Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
colours (its natural rocky hue transformed by the tints of flame, rust,
and deep blue). Roy also bestows a human quality on the scene through
her sustained use of personification for both the mountain ('Elle était
fière,' 'choisit-elle') and the lake ('qui semblait l'aimer, sans fin la con-
templer') . 14 At the same time, the size of the mountain and the scope of
the scene require the viewer's eye movement, signalled by temporal ad-
verbs positioned prominently at the beginning of successive sentences
('Ensuite,' 'Puis') and accompanied by active verbs attributed to the
mountain itself ('se montrer,' 'elle montait,' 'se terminait,' 'se mirait').
Roy's use of personification accentuates Pierre's discovery about the
meaning of the mountain for him: indeed, each is seen a component of
the other's identity, which Roy underscores through the use of direct
discourse, even for the mountain, which seems to speak to Pierre: 'per-
sonne ne m'ayant vue jusqu'ici, est-ce que j'existais vraiment? Tant que
l'on n'a pas été contenu en un regard, a-t-on la vie? A-t-on la vie si per-
sonne encore ne nous a aimés? (82; since until now no man has seen me,
did I in truth exist? As long as you have not been held captive in another's
eyes, do you live? Are we alive if no one has ever loved us? [83]). In short,
human perception and interest bestow existence, thus identity, on the ob-
jects they encounter and at the same time on their observer, as Pierre dis-
covers: 'Ainsi donc, se disait-il, ne nous trahissent pas nos grands rêves
mystérieux d'amour et de beauté. Ce n'est pas pour se jouer de nous
qu'ils nous appellent de si loin et conservent sur nos âmes leur emprise
infinie.' (82; And so, he said to himself, our great mysterious dreams of
beauty and love do not play us false. It is not to mock us that they sum-
mon us from so far away and hold fast our souls in their relentless grasp
[83].) Pierre understands that this particular mountain concretizes his
ideal ('rêves'), which leads towards his essential self ('âme'), that he is
unified with it ('amour'), and that each is a necessary player in the oth-
er's identity, without (yet) understanding why. The implications for the
writer/reader and painter/viewer relationships are inescapable and to
be explored throughout the rest of the novel.
Whereas the movement and thus totality through progressive con-
struction characterizing Roy's description of the mountain fall natu-
rally into the realm of prose, a chronological medium, they seemingly
lie beyond the limits of painting, an ostensibly static medium, as Pierre
reluctantly comes to acknowledge:
Il se vit de nouveau contraint par l'imposante architecture à n'en choisir
qu'une partie à la fois. Il fallait se limiter à l'une des facettes du joyau, en
Search WWH ::

Custom Search