Confessions d'un jeune romancier by Umberto Eco

By Umberto Eco

Remark un jeune écrivain doit-il s'y prendre pour s'atteler à son most excellent roman ? Par quel chemin de ruse passer pour séduire son lecteur ? Et quel journey de magie doit-il accomplir – s'il en a le expertise – pour persuader le monde que ses fictions sont des morceaux de réalité ? Telles sont, parmi d'autres, les questions auxquelles Umberto Eco (lui-même romancier octogénaire) tente de répondre ici en rassemblant ses propres souvenirs et son expérience. Des confessions ? Des conseils pratiques ? Une liste de choses à faire (et surtout à ne pas faire) quand on débute. Ce livre est tout cela à los angeles fois. Et, puisque l'homme qui l'a écrit fut l'auteur du Nom de los angeles rose et du Pendule de Foucault, on peut lui faire confiance...

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And I have the merriest meals with Cardinal Passionei, a jovial old man of seventy-eight years. I also go for drives with him, and he always escorts me home in person. When I accompany him to Frascati, we sit down to table in slippers and night-caps; and if I choose to humour him, in our night-shirts too. This may seem incredible, but I am telling the truth. Granted that he could not carry com, this should not be counted against him; for, as he once said himself, his youth had been altogether too wretched.

My friend, this is by far the saddest piece of news I have ever received in my life. If your condition were a case in which your mind was suffering, and I could contribute something to heal it by encouragement, I would promise you to sacrifice everything and to bear good and evil with you until my life's end. For I belong to the few who look upon friendship as the highest earthly possession and who prize it above everything else in the world; and I should like to be famous after death for having been an exceptional friend.

One wonders what all these kind gentlemen thought when letters of thanks reached them from Naples. The pension had come after all, and Winckelmann had been in Naples for two months before the sum of money arrived which the donors believed to be indispensable to the journey. It is clear from the correspondence that Stosch had also flung himself into the breach; and that Archinto had 'almost forced' Winckelmann to accept a present of fifty scudi. The recipient of so much bounty expressed himself both to Wille and to Fuessli in the warmest terms.

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