Vanessa Bamberger, Lion Feuchtwanger, Laurent Joly… Brief reviews of the “World of Books”


Four novels, a story, an essay on sociology, three on history… Here are brief reviews of nine notable works in this thirteenth week of the year.

History. ““My dear colleague…””, by Philippe Artières and Nicolas Henckes

Specialist of “ordinary writings”, the historian Philippe Artières, helped by the sociologist Nicolas Henckes, immersed himself in the archives of public medicine. Together, they unearthed letters addressed, between 1953 and 1963, by a hospital psychiatrist to colleagues to explain to them his diagnosis on the patients they sent to him. This corpus testifies to an era during which the emerging medicinal power was mixed with other approaches, under the leadership of a master who alone possessed knowledge about the patient. These patients appear, under the pen of the good doctor, all the more interesting as their case is complex and requires a story. As for the treatments, they are always the same: Maxiton, Largactil, electroshock, psychoanalytical cure… In short, these moving or cruel archives recall a time when psychic suffering was better listened to than it is in the psychiatric world of today, dominated by classifications whose meaning escapes the doctor and the patient. E.Ro

““My dear colleague…”. Letters from a psychiatrist (1953-1963)”, by Philippe Artières and Nicolas Henckes, CNRS Editions, 178 p., €19, digital €14.

Read also (2022): Article reserved for our subscribers ” Safe and sound. Tiny stories of maritime rescue”, by Philippe Artières: the literary soap opera of Tiphaine Samoyault

Novel. “The Breakers”, by Vanessa Bamberger

As bewitching as it is mysterious, the island of Batz (Finistère) hides a twenty-year-old secret: the unexplained disappearance of the young Léonard Corre, whose ghost still hovers. Convinced that each of the inhabitants played a role in this drama, the mother keeps her daughter, Marion, away from the island. From this world which has long been forbidden to her, the latter nevertheless decides to force the door… In this fourth novel, Vanessa Bamberger plays with the codes of the thriller to create a disturbing fantastic universe. “The legend of the dragon was invented to scare them, to keep the islanders away from the city, on the other side of the bay. » She gives the island and its vegetation a presence in its own right, the theater of Marion’s inner conflict. Between family knots and romantic encounter, Batz will be for the young woman the starting point of a postage. With her fluid writing, the author sensitively captures the conflicts caused by things left unsaid. I.Fl.

“Les Brisants”, by Vanessa Bamberger, Liana Levi, 192 p., €19, digital €16.

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