Hervé Le Tellier multiplied - The Canadian
Monday, November 23

Hervé Le Tellier multiplied

He never writes two books that are alike. Not the Le Tellier type. Three years later All happy families (JC Lattès, 2017), personal story of pain without pathos, which followed the hilarious Me and François Mitterrand (JC Lattès, 2016), whose narrator kept writing to the former President of the Republic, then to his successor, and sought to interpret immutably standard responses, Hervé Le Tellier surprises with The Anomaly. This novel full of twists, which goes from the United States to Nigeria, via France and India, to tell the confrontation of its protagonists with suddenly appeared doubles, has a narrative efficiency that does not renounce expensive literary games. to this distinguished oulipian. If, by its thickness, by the number of its characters and by its ambitions of novel-world, The Anomaly differs from the rest of his work, we find there the constants of a work which, for nearly thirty years, juggles with structures, language and references. To discuss it with Hervé Le Tellier, we met him in the offices of his (new) editor, Gallimard.


Came toOulipo (Potential Literature Worker) in 1992, guest (napkin ring) on ​​the show “Des Papous dans la tête” (on France Culture) until his death in 2017, it’s an understatement to say that Hervé Le Tellier has a playful and collective approach to literature. He describes as a joyful teacher the “Oulipo Thursdays”, which systematically begin with ” creation “, where members present what they are working on, before the phase of “Rumination”, “where we talk about our unfinished things”, then that of“Erudition”, where texts are mentioned “Which come from other eras, other countries, but seem Oulipian in nature”, before moving on to “Future actions”. Thus, prose writers and poets of the group discuss the structures they have in mind, those on which they come up against. “When Georges Perec came to talk about his project for La Vie manual [Hachette, 1978], it is one of the mathematicians of Oulipo who explained to him the polygraphy of the rider ”- this movement of the game of chess that Perec adopted as a constraint.

The Anomaly is not covered with specific writing principles, but its “Acknowledgments” section includes a number of Oulipian comrades, such as Paul Fournel, Clémentine Mélois (a character even bears the surname of icelle) or Jacques Roubaud. However, they are not the only ones to be thanked: for a long time a scientific journalist, Hervé Le Tellier interviewed many people to support his novel on the verge of science fiction, whether it be the pages on aviation, those on religious approaches to the soul, those to medicine.

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