Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Marie regarda les champs où les hommes s'affairaient autour des veil-
lottes comme des abeilles autour des ruches, les cadres paisibles des
avoines et des blés dans toute la force du vert, ceux des pacages avec leurs
cairns de roches: simples monuments dressés en souvenir des mains qui
s'étaient usées, des reins qui s'étaient rompus depuis des générations et
des générations à nettoyer la face de cette terre. Dans le pendant, à droite,
elle regarda l'abatis de Joson, avec ses cailloux entassés par le grand frère
et qui ressemblaient à des oeufs dans la corbeille des ronces. Plus loin, là-
bas, c'était la haute muraille, c'était le grand fief de chasse que Marie ne
connaissait pas, mais où, d'après les dires de son père, régnait ce qu'il y a de
plus beau sous le soleil: la liberté. [91; Marie looked over the fields where
the men were working around the haystacks like bees around hives, the
peaceful surroundings of oats and wheat in full force of green, of pastures
with their cairns of rocks: simple monuments erected in memory of worn
hands and broken backs from generations and generations of clearing the
face of the land. In the matching piece to the right she saw Joson's clearing,
with her big brother's pile of stones, looking like eggs in a basket of
brambles. Farther on, beyond, was the high rampart, the great freehold for
hunting where Marie hadn't been but where, according to her father, there
reigned what was most beautiful under the sun: liberty.]
Now, what had been seen as mere space becomes intimate place, in-
deed sites of memory ('monuments dressés en souvenir') of the ances-
tors and deeds that had given the country its freedom and identity
through persistence. As with Maria before her, the landscape evokes a
voice from within for Marie: 'Une voix, dans la profondeur de son sang,
demandait à crier.' (92; A voice, from the depths of her blood, wanted to
cry out.) By the end of part two her affections align with those of the
patriotic Le Lucon, felled by a treacherous blow from Le Délié but
nursed back to health by Marie.
Part Three: The Mountains
The third part of the novel is dominated by the presence of the moun-
tains, which, like the fields in part two, evolve from a distant space to a
meaningful place, first for Menaud, then for Le Lucon and Marie.
Although the words 'montagne' or 'mont' occur some fifty times in the
novel, beginning with the second page and appearing consistently
throughout, it is not until the final pages of the novel's second part that
Menaud begins to see the mountains not as a remote and elusive symbol
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