by Eric Holder
The Dilettante, 290 p., €22
Who, after Henri Calet, Alexandre Vialatte, Georges Perros, could write such marvelous phrases of poetic brilliance? “France in January looks like an old Japanese film”Where “In the morning, the fry of mist-fishing spiders shine in their myriads in their nets. »
Between January 1996 and August 2012, the late Éric Holder, who died in January 2019, graced the magazine The number of angels of its Anachronistic on the passage of time, the seasons, the neighbours, the children, the clouds, the West as far as the eye can see. So many white pebbles so as not to be afraid in the dark forests of existence, so many long, patiently polished pebbles which bear witness that he lived, loved, contemplated.
His wife, his children, the living around him whom his words gathered in gentle circles. The murmur of nature, the messages of the wind, the murmur of the Atlantic, “tree alarms”and his beloved under the same round lamp.
Hold back the passage of time
“The fry of the fog-fishing spiders”… Everything is of the same water, limpid, illuminating, dreamy and lucid, exciting, sometimes poignant but rarely, so much the author cultivated the elegance of so little showing his precariousness. He evoked it nevertheless, in words chosen so as not to insist, nor to pity.
A hard-working man, he rented out his arms when the pittance ran out. In the Médoc where he had followed Delphine Montalant – “woman of my life is an editor”, he pointed to her – the grape harvest saved him, for a time, from the mess. He toiled, we humiliated him, as those who are paid to dominate know how to do, but his story immerses us in the pleasure of observing his agreeable companions of rulers (rows), with a strong temperament, and of tasting the tasty portrait.
Among the joys he recorded to constitute the herbarium of a lifetime, his portraits of women occupy a prominent place, a hardware store behind his counter, baker sisters, a bicycle seller, a teller, and Delphine that the we follow in these pages and that he crunches with love. He knew how to retain fleeting sensations, a quivering in the air, the secrets of birdsong and sought to “diving anchors” to hold back the passage of time. “No matter how much I look into the future, all I see is a big dark hole. »
This gardener of the soul, busy clearing his darkness, raised his head, amazed at the offerings of the day in the heart of his solitude, crossed by encounters and wonders. He even knew how to transform his alcoholic detoxification treatment into a moment of lightness. But, warns his friend Thierry Guichard, the director of number of angels, “Éric Holder brought to most of his texts a light that he did not always find in life. Otherwise, why write? »
Nuggets of style, pure reading pleasures, sparkling jewels fill this book of hours that we rediscover, with a festive spirit and a heavy heart from not wanting to believe that this gaze has died out, that its pen will no longer run across the paper. Death, which came for him on January 23, 2019, a few months after taking away Delphine, deprives us of his company, of which we only have his books that will follow us everywhere. Will they be enough to console us for no longer knowing he is among us, over there, in the confines of Aquitaine, still standing facing the onslaught of the ocean and the violent eddies of the estuary?
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“The Anachronistic”, by Éric Holder, to the joys of the day
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