Terminus radieux by Antoine Volodine
By Antoine Volodine
Taïga sombre et tremendous, steppes infinies… l. a. scène se passe d’abord après l’irradiation complète de l. a. Sibérie et l’écroulement de l. a. Deuxième Union soviétique, puis des siècles plus tard. l. a. région, dévastée par des injuries nucléaires, est à jamais inhabitable. Entourés de paysages grandioses, des soldats fantômes, des morts vivants et d’inquiétantes princesses s’obstinent à poursuivre le rêve soviétique. Désormais le centre du monde a un nom, Terminus radieux, un kolkhoze dont l. a. pile atomique s’est enfoncée sous terre. Solovieï, le président du village, met ses pouvoirs surnaturels au provider de son rêve de toute-puissance : vie et mort, amour éternel, renaissance. Assisté par l’immortelle Mémé Oudgoul, il règne en maître sur le destin des hommes et des femmes qui ont atterri là. Non loin du kolkhoze passe une voie ferrée où circule un precise convoi, toujours le même. Prisonniers et militaires cherchent en useless le camp où leur errance prendra fin. Mais, là encore, Solovieï ordonne l’histoire. Il leur faudra attendre des milliers d’années pour que s’éteigne sa présence dans leur cauchemar.
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You filthy beggar, get out of here, don't touch me, if you lay a finger on me I'll cane you to death . . and he'd go back to the window with the broken panes, stark . naked. The old women and the nuns didn't dare cross the court with the orange trees anymore. We decided that the best thing was to board up the shutters of his cell. But he always managed to break them down. Until one night, as Don Clemente slept, I walled up his window with bricks and cement, the first window I walled up in the Casa.
It was witch craft, black magic, and that's why the peasants were being crushed under the weight of endless misfortunes. Over the bone dry plains, where the animals swollen with thirst were dying off, the head of the landowner's daughter, flapping huge sinewy ears that were like bat wings, would fly after the yellow bitch dog it was warty and scrawny like the girl's nursemaid-that guided the chonch6n to a place indicated by the rays of their accom plice, the moon, on the other side of the hills.
I'm the seventh old woman. I'll take it upon myself to watch over the Azcoitia about to be born. Iris's - 50 vomit, which I washed from the kitchen tiles, anointed me. I keep it wrapped in a floor rag, with my books and my manu scripts, under the bed, where all old women keep their things. THE FIRST TffiNG I had to do was win them over. If I didn't find a way to dazzle them, I'd be accepted by them in name only, even though I'd groveled for them. I let a few days go by while I laid my plans, letting them go on barely talking to me and watching me on the sly.