“We do not bathe in the Loire”, “An archive”, “Twilight”, “The Residence of the wind”… Our reading ideas



“The Abode of the Wind” (Maqâm al-rîh), by Samar Yazbek, translated from Arabic (Syria) by Khaled Osman and Ola Mehanna.

This week, Guillaume Nail signs a magnificent first novel with We do not swim in the LoireSamar Yazbek examines the collapse of a Syria in the midst of civil war, Philippe Claudel paints a frightening picture of a vile world in Dusk and Mathieu Lindon opens up about his relationship with his father in An archive. On the test side, Jennifer Talmas urges us to “liberate our classics from the male gaze” in To the “no” of women.

NOVEL: “We don’t bathe in the Loire”, by Guillaume Nail

The drama, for sure, will happen. All ad. The more the pages scroll, however, the less the reader knows from where the tragedy will arise.

There is the Loire, of course, this river whose currents can prove fatal. One afternoon in August, for their last day of camp, a dozen boys come to picnic on the shore. One of them says: “Are we going to swim? » The two adults supposed to supervise them do not have the heart to say no.

Disaster could just as easily come from the director, who collects the boys’ sweat-soaked boxers and T-shirts to sniff at in secret. De Gus, the leader of the band, always looking for a hit. Alcohol circulating. Joints. Unless everything ends up unraveling, in an unexpected happy ending?

We do not swim in the Loire is a beautiful and taut book. At the precise moment when things get out of hand, the writer suspends everything, goes back a day. Guillaume Nail then reveals the balance of power established between the teenagers, the desires of some, the fears of others…


What makes this novel so endearing and successful is its language. Slender, precise and deliciously inventive at the same time. For a bit, it feels like a modern version of summer scene, this canvas painted in 1869 by Frédéric Bazille, where eight boys frolic at the edge of the water. But no. We do not swim in the Loire is not inspired for nothing by a real news item from 1969. The narrator repeats it enough: “Everyone knows that, bad pickaxe, the Loire. » Denis Cosnard

STORY: “An archive”, by Mathieu Lindon

From book to book, Mathieu Lindon builds an autobiography of an original genre, of which he does not occupy the center. Whether he evokes Michel Foucault, Hervé Guibert or the colleagues of Releasehe talks about others in the hope of finding his place.

From the start, we feel that the main character of this whole story is Jérôme Lindon, the father, long-time boss of the editions of Minuit, who died in 2001. For Mathieu Lindon to finally dare to explain himself head-on with this triumphant figure, both loving and overwhelming, it was no doubt necessary that he no longer be of this world and also that the publishing house attached to his name should come out of the family bosom.

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