebrity, which surprises her. She checks the daily press file sent by a specialized agency. And when Stephen begins to dream of a career in the implantation of pacemakers, she tells him she must "go back to move forward on the papers."

Fast translation, ch.32/33


Laurence is inattentive when she meets the special correspondent of Paris Match:
"No, for the photo, you better get in touch with Tony Legendre, our spokesman, who is in charge of the copyrights fees ... Yes Madec had good marks. But you know he was in first year at the primary school ...We still believe he is not dead . Thanks to this light, we advance in the tunnel »
Indeed, she was upset when she went out of the hotel, by her encounter with a dog that reminded her of a promenade by the sea ... Madec rushed, without listening her, to a chained big dog who was growling fiercely. With a powerless horror, she saw the dog jump on the child .... lick and play with him. Madec was not at all afraid and she had wondered if this kid had not got a special power, like Harry Potter.

Then ideas turn without logic in the head of Laurence. Everything blurs and she faints.


Murdoch thinks of his childhood . He was a child abused by his father. He thinks of life that , randomly, distributes happiness and unhappiness .. He is anxious to regain his London flat. Magnus will surely come back, they will meet again

Somewhere in England, along a railroad, walks Magnus who turned the page.

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 31 May - 9:54

Fast translation ch.34


Laurence wakes up in hospital. She slept forty hours. At her bedside, there is Stephane, Tony, furious against the journalist who took advantage of the malaise of Laurence to take a picture ... and the inspector Andreotti who approaches her bed:
"We found blood in the trunk of the car. We know everything. Now Ms. Macand, you have to cooperate "
Laurence is furious:
"What right has this pathetic cop to speak to her with a tone like that? With her, blackmail ... had never got a single chance. With a glance, that worked, she denied everything. "

This is the second scientific brigade equiped with new generation instruments, which removed traces of hemoglobin in the trunk of the 807. "The analyzes were formal: it was the blood of Madec"

Tony was already very buzzy threatening journalists from prosecution in case of unfounded articles, minimizing the cross examination, saying that Laurence was not charged.

Andreotti won a point by saying that Laurence was among the suspects and that her testimony remained approximately:
"Many tabloids have followed (the profits of oversales were worth the risk of losing potential libel suits.). In all the languages ​​of Europe-and soon, all those in the world, one could read, and with the same universal question mark (these rags were well advised):


The most cranky comments and analyzes invaded the media, like this questionnable post not moderated by Le Monde:
" Isn't the name of Macand a francization of Makanski , a Jewish patronyme? This would explain many things, because when there is money ... “ Followed by a protest of Jewish associations. A writer in geopolitics wrote an article replacing the case into the perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among others.

Tony is urgently seeking a new strategy:
"It smelled bad. When even the commun people no longer believes you, the war is lost. It was necessary to re-educate people. Distraught, Tony, for a moment, considered organizing the suicide attempt (an artificial one) of his sister ... he ordered Stephane Laurence not to smile at all in front of cameras, and possibly to attempt to have a nervous breakdown in public. Regarding ... the police, keep silent. After all ,this was true, one knew nothing. The accusation of Andreotti was only based on the testimony of a convicted pedophile, and a microscopic blood stain ( that could come from a superficial wound of Madec that could have bleeded, at any time , in the car)

Madec's mother is put, in the hospital, under police protection, "protests broke out in Milan (requiring the condamnation of della madre infanticida.)"
Laurence contemplates a confession:
“She would be probably forgiven. What she had done wasn't that wrong. But then, the mother had remembered the Pope. Yannick Noah. The Minister. And Stephane on the night of the disappearance. All these people, starting with her husband, remembered a living Madec. So that, ultimately, she ended believing them. Andreotti was the only one who, she was convinced, knew the truth. If this man had really understood, what did he exactly wanted?”

This is the home minister who saved them. He made a public statement in favor of Laurence, criticizing Europe which accused the victim "before punishing the guilty.” "The humiliation oft a mother was" intolerable ". French police found nothing that supports the theory of Italian police, who would do better, moreover, to investigate "First" on the running of their own democracy.
The speech was brilliant, the day after, the French newspapers threw off the fetters. In the Italian media, it was an outcry, Laurence was virtually forgotten.”

The next day, the executive assistant of the Minister answers coldly to Stefan, who wants to thank the minister, that his services no longer wish to hear of them. Thus ends the cooperation of a ministry "sufficiently compromised in a sticky case. "
Considering himself betrayed, Stéphane decides to return to Granville.

"Starting from the honorable principle that, contrary to the pure error , the error of the justice was inhuman, the Italian justicial system did not consider the charges (assembled in a stack of colored folders containing eight thousand pages of documents) retained against Laurence Macand sufficient to forbid her to leave the country. The mother had also remembered, an injury of Madec. He was looking for his lunch in the trunk and had scratched his thumb on the deicering scrapper. There was blood on his thumb and on the lining of the trunk. "

Venezia has calmed down Andreotti. She thinks she is going to have a son.
The Andreéotti colleagues have mocked "his ultimate failure, the media repeated frenzy, false hopes that lead back to silence. The bluff would not work every time. Even the superior of Andreotti had telephoned, accusing him for having charged the mother, per lo specttacolo, (for the show) without sufficient evidence. "

Gradually, Paolo has given less importance to these criticisms. He secretly decided to stage a play by Dario Fo: "Accidentale death of an anarchist." The author, Dario Fo, whom he met in 1986, had given this a advise to him:
"No dimenticare di vita vivere . "
(Do not forget to live your life.) "

End of the second part

Fast translation ch.35

On the way back, Laurence thinks about a young woman who resembled her physically in the movie Kill Bill and who has killed Bill with a hold of martial art that exploded his heart in five seconds. The old man had had time to take a few steps before dying.
Laurence asks: "How many more steps has Madec consented to grant her?"

They board the 808 that Andreotti had kept as long as possible by multiplying the analyzes. Upon departure, the eyes of Paolo met Laurence one's and Laurence, in a defensive gesture, creased her brow.
By starting, Stéphane swith on , by mistake, the car's radio that broadcasts, at full power, a version of My Way by Nina Simone:

"Music imposed in the cockpit as an extra passenger ......Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. On her sit, Laurence tried to increase the capacity of her rib cage, as emotion choked her. There were chimes overflowing with happyness, then twelve successive keyboards chord (which each had on her the power of a syncope). And more, much more Than this, I did it my way.”
They get home. For Laurence, who lost twelve pounds, it's as if she went back in the time. They arrive at the gate of the garden:
"The image was supernatural. A mountain of parcels, gifts, bunches of faded flowers blocked the entrance. In this cluster, were found collages, letters, friendly or not, forty Bibles, twenty-seven Korans (one in Indonesian), colorful stuffed animals, a hundred photographs of boys not very similar to Madec, newspapers, press cuttings, chrysanthemums, and a lot of child scribblings. The world had sent offerings in Granville -as if the Macands were a kind of divine family. "
Stéphane decides to burn everything, except the mails that may contain clues for the inquiry. He doesn't dare to burn a Barbie doll, "Barbie-nun (wearing a nun coif, and a black cape)"
They find a letter coming from the court of Nantes, which informs them they will not be pursued in the case of Ms. Frêle's accident. The judgment of the court will remain a model for all law students:
"The court hereby reaffirms the principle that an individual can not be held liable for damage caused indirectly by the acts of persons whom he is responsible, when a third person, deemed responsible, has jeopardized his own safety to save, without being rationally induced, the life, potentially involved, of the first one (thereby involving the indirect nature of the damage).
Laurence is pleased not having studied law as her father wished.

The bell rings. At the door is a strange-looking fifty years old teenager , Fanny whom Madec liked very much, and who seems, at each visit, several years older. She falls weeping into the arms of Laurence, "he had sworn to marry himself." Laurence calmly pushes the girl back:
"In no way, her pain could be equal to that of a stranger. She had no right. Despite this, Tony's sister made a remark, which moved her exceedingly: This is the first time someone cries for Madec. "(

Note on the name Fanny: Death is called "The Reaper" and “faner means cutting dry grass, taken away the freshness of plants or humans. Fanny said Madec wanted to marry, not together , as it would be logical , but himself. We can perhaps infer that Madec loved death and wanted to meet her. It is also the meaning of the epilogue)

fast translation ch.36

Vladimer and Antonin ask when their brother will return, Stephane answers that Madec won't return immediately.
Laurence has decided to take their education in hand and fires their nanny:
"And if the loss of a son could be used to educate the other two, the Macand would not have suffered for nothing."

Tony took advantage of the funds for renting offices in Paris, a place where he can sleep. He parades in the pubs by exagerating his role in the undertaken research. Laurence imagines him bringing home, sometimes, a young admirer:
"Sometimes Tony managed to seduce some young woman a bit drunk, to lead her in his office,to lay her on press articles and and to f... her on photos of Madec scattered everywhere. Laurence began to like her brother (to find him touching). "

At Granville, people whose opinion towards the Macand has fluctuated with the various incidents of the enquiry, are now very kind with them. It's often unbearable, especially for Stéphane deploring that, today, only the fame is important, even if it's not for a good reason. He thinks that fame makes small. They are unwillingly put on a pedestal, it gives them power but it digs a gulf between them and the population.

The daily lifes resumes, Stephane is enthusiastic about a pacemaker's project. For Laurence, meanwhile, it would be an ordeal to go back to her so monotonous job.
The previous day, a tsunami devastated parts of Asia. The English site of Find / Madec.com has been updated. Tony sent an email announcing an opportunity to meet Mick Jagger.

"So that was that, boredom."

"A week later, Laurence was temporarily saved (distracted) by Ron Murdoch. She did not return to the the hospital, she had been mainly occupied in the house. In the afternoon, she spent several hours updating the investigation's files. She had finally found the time to unpack her integral depilatory advice ordered on the internet just before her departure....”

It's at that moment that she gets a call from the inspector Braconnet. She has almost forgotten him. A kind man, clearly inefficient, who managed to succed in the police thanks to his zealous sense for public service:

"At no time did Braconnet suspected Laurence. And today,with a reserved voice, he rings to announce the suicide of Murdoch. Soon after his release (and his return to England), the main suspect has thrown himself under a train at St. Pancras Station-stopping the traffic for four hours. A moment before, he had telephoned his boyfriend, a so called Magnus Beretta. The conversation had not been recorded-but Beretta had contacted the police. Murdoch had spilled out the truth
. I regrett to put it that way. Rape. Murder. Strangulation. And cremation of the body in a dustbin ( body no longer findable). Beretta demanded a million euros, the one promised by Tony to everyone contributing to find Madec. "

Laurence bursts into tears

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 31 May - 9:57


Telephone records confirm the information of Beretta. The dialogue lasted one minute and eleven seconds: "There was plenty of time for confessing a murder, perceiving the silence of his correspondent, methodically cut the line, throw himself under a train. Without effusions. Braconnet rejoiced at this confession, which put an end to the final two months of wandering in Tuscany. "

In bed, Laurence imagine what was the real conversation between the two men:
"Probably the confession-that of the return. That of renunciation. A minute of silence, the rebus of a confession.
So the rails and then screams. "

For his part, Paulo is staging his play.

The Macand have decided to leave the chamber of Madec "as it was, until he returns."
But, one day, with nothing to do (she was bored, the cameras had left till the suicide of Murdoch that brought them back to the house), Laurence decided to tidy up the room.
An odor of rotten coming from under the bed, Laurence leans over and discovers a plastic box. What it is? Amazed, she recognizes , withered like a prune, the corpse of a chameleon. His ruse worked. The chameleon was forgotten and the chameleon died. Laurence is forced to sit on the carpet because this reptile raises in her the memory of something or someone:
"She had to take a closer look to understand. All was in the expression of the eyes. The resemblance was obvious:
It looked like the Pope. "

As no record can confirm the testimony of Magnus, it was decided to give him one tenth of the promised sum. It's already a nice sum considers Laurence who takes a liking to the young man:
"With his lie, he buried her own, without killing completly hope. A star, somewhere, could shine for Madec. "

But what about the remaining funds? Laurence attributed to her brother the management of the Madec Foundation for Children , structure "that would subsidize Serbian orphanages, send bags of rice in Niger, and above all, that would allow Tony to exist for something."
Stephen has a professional success with his enhanced pacemaker. He finds some joy in life, "sometimes, he laughed."

Laurence often thinks about the drowning of Madec:
"The Reaper (Note: Death) appeared to have repaired the failure of the previous day. To suffocation, she preferred the edge of a fork. What had done her son to stir so much the Death? "

At Christmas, Laurence feels serene. She decided not to practice medicine anymore. This was the toughest year of her life. As told her an old woman, a patient, "one dies faster when one no longer live."

The Madec case has been classified by the Italian Ministry of Justice:
"Consecutively to statements of Magnus Beretta, the case had been classified. However, the case could be reopened (if new evidence or testimony emerged). "
The letter to Andreotti, that announced the decision, was thrown away by his substitude who said one does not need a loafer who left the police for acting.

And then, there was this scene, "the most important perhaps, since they met, between Stephen and Laurence."
Steven is currently working on a web folder. Whenever he gets on any record, Antivir Max logo appears blinking. Stephane calls Laurence to the rescue. Laurence comes and drops her paring knife that falls on the floor. The effigy of Antivir Max is a red scorpion! And then the mask falls and Laurence's face betrays her. And then, in a flash, rushing into the breach, the spirit of Stephane captures the truth.
He vomits on the keyboard.
At that time, he has the choice. Full of fear and resentment, "he choses to save his world, rather than the too wide real world."
And a vacuum, which balances everything settles between them.

"The buzz of the kitchen appliance blends with an invisible echo of Nina Simone. Laurence thought, but, then, thinking is a superficial word and we have to invent, one day, a term adjusted to the most buried places of the cortex - she thought:

All this for a child I did not like

Stephane's wife goes mechanically to the cupboard, under the sink, to extract a bleach wipe scented with citrus. "


"At the top of the cupboard, Madec distinguishes the scorpion. A fluffy dust envelopes the key ring. Madec is happy. Under the ceiling light, the meat fork returns a white flash. Streching the muscles of his ankles, the little boy feels the couscoussier slipping on the work plan. The child stops. He thinks of the Kapas. Why do one have to run. At each pulse, the bar stool wobbles. The scorpion seems to stare into his eyes. The blue reflexions. Julien's nose. Madec remembers that he is forbidden to touch the kitchen utensils. He do not know why. Breathing. The child disperses a little more his weight in the drop. Now he streches his wrist. Absolutely everything (the couscous, the child, the bar stool) begins wobbling. Madec does not grip the metallic handle of the cupboard. "

Madec likes dying.”


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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 31 May - 10:48

Thanks Frencheuropean. I'll get busy on finishing that at the weekend!

"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  Lillyofthevalley on Thu 31 May - 12:52

Congratulations Arthur
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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  wjk on Thu 31 May - 13:01

Lillyofthevalley wrote:Congratulations Arthur
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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  Guest on Thu 31 May - 14:27

He may be making enough money off it now to be worthwhile sueing. This should be interesting.

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Re: Arthur Dreyfuss' book has won a literary prize!

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 31 May - 14:30

Here is the link to the main interview till now in Le Figaro. If you follow the link, you can see and hear 2 videos: the first one with the text of the interview and the second one with him reading an extract of the book:


French original text followed by google translation

Par Nathalie Six
Mis à jour le 30/05/2012 à 15:29 | publié le 30/05/2012 à 15:09 Réagir

Retenez bien ce visage, car il n'a pas finit de faire parler de lui. Crédits photo: C-Hélie/Gallimard

INTERVIEW - Belle gueule, belle plume: le nouveau lauréat du Prix Orange du Livre a tout juste 25 ans, déjà trois livres et quelques prix à son actif.

Arthur Dreyfus est aussi journaliste (Technikart, Positif, France Inter), réalisateur (la série Un film sans... diffusé sur TPS Star) et scénariste. Rien d'impossible pour ce magicien professionnel spécialisé dans le mentalisme. Retenez son nom, si vous ne l'avez pas déjà vu, vous risquez de le croiser assez souvent dans les années à venir.

LE FIGARO. - Vous venez de recevoir le prix Orange du livre, que ressentez-vous?

Arthur DREYFUS. - Cela m'a fait très plaisir même si je me suis promis lors de mon premier roman que je ne serai jamais fâché si un autre auteur remportait un prix à mes dépens, qu'il soit bon ou mauvais! L'écriture est liée au doute, recevoir un prix est une validation de l'extérieur qui donne envie de continuer. Le Prix Orange rassemble des écrivains, des libraires et des non professionnels: j'aime l'idée que les personnes qui appréhendent le livre à tous les niveaux soient réunis dans un même jury.

Quelle est l'origine de ce livre?

Je venais de lire Le Rouge et le Noir. Stendhal s'était inspiré de l'affaire Berthet, un fait divers survenu à l'époque. Je me suis dit que je devais trouver à mon tour un fait divers actuel pour écrire mon prochain roman. Sans comparer ma démarche à la sienne, j'avais aimé sa façon de raconter cette histoire. Habituellement, je ne suis pas un grand amateur de fait-divers, mais ce qui me fascine c'est la façon dont chacun se forge sa propre version, je voulais raconter et réfléchir à ce processus.

Vous écrivez à ce propos en préambule de votre livre: «La matière première du romancier ne colle pas aux molaires. Elle flotte autour de lui. Ce sont des larmes, ce sont des lignes. Celles, presque invisibles, d'un canard de province. Celles, trop imposantes, des colonnes nationales.» Le fait divers dont vous vous êtes emparé, est celui de la petite Maddie McCann disparue à presque quatre ans au Portugal pendant ses vacances avec ses parents. Pourquoi cette affaire vous a-t-elle fasciné?

Elle m'a servi de point de départ uniquement, je n'ai pas cherché à en savoir trop. Je voulais laisser libre court à mon imagination. J'ai autant de chances d'avoir vu juste que de m'être trompé. La vérité m'importe peu. C'est un roman.

Vous placez l'intrigue en Normandie à Granville, pourquoi?

Très précisément parce que je ne connaissais pas cette région. J'y suis allé pour la première fois début mai pour une signature, et les habitants de Granville m'ont félicité pour la manière dont j'avais décrit leur ville. Je voulais un lieu inconnu pour me sentir libre d'inventer le décor et les personnages.

La couverture du roman d'Arthur Dreyfus, Belle famille.
La mère du petit Madec, Laurence, est un personnage fascinant. Elle est dans la maîtrise d'elle-même et ne supporte pas que l'un de ses fils lui échappe. Elle ne le comprend pas. Comment êtes-vous entré dans sa tête?

Je n'ai pas fait d'étude clinique sur la relation mère-enfant, ce qui est bien pour un romancier justement c'est de se tromper. Le caractère se construit au hasard. En général j'ai l'impression de bien comprendre les gens, je fonctionne beaucoup à l'intuition. Cela me joue d'ailleurs des tours, les personnes autour de moi se sentent parfois manipulées, mes relations ne sont jamais neutres, même si j'ai beaucoup d'amis. J'ai aussi le goût du détail, ce qui s'avère précieux pour mes personnages. Le travail d'écrivain n'est pas conscient, nous sommes à la fois le cobaye et le scientifique qui l'observe. En outre, ce n'est pas une question d'âge, je pense: on peut comprendre ce que ressentent les mères à 20 ans ou au contraire, ne pas les comprendre à 50. Mes personnages sont comme les boules de loto avant le tirage, ils s'entrechoquent, on ne sait jamais à l'avance lequel sortira du lot. Les protagonistes se redéfinissent en permanence les uns par rapport aux autres. Ma narration est très construite, j'ai voulu rendre l'effet d'un miroir déformant.

Qui est Madec?

Un enfant poète, un peu magique, tout sauf conventionnel. C'est pour cela qu'il désarçonne les adultes. Il a du charisme, il s'est construit son propre univers. C'est une fiction dans la fiction. Symboliquement, il n'appartient pas à sa famille.

Votre style est soigné, vous attachez de l'importance à la grammaire, à la construction de vos phrases, comme un grand amoureux de la langue française…

Oui, la qualité de l'écriture est importante à mes yeux, c'est pour cette raison que je n'aime pas la littérature américaine ni anglaise lorsqu'elle est traduite. La langue est souvent transparente dans les traductions, on privilégie l'action, la trame. Personnellement, j'essaie de faire quelque chose qui corresponde à notre époque, je ne veux pas écrire comme Flaubert ni Robbe-Grillet. Je suis un peu maladroit pour décrire mon propre style, en outre je n'ai pas une œuvre suffisamment grande pour me définir au jour d'aujourd'hui. Je tâtonne encore. J'essaie de soigner la forme pour compenser une dissonance possible du fond.

Vous êtes parfois moqueur, voire cynique, critiquant une société du paraître.

Je ne suis pas cynique mais réaliste, parfois ironique. La réalité est toujours moins jolie que la fiction. J'aime la vie, et ce n'est pas un livre purement réaliste.

Belle famille d'Arthur Dreyfus, éd. Gallimard, 238 p., 17,90 €.

Remember this face, because he has not finished talking to him. Photo credits: C-Hélie/Gallimard

INTERVIEW - Beautiful face, beautiful feather: the new winner of the Orange Book was just 25 years old, already three books and several awards to his credit.

Arthur Dreyfus is also a journalist (Technikart, Positive, France Inter), director (series A film without ... broadcast on TPS Star) and screenwriter. Nothing is impossible for the professional magician specializes in mentalism. Remember his name, if you have not already seen, you may cross it quite often in the coming years.

LE FIGARO. - You have just received the Orange Prize Book, how do you feel?

Arthur DREYFUS. - It made me very happy even though I promised myself on my first novel I'll never be upset if another author won a prize at my expense, whether good or bad! Writing is bound to doubt, receive an award is a validation from the outside that makes you want to continue. The Orange Prize brings together writers, booksellers and unprofessional: I like the idea that people who fear the book at all levels are combined in the same jury.

What is the origin of this book?

I had just read The Red and the Black. Stendhal was inspired by the case Berthet, a true story that occurred at the time. I thought I had to find my turn a current news story to write my next novel. Without comparing my approach to his, I loved his way of telling this story. Usually, I'm not a big fan of made-variety, but what fascinates me is how everyone makes his own version, I wanted to tell and reflect on this process.

You write about it in the introduction to your book: "The raw materials of the novelist does not stick to the molars. It floats around him. They are tears, they are lines. Those, almost invisible, a duck province. Those, too big, national columns. "The fact that you have various seized, is that of Maddie McCann disappeared nearly four years in Portugal while on holiday with her parents. Why does this matter to you she fascinated?

She served as a starting point only, I have not tried to learn too. I wanted to give free rein to my imagination. I have as much chance of seeing just to be proved wrong. The truth matters little to me. It's a novel.

You place the plot in Granville in Normandy, why?

Precisely because I did not know this region. I went for the first time in early May for a signature, and the people of Granville have congratulated me for the way I had described their city. I wanted an unknown place to feel free to invent the scenery and characters.

The cover of the novel by Arthur Dreyfus, Belle family.
The mother of the little Madec, Laurence, is a fascinating character. She is in control of herself and does not support that one of his son escapes. She does not understand. How did you get in his head?

I have not done a clinical study on mother-child relationship, which is good for a novelist just what is wrong. Character is built randomly. In general I feel I understand the people I work a lot on intuition. I am also plays tricks, people around me sometimes feel manipulated, my relationships are never neutral, even though I have many friends. I also have an eye for detail, which is valuable for my characters. The work as a writer is not aware, we are both guinea pigs and scientific observer. Furthermore, it is not a question of age, I think: we can empathize with the mothers age 20 or otherwise, does not understand them at 50. My characters are like lottery balls before the draw, they collide, you never know in advance which will come out of the lot. The protagonists are redefined continuously with each other. My story is built, I wanted to give the effect of a mirror.

Madec is that?

A child poet, a little magic, anything but conventional. That's why he floored the adults. He has charisma, he has built his own universe. It is a fiction in the fiction. Symbolically, it does not belong to his family.

Your style is neat, you attach importance to the grammar, the construction of your sentences, as a great lover of French ...

Yes, the quality of writing is important to me, that's why I do not like the English or American literature when translated. Language is often transparent in translations, the preferred action, the frame. I personally try to do something that fits our time, I do not write like Flaubert or Robbe-Grillet. I am a bit clumsy to describe my own style, also I have not a work large enough to define me as of today. I still groping. I try to treat the form to compensate for a possible background dissonance.

You are sometimes sarcastic, even cynical, critical of a society of sound.

I am not cynical, but realistic, sometimes ironic. Reality is always less attractive than fiction. I love life, and this is not a book purely realistic.

Belle Dreyfus family of Arthur, ed. Gallimard, 238 p., € 17.90.

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