Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
prendre, en laisser, fractionner la superbe montagne. Ce lui était doulou-
reux. Qui n'a rêvé, en un seul tableau, en un seul livre, de mettre enfin tout
l'objet, tout le sujet; tout de soi; toute son expérience, tout son amour, et
combler ainsi l'espérance infinie, l'infinie attente des hommes! [83; Once
again he found himself forced by the imposing architecture to select from
it only a single portion at a time. He had to limit himself to one facet of the
jewel, take this, leave that, parcel out this superb structure. It saddened
him. Who has not dreamed, on a single canvas, within a single book, to
include once for all the whole object, the whole subject; one's all, all one's
experience, all one's love, and thus fulfill the infinite hope, the infinite ex-
pectation of men! (85)]
One senses in this passage Pierre's frustration ('douleureux'), which
stems from the conflict between his dream of totality ('tout') and his
recognition of the limits ('contraint') of his medium, which cause him to
break up his vision of the mountain into fragments ('fractionner la su-
perbe montagne'). The conjoining of painting ('tableau') and text
('livre') illustrate to what degree La montagne secrète is about writing as
much as painting, and thus to what extent the novel is metacritical and
autobiographical, as Roy readily confirmed in a statement that unites
her with Pierre, while linking writing ('book') to painting ('picture'): 'I
think a writer dreams, as Pierre of The Hidden Mountain hoped, of put-
ting all the subjects, briefly, in one undertaking. Of course he never ar-
rives there, and that is why there are always writers and always artists
… Fundamentally what we hope is to get it all down in one book, or in
one picture, or in one song, but of course always something is left out.
That's why we start again' (in Cameron, 144).
A similar contrast between fragment and totality can be found by
comparing Richard's drawings of La montagne secrète 15 - which focus,
like Pierre's sketches, on one facet of the mountain, rendered by
Richard's twisted, turning strokes, lending the drawings the same sense
of torment experienced by Pierre - to Richard's oil painting, La mon-
tagne secrète , presumably from 1975, the year of the illustrated edition,
but whose style could easily make it as early as the 1960s, which has a
far different feeling, going well beyond the mere choice of medium
(plate 11). Here the breadth of the composition, capturing the entire
mountainside, set off by the forest in the foreground, lends the painting
a scope rivalling that of Roy's description and Pierre's dreams. The
bright colours, especially the warm set of golds against the gamut of
greens, the rich texture imparted by the heavy impasto, the freedom of
Search WWH ::

Custom Search