A journey to Italy, the native country, tracking down the narrator’s ancestors who emigrated to France. But this is also a journey made in the other direction, the journey of a man remembering the woman he has loved and lost. This two itineraries cross somewhere in Lombardy or Calabria, in the Po estuary, in the family pensiones in Rimini, in Ferrara or Rome. Or in the village of Craco where Louis, the grandfather, lived.
In this gentle, poignant narrative, Sébastien Berlendis invites us to travel across country in a long sensual itinerary brimming with images, names, faces and landscapes like so many photographs framed with all the urgency of longing.
Once immersed in the text, the reader is ensnared by the sweet pleasure of being led through those backstreets, courtyards, shorelines and forests, being allowed to slip between the sheets in hotel rooms and to discover bodies, bare necks and passers-by, to bump into Jean-Louis Trintignant or Vitorio Gassmann, or the family of forefathers whose name Berlendi has since evolved into Berlendis.
As the narrator captures images of this much loved country, the journey becomes loaded with smells and light and the weight of melancholy, revealing a palette of bewitching sensations portrayed in sensual poetic prose.
Sébastien Berlendis lives in Lyon where he teaches philosophy. His first book, Une dernière fois la nuit, was published by Stock in “la forêt” in March 2013.
Dans ce récit charnel et poignant, Sébastien Berlendis nous invite à un voyage en Italie, à la recherche de traces familiales et amoureuses. Une traversée des lieux en une longue rêverie où affleurent des images, des visages, des paysages comme s’il s’agissait de photographies cadrées avec l’urgence du désir.