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O’LONGH Adèle

France

Les Montagnes dans les Nuages (Hoëbeke, 2008)

Adèle O’Longh was born in 1974 in Marseilles, and she currently lives in Barcelona.

She made a film about the Barrio Chino (the Chino neighbourhood), Desde mi ventana, and has just published a novel called De Beauchastel a Barcelona which takes place in the Barrio Chino, published by La Mangrana.
The book and the film were hailed by the critics in Spain.
Adèle O’Longh is fanciful and atypical. With her book, Les Montagnes dans les nuages, she gives us a personal and unconventional vision of China.

En Français


Bibliography

  • Les Montagnes dans les Nuages (Hoëbeke, 2008)
  • De Beauchastel a Barcelona - inédit en France (La Magrana, 2007)

Synopsis of Les Montagnes dans les nuages

(Loosely translated)

« China is not really one of my favourite destinations. I had never dreamt of going there. I was not especially attracted to the Silk Road, or the opium route, and not much by the idea of following in Marco Polo’s footsteps. I found China on my way. The first time, I had met an old traditional Chinese doctor in the Canaries. He was a specialist in decoctions of plants, insects and other dried animals. He was to become a kind of foster father to me ; his name was Mister Yu.

I was back from an eventful trip in a catamaran, and mister Yu wanted to go back to China.

After we had spoken for two minutes, he asked me if I wanted to join him. I said yes without hesitation.

Why would I have given a different answer ?

That’s how China became a part of my life. It could be said that China has appeared by chance.

The China of dragons and old legends, the China of the old masters of Qi Gong, of the Tao gods and martial arts. But also the China of incorrigible dreamers, of neighbourhood philosophers, the China of the romantic taxis, of girls singing mushy songs which are as tasty as the sweets they eat all day long, and the China of the tango dancers in the small alleys of Beijing. The China of the women with dazzling smiles who sell hash in the streets of Yunnan, of the teenagers who chat the girls up like young cats in heat.
It was the China of chaos and suspended time, of extravagant behaviour, of tenderness and of theatrical quarrels that soon abated, of musicians gathering in parks every night just for the pleasure of playing, with on-lookers dancing and laughing their head off, and opera singers practising the guitar near a pond.

The China of strangers who gave me a bus ticket, a piece of cake, or a photo, all this in the name of friendship, just before they vanished quickly, all confused, afraid that I might misunderstand their gift.

The China of the extreme tact where people keep something of the child in themselves, where people can be extremely serious one minute and start joking the next. It is the China of disorder, a very particular disorder, and the poetic Chinese form of disorder.

The China that is completely different from the China I had heard of.”

Adèle O’Longh

Les Montagnes dans les Nuages : Voyage dans une Chine intérieure

Hoëbeke - 2008

Les Montagnes dans les Nuages

Hoëbeke - 2008