7 Octobre 2016
Now that their children had departed, in middle age they required another family, a more expansive and in a way more reliable family, close at hand, sociable as they, intimate without being familiar; they were rich, but not wealthy; they knew enough of wealth to know that a true fortune involves the potential for tragedy, and tragedy was not a concept with which they felt comfortable.
Aaaaaaaand...another novel by Joyce Carol Oates!
Middle Age: A Romance tells the story of a small and affluent community affected by the death of one of its pillars. By losing his life during a heroic action, the popular local artist Adam Berendt will disrupt a group of people whose existence seemed as set in stone as the Victorian mansions they inhabit. Oates effortlessly moves from one character to the other in order to sew a story that is as complex as life. Once again, her inventiveness allows her to create a tale that is both mundane (is anything more banal than midlife crisis?) and freakish (Oates has a well-known penchant for exposing her character's deepest impulses) in a style that is alternatively purposely bland and almost gothic. One can argue that the exploration of the deranged psyche and messed-up lives of America's suburban elite is a tired trope (the New York Times, who trashed Middle Age in a ferocious review, certainly thought so), but Oates' boundless imagination, poetic verve and talent for storytelling make Middle Age a deeply compelling read.