« It all really began, all the terrible business that followed, on the day my Aunt Rosamud’s door handle went missing. It was my aunt’s particular door handle, a brass one. It did not help that she had been all over the mansion the day before with it, looking for things to complain about as was her habit. She had stalked through every floor, she had been up and down staircases, opening doors at every opportunity, finding fault. And during all her thorough investigations she insisted that her door handle was about her, only now it was not. Someone, she screamed, had taken it.
There hadn’t been such a fuss since my Great Uncle Pitter lost his safety pin. On that occasion there was searching all the way up and down the building only for it to be discovered that poor old Uncle had had it all along, it had fallen through the ripped lining of his jacket pocket.
I was the one that found it. »
Circonstances de lecture
Attirée par la couverture.
Imaginez un univers entre Tim Burton et Charles Dickens, et vous aurez une bonne idée de l’atmosphère imprégnant ce premier tome de la trilogie d’Edward Carey, « Heap House » (disponible en version française sous le titre : « Le château : les Ferrailleurs »). Chaque chapitre est d’ailleurs illustré par un dessin de l’auteur lui-même.
Son héros, Clod Iremonger, vit dans la maison familiale, abritant plusieurs générations d’Iremonger, en plein milieu d’une immense déchetterie. Y sont entassées des tonnes d’objets abandonnés, de morceaux d’immeubles éparpillés, au-dessus desquels planent de nombreux oiseaux. Dans cette famille très particulière, chaque nouveau-né se voit remettre à la naissance un objet dont il doit prendre soin tout au long de sa vie. Épingle à nourrice, bonde de douche, napperon… Des objets souvent insignifiants mais dont ils ne doivent se séparer sous aucun prétexte. Tout se détraque le jour où Tante Rosamud perd sa poignée de porte… Clod, qui entend depuis la naissance les objets parler, ressent un regain de vie croissant chez les objets de la maison, alors qu’une nouvelle servante fait son entrée dans la maison et qu’une tempête approche…
On pourrait penser à un livre pour enfants, mais je peux vous assurer que c’est aussi un livre pour adultes ! Il y est question, entre autres choses, de matérialisme, de la société de consommation, d’esclavage, de pouvoir, de possession matérielle. Un conte philosophique en somme, plein de suspens. J’espère que Tim Burton aura la bonne idée d’adapter ce roman au cinéma !
Un passage parmi d’autres
Of all the names I heard, the one I heard most of all was James Henry Hayward. That was because I always kept the object that said « James Henry Hayward » with me wherever I went. It was a pleasant, young voice.
James Henry was a plug, a universal plug, it could fit most sink holes. I kept it in my pocket. James Henry was my birth object.
When each new Iremonger was born it was a family custom for them to be given something, a special object picked out by Grandmother. The Iremongers always judged an Iremonger by how he looked after his certain object, his birth object as they were called. We were to keep them with us at all times. Each was different. When I was born I was given James Henry Hayward. It was the first thing that ever I knew, my first toy and companion. It had a chain with it, two feet long, at the end of the chain there was a small hook. When I could walk and dress myself, I wore my bath plug and chain as many another person might wear his fob watch. I kept my bath plug, my James Henry Hayward, out of sight so that it was safe, in my waistcoat pocket while the chain looped out U-shaped from the pocket and the hook was attached to my middle waistcoat button. I was very fortunate in the object I had, not all birth objects were so easy as mine.
Edward Carey – Heap House – 2014 (Hot Key Books)