An absurd, but fascinating world. This is how Gilles Archambault concludes this collection of personal texts, La candor du patriarche, which he claims to be his last. The man will soon be 90 years old and he also says: “I never thought I would live so long. »
At every stage of life, however, the quiet writer will have been there to describe what we all experience, between insignificance and wonder. In this book, he returns to his work as a writer, his professional and family life, greeting in passing his deceased friends, François Ricard and Jacques Brault in particular.
He confesses here his contradictions, his repetitions and his weaknesses. In a style that is always precise, without frills, in short, using the appropriate word. This is what makes him so endearing, despite the crooked smile that sometimes seems to miss him.
Candor, there is all the same. The writer begins and ends the book by greeting his grandson Gabriel. It is also when he talks about his family, especially the woman he loved and who left before him, that his prose becomes the most touching. Not that he thinks of someone to follow in his footsteps, but out of a deep respect for existence, especially that of others.
Gilles Archambault has always written while observing his neighbors. This real, whole attention, even if it passes through the “I” of the declared and enlightened witness that he is, leaves us with a real work that will be relevant tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
No matter how much he says he’s finished, it’s easy to imagine him at this very moment on his park bench, noting a very small detail in the air or in the gestures of the passer-by to draw a new one on the nonsense of life. That really makes sense.