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PAGE Olivier

France

Les Terres de décembre (Lucien Souny, 2008)

Olivier Page was born in, Brittany and is quite the globetrotter. He has turned his passion for travelling into a real job. He is a traveller-investigator-writer for Guides du routard and has also worked for Ouest-France and Géo. He has written a book of testimonies by staff members of the association of Doctors Without Borders Enfants d’un monde sans frontières, with pictures by Jean-Marc Durou (Agep/Vilo, 1989). He has been working for Guides du routard since 1990 and spends his time travelling and writing, enjoying both a nomadic and sedentary life style at the same time. He has visited a good fifty countries in his life but is particularly drawn to Africa and Latin America.

From his childhood in the Finistère, in the west of France, he has kept a fascination for the wind, the rain, the sea, solitude and the strength and fortitude of the inhabitants. And in order to rediscover these sensations from his childhood, the author decided to spend a whole winter in another place at the end of the world, Patagonia, in the extreme south of Latin America. That experience led to his writing Les Terres de décembre.

This book is written like a literary and journalistic document in the tradition of the major traveller-writers like Jacques Lacarrière and Nicolas Bouvier. Olivier Page is a true poet and as such was terribly enchanted by Patagonia, the wild beauty of the place and the southern immensity, its natural environment and its mysterious and splendid rains.

But as a journalist, he wonders about and investigates the future of the people, the places and the environment. The road followed by the writer is the thread of the book. The readers will immediately take to this story of the life and times of the inspired, passionate, courageous but also visionary people the author met on Ruta 7.

Those people, whether timeless gauchos or gold diggers dreaming of Eldorado, gentle dreamy billionaires or sheep herders living in ranches as vast as a French department, all have in common the luminous virtues of those who are simple at heart.

The writer spent time in new villages under twenty years of existence, where the pioneers live in harsh and difficult conditions. He pays homage to Francisco Coloane he met just before his death in Santiago. This old Chilean writer, the old Patagonian bird, considered to be one of the best Latin American writers, will share with him a few of his secrets and set him on the road.

En Français


Bibliography

  • Les Terres de décembre (Lucien Souny, 2008)

Synopsis of Les Terres de décembre

This is a trip undertaken with simple and human means, following an itinerary that is accessible to all aficionados of South America. The author undertook that trip alone, on foot or on public transports. From the very beginning of time, walking has always been the most natural or easiest way to go from point A to point B, but also the best way to see, feel and appreciate the world. It is the best way to commune with the world. Olivier Page, in his book, tries to share his passion for travelling in the simplest and most accessible form. The idea is that any curious or interested reader could go on the same trip, go to the same laces, meet the same type of people but also discover new aspects of those countries and their inhabitants.

Dragon de coeur : Voyage au Viêt Nam sur la route Mandarine

Lucien Souny - 2009

Le Viêt Nam, Olivier Page le connaît comme sa poche, et l’ancienne route mandarine qui relie Cao Bang à Ca Mau, bien que longue de près de 2 300 km, est pour lui un terrain d’aventure familier et une terre de rencontres. Car les voyages, cet écrivain le revendique, ne valent la peine que par les liens qu’ils permettent de tisser, à l’épreuve du quotidien, des réalités et des rêves. Ainsi en est-il avec les personnages vivants, jeunes ou vieux, riches ou pauvres, qui peuplent ce livre : conducteurs de cyclo-pousse, agronome devenu astrologue, poète boxeur tenant un hôtel pour chiens et chats, ingénieur forestier reconverti en photographe de nus féminins, bateliers, aubergistes, mannequins de mode, musiciens, vétérans de la guerre. Sans oublier les représentants de la jeunesse dorée lors des folles nuits d’Hanoi. Tous ont ici une histoire à raconter. Et cette histoire, c’est bien sûr celle d’un pays qui ne ressemble à aucun autre, " alliance d’un cœur d’acier dans une enveloppe de porcelaine ". Encore faut-il savoir frapper à la bonne porte, tendre l’oreille et écouter. Olivier Page réussit à merveille. Il est vrai que ce Breton de souche, lui-même marié à une Vietnamienne, père de deux enfants à la nationalité franco-vietnamienne, s’est trouvé dans ce Viêt Nam, " né de l’union d’un Dragon et d’une fée ", une seconde patrie. Bonne raison de le choisir comme guide pour aller à la découverte de " l’indestructible pays " au moment où Hanoi se prépare à célébrer, en 2010, ni plus ni moins que son millénaire.