Le zeugme du dimanche matin et de Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, 1983, couverture

«The waitress appeared and leaned forward impressively. Carolyn gave her a full-tilt smile and ordered a martini, very cold, very dry, and very soon.»

Lawrence Block, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, New York, HarperCollins, 2005 (1983). Édition numérique (iBooks).

Accouplements 156

Nicholson Baker, U and I. A True Story, 1991, couverture

(Accouplements : une rubriquel’Oreille tendue s’amuse à mettre en vis-à-vis deux œuvres, ou plus, d’horizons éloignés.)

Et vous, vos jaquettes, vous en faites quoi ?

Block, Lawrence, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, New York, HarperCollins, 2005 (1983). Édition numérique (iBooks).

«Like so many non-collectors, he’d disposed of the dust jackets of most of his books, unwittingly chucking out the greater portion of their value in the process. There are any number of modern firsts worth, say, a hundred dollars with a dust jacket and ten or fifteen dollars without it. Onderdonk was astonished to learn this. Most people are

Baker, Nicholson, U and I. A True Story, New York, Random House, 1991, 179 p.

«For Christmas my mother gave me Picked-Up Pieces, a collection that included the golf essay that had cracked her up a few years earlier : she said she liked the cover a lot, which was a wide-angle black-and-white shot of [John] Updike in his front yard holding out a handful of fallen leaves. I was secretly disappointed by the gift, because I wanted to own paperback fiction, not hardback collection of book reviews, and I threw out the jacket because I wanted the hardback books I did have on my shelf to look more like the books in university libraries, which, unlike the embarrassingly crinkly tenants of public institutions, weren’t shelved with their jackets on» (p. 29).

L’art du portrait à rallonge

Lawrence Block, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, 1983, couverture

«Four more men filled out the audience. One had a round face and a high forehead and looked like a small-town banker in a television commercial, eager to lend you money so that you could fix up your home and make it an asset to the community you lived in. His name was Barnett Reeves. The second was bearded and booted and scruffy, and he looked like someone who’d approached the banker and ask for a college loan. And be turned down. His name was Richard Jacobi. The third was a bloodless man in a suit as gray as hiw own complexion. He had, as far as I could tell, no lips, no eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and he looked like the real-life banker, the one who approved mortgages in the hope of eventual foreclosure. His name was Orville Widener. The fourth man was a cop, and he wore a cop’s uniform, with a holstered pistol and a baton and a memo book and handcuffs and all that great butch gear cops get to carry. His name was Francis Rockland, and I happened to know that he was missing a toe, but offhand I couldn’t tell you which one.»

Lawrence Block, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, New York, HarperCollins, 2005 (1983). Édition numérique (iBooks).

L’oreille tendue de… Tucker Coe

Tucker Coe, le Poster menteur, éd. de 1986, couverture

«J’étais seul dans le couloir. Je tendis l’oreille mais, n’entendant personne dans l’escalier, je sortis mon portefeuille pour y prendre ma carte d’achat d’essence à crédit, la seule carte de crédit que je possède. C’est un mince rectangle de plastique et, depuis quelques années, ces cartes de crédit sont devenues l’outil le plus précieux des cambrioleurs.»

Tucker Coe, le Poster menteur, traduction de R. Fitzgerald, Paris, Gallimard, coll. «Carré noir», 573, 1986 (1972), 246 p., p. 174.