By Jean Anglade
La renaissance auvergnate d’un intrépide Américain.
Sculpteur adulé, artiste vedette du San Francisco des années trente, Ralph Stalkner est au faîte de los angeles gloire quand il voit débarquer dans son atelier une jeune modèle auvergnate aux proportions idéales. C’est le coup de foudre. Pour les beaux yeux de Francine, Ralph est prêt à tout. Ensemble, ils partent à los angeles découverte des merveilles de l. a. sculpture en Amérique, au Mexique, en Italie, en France. Ce qui leur permet de vieillir côte à côte sans s’en apercevoir. Quand Francine lui dit qu’elle a le mal du will pay, Ralph half sans hésiter s’installer avec elle dans une ferme au pied de l. a. chaîne des Puys.
Pour le Californien, l. a. transplantation est brutale. Bien que maîtrisant le langage des « mangeurs de grenouilles », Ralph doit s’habituer à l’accent neighborhood, s’initier aux us et coutumes auvergnats, tromper aussi son désoeuvrement. vehicle Ralph croit sa carrière de sculpteur fi nie… Jusqu’au jour où, contemplant l’église, il air of mystery l’illumination : los angeles pierre de Volvic vaut bien le marbre de Carrare dans lequel Michel- Ange réveillait une nymphe ou un apollon…
À travers le destin inattendu d’un Auvergnat d’adoption, le regard plein de générosité et de malice de Jean Anglade, qui nous emporte dans un voyage auquel participent et l. a. terre et le ciel.
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Extra resources for Le Sculpteur de nuages
He was looking straight at me now, standing very still. ‘I don’t know what she was called, but she was a local girl and she loved you with all her heart. ’ ‘Evie,’ he said. ’ He grabbed hold of my shoulder. ‘You know Evie? Will you tell me where she is? ’ Evie Edenshaw! Each syllable rang like a bell in my head. So this was Mama’s real name! . not here. She passed away this summer. She died of the consumption,’ I said, struggling not to cry. His eyes filled too. ‘Poor little Evie,’ he murmured.
During those long lonely years growing up in the Foundling Hospital I had thought all families living together were equally happy. When my dear friend Polly and I played picturing games, our favourite fantasy was playing Mothers and Fathers. We took turns being the parents and breathed life into the hospital bolsters so that they became our babies. ’ ‘I am very well, dear Father. Pray come and kiss our pretty baby’ – the very words bringing tears of longing to our eyes. The turbulent experiences of the past six months had done nothing to alter my expectations of family bliss.
Had Mama really said Monksby? . . Monkton? When we curled up together during those sweet stolen nights at the hospital, we had whispered the stories of our missing years. I had told Mama about the cottage in the country that had been my home till I was five. I had told her about my dear foster brother Jem, though I found it painful talking about him then, because I thought he had forgotten me. Mama wasn’t so interested in any of my foster siblings but she asked endless questions about my foster mother Peg.