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Escales (Grasset, 2007)

© Lea Crespi

Gilles Anquetil is the chief editor of the prestigious French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur. He has written a sort of essay-report on the Iranian Revolution and a novel entitled "Tout va se jouer", which explores the mysterious aspects of Jazz and improvisation.

In french

Bibliography :

  • Escales (Grasset, 2007)

A brief summary of Escales :

Escales is a kind of novel-cum-travel notebook and also an original fictional report, as the reporter made the decision from the outset never to talk nor interview his "characters". A man called Sébastien watches, and observes the stage that is the world and some of its actors. On a Venetian campo, on a small Greek island, on Yemeni roads, but also in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran or Bueno-Aires, he follows his chosen characters, rare and precious. But the randomness of memory plays tricks on him because English explorers like Thessigner, musicians like Duke Ellington or even the Ethiopian Negus invite themselves in his thoughts. Not to mention the real episodes taken from his sightseeing tours of the abodes of famous people
(Beckett, Boulevard du Montparnasse, Breton rue de Furstenberg) or from his own memories as an extremely younger sibling, of the likes of Georges Dumézil or Vladimir Jankélévitch.
The important events of the world also resonate in this book : 9/11, the Iran-Iraq war, without forgetting Afghanistan, starvation and exodus in Ethiopia.
Escales is a travel notebook where the author is not seeking exoticism, where he is roving without nostalgia in worlds that are quickly fading away. This is a solemn novel, but it never lacks in joy.