Tristesse de la terre : Une histoire de Buffalo Bill Cody


  • Paperback
  • 176 pages
  • Tristesse de la terre : Une histoire de Buffalo Bill Cody
  • Éric Vuillard
  • French
  • 16 May 2019
  • 2330036329

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Tristesse de la terre : Une histoire de Buffalo Bill CodyAlors, le r ve reprend Des centaines de cavaliers galopent, soulevant des nuages de poussi re On a bien arros la piste avec de l eau, mais on n y peut rien, le soleil cogne L tonnement grandit, les cavaliers sont innombrables, on se demande combien peuvent tenir dans l ar ne C est qu elle fait cent m tres de long et cinquante de large Les spectateurs applaudissent et hurlent La foule regarde passer ce simulacre d un r giment am ricain, les yeux sortis du cr ne Les enfants poussent pour mieux voir Le c ur bat On va enfin conna tre la v rit Me ha parecido sublime Una lectura fascinante, por su historia, su significado, su lenguaje. ric Vuillard nos narra con una belleza demoledora, como de la masacre, la humillaci n y la invenci n de la historia, nace uno de los mayores shows de la poca Este espect culo fu el Wild West show creado por B falo Bill, y el pueblo masacrado fu el indio El espect culo es el origen del mundo Un show que llegaron a ver m s de cuarenta mil personas cada d a para atraer al p blico hab a que contar una historia que millones de americanos primero y luego europeos quer an oir , donde lo ric Vuillard nos narra con una belleza demoledora, como de la masacre, la humillaci n y la invenci n de la historia, nace uno de los mayores shows de la poca Este espect culo fu el Wild West show creado por B falo Bill, y el pueblo masacrado fu el indio El espect culo es el origen del mundo Un show que llegaron a ver m s de cuarenta mil personas cada d a para atraer al p blico hab a que contar una historia que millones de americanos primero y luego europeos quer an oir , donde lo m s importante eran los actores Los mismos indios ridiculizados, que en la mayor a de los casos se ve an obligados a representar una y otra vez su propio sufrimiento Zinkala Nuni nos parece una parodia, no es solo porque su mirada triste y agotada nos grite que moriremos quemados por nuestra m scara, el motivo es m s terrible Si as vestida, nos parece que vaya disfrazada es porque ya no es india Para m este es un librazo en may sculas El merito de Vuillard, sin duda por su estilo impecable, bello y demoledor Pudo haber sido un gran gran libro La historia de Buffalo Bill, considero, ameritaba mucho m s Es un libro que parece un resumen a medio terminar Me gust , pero siento que qued a mitad de camino Est bien, es un 2,5. El libro es excelente, una reflexi n sobre la relaci n entre masacre y espect culo, aculturaci n y construcci n de una ficci n sobre los indios Tambi n, un bell simo por c mo est escrito, por el mimo con el que Vuillard elige cada palabra retrato sobre ese mundo que se disipaba ante los ojos, cuyo nico testimonio quedaba en las fotograf as, el folclore y las narraciones orales que perviv an mientras el show, el capital y la primitiva cultura del entretenimiento masivo reescrib an la Historia El libro es excelente, una reflexi n sobre la relaci n entre masacre y espect culo, aculturaci n y construcci n de una ficci n sobre los indios Tambi n, un bell simo por c mo est escrito, por el mimo con el que Vuillard elige cada palabra retrato sobre ese mundo que se disipaba ante los ojos, cuyo nico testimonio quedaba en las fotograf as, el folclore y las narraciones orales que perviv an mientras el show, el capital y la primitiva cultura del entretenimiento masivo reescrib an la Historia De propina, Vuillard sintetiza ese descorazonador esfuerzo de captar lo ef mero, el detalle que se esfuma tan pronto tratamos de capturar, en la historia de Wilson Bentley, fot grafo de copos de nieve y muchas m s cosas Brutal No he sabido encontrar nada excepto una escritura bonita No s Creo que no he sabido conectar con esta obra O tal vez no haya querido Nunca se sabe. Nick and Emma are friends, and both have decided that love and marriage aren t in their futures Nick s issues stem from his father, a cold and mean spirited man who did all in his power to keep him bowed and insecure despite his destiny to be a Duke Emma is guilty over the loss of her best friend Lena at the hands of her abusive husband she s determined to see women provided with their own ability to provide for themselves and make choices that are broader than marriage or hidden spinsterhood Nick and Emma are friends, and both have decided that love and marriage aren t in their futures Nick s issues stem from his father, a cold and mean spirited man who did all in his power to keep him bowed and insecure despite his destiny to be a Duke Emma is guilty over the loss of her best friend Lena at the hands of her abusive husband she s determined to see women provided with their own ability to provide for themselves and make choices that are broader than marriage or hidden spinsterhood But, the attraction that keeps these two dancing around one another, despite their clinging to their fears and prejudices against love is something that, despite their best intentions, will not be denied From the prologue where we get Nick s backstory, his personality and retreat into someone who is rather removed and scornful, all while being little boy lost is rather intriguing unfortunately he never really did grow from that as completely as Emma did, and their interactions often suffered from this imbalance Emma, for her part did have some intriguing moments and a solid backstory that gave her intentions some purpose, but that too felt shuffled to the background as the author worked to put the couple s relationship forward So much richness here for exploration that went largely untapped the subjugated role for women in the time, property rather than people of their own right, society s scorn and dismissal of women who wish to follow their own path and challenge that status quo, and even Emma s rather ham handed attempts to save yet another woman that lands her in the middle of the wagging tongues MacGregor again uses some complex issues to fuel the backstory, but these issues have again been relegated to background as the growing affection between Nick and Emma is created, lacking that emotional feel from characters that show a pattern of growth that would bring them together organically Pacing is again uneven, and prose moves from some fabulous dialogue between Emma and Nick to flowery and almost painfully forced sexy moments where neither character truly presented a conviction to the reader that would show them together While I was excited to see afeminist character in Emma, and an understandably closed off Nick coming to see that his childhood belief in love as a curse was wrong, neither grew into their potential, and the unevenness between the strides and changes Emma made were starkly contrasted to the stalled growth of Nick Yes, this is the author s second book, and while I saw some improvement in style and development from the first, there are still points where character, intention and issues could befully flushed out, providing emotional connection to the couple that readers couldn t deny I ve read the first two in this series now, and am curious to see MacGregor s progression and growth in her next book I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review I was not compensated for this review all conclusions are my own responsibility Review first appeared at I am, Indeed What did I just read Full disclosure I received a free electronic ARC for review Trigger warning for violence against Native Americans, including genocide However, the real spark was elsewhere The central idea of the Wild West Show lay somewhere else The aim was to astound the public with an intimation of suffering and death which would never lose its grip on them They had to be drawn out of themselves, like little silver fish in a landing net They had to be presented with human figures What did I just read Full disclosure I received a free electronic ARC for review Trigger warning for violence against Native Americans, including genocide However, the real spark was elsewhere The central idea of the Wild West Show lay somewhere else The aim was to astound the public with an intimation of suffering and death which would never lose its grip on them They had to be drawn out of themselves, like little silver fish in a landing net They had to be presented with human figures who shriek and collapse in a pool of blood There had to be consternation and terror, hope, and a sort of clarity, an extreme truth cast across the whole of life Yes, people had to shudder a spectacle must send a shiver through everything we know, it must catapult us ahead of ourselves, it must strip us of our certainties and sear us Yes, a spectacle sears us, despite what its detractors say A spectacle steals from us, and lies to us, and intoxicates us, and gives us the world in every shape and form And sometimes, the stage seems to existthan the world, it ispresent than our own lives,moving andpersuasive than reality,terrifying than our nightmares There s no mistaking the sound of iniquity on the move Originally published in France in 2014 under the title Tristesse de la terre , Sorrow of the Earth is the first of ric Vuillard s novels to be translated into English A work of historical fiction, it tells the story of Buffalo Bill Cody s Wild West show, which traveled throughout the United States and Europe, under various names, for thirty years around the turn of the century 1883 1913 While the show featured a number of performers and attractions including Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler trick shooter Lillian Smith Calamity Jane and reenactments of the riding of the Pony Express trail and stagecoach robberies, to name a few Vuillard centers the narrative on Native Americans, to great effect The Wild West show employed a number of Indigenous performers, most notably Sitting Bull, as well as survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre Perversely, these last were hired in part to perform in a reenactment of their own victimization only instead of a massacre, the audience witnessed a battle the Buffalo Bill interpretation of the facts, to quote Vuillard Likewise, in Cody s reimaging of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, none other than Buffalo Bill himself swoops in at the last moment to avenge Custer and his men In other words, the show glorified its star and ringmaster, while rewriting history and vilifying the oppressed Native populations To add insult to injury, Indigenous people were recruited to assist in their own denigration With echoes of James Loewen s Lies My Teacher Told Me, as well as a promise to deconstruct the spectacle of circuses and carnivals, Sorrow of the Earth piqued my interest I plowed through it in one day and was left feelingthan a little disquieted Some of this, I m sure, was intentional on the author s part e.g., a feeling of unease as to how the Native Americans were are treated But the rest Mostly I just couldn t figure out what the heck Vuillard was trying to say And that last chapter, wtf did I just read Perhaps it s an issue of some meaning being lost in translation, but much of Vuillard s writing is overblown and even a little pretentious It s clear that he s trying hard too hard for a deep sense of philosophicalness, but the result often alternates between strained and comical e.g., One night, the storm was so harsh, the sea so wild, that he began to feel afraid At times, he felt he was dissolving into the sky A How could you possibly know that and B What does this even mean Additionally, there s the narration I went into the book with the erroneous assumption that the story would be told from the perspective of one of the Native American performers in the Wild West show This is not the case Normally, I wouldn t hold my own misguided expectations against an author except, in this case, I think the story would have been better served by having an Indigenous narrator Instead, it feels rather detached Bombastic, even, as the narrator makes GRAND STATEMENTS about a travesty as an outsider looking in The narrator himself sounds quite like a showman, which doesn t help his argument When Zintkala Nuni is introduced at the 37% mark, I thought for sure that she would be revealed as the story s narrator Just four months old at the time of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, Zintkala Nuni was found strapped to her mother s back four days later She was rescued, in a manner of speaking initially cared for by members of the Lakota, she was later adopted by General Leonard Wright Colby Wikipedia says she was removed, while Vuillard s narrative has her being bought by Cody and promptly resold to Colby, to be used as a prop in his business dealings with Native Americans Colby abandoned his family not long after, and his wife, suffragette Clara Bewick Colby, raised the girl, now named Margaret Elizabeth Colby She spent time in a boarding school and, later, an institution for unwed mothers possibly after being sexually abused and impregnated by Colby She married, contracted syphilis from her husband left him, and went on to perform in Buffalo Bill s Wild West show, as well as bit roles silent movies She died in poverty at the age of thirty, struck down by the flu.We learn a little of Zintkala Nuni s fate from Vuillard the problem is, the story requires some prior knowledge of these events, as Vuillard s writing can sometimes prove confusing so damn flowery Suffice it to say that the narrator is not Zintkala Nuni, but remains a distant, third party observer.Finally, as a reader who doesn t claim any Native American ancestry, I m not comfortable speaking to Vuillard s sensitivity or accuracy Overall I thought the story was compassionate and probablyauthentic than most of the white supremacist BS you d find in American History textbooks Certainly it inspired me to want to learnBut what the heck do I know Vuillard does employ a number of terms that are both offensive but also appropriate for the time period e.g., savages, bums Several times Vuillard insinuates that the Native Americans time is coming to an end The spectacle that seized upon the Indians in the final moments of their history was not the least of the violence perpetrated against them which is both insulting and untrue For example, this myth formed the basis for the title of Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz and Dina Gilio Whitaker s 2016 book, All the Real Indians Died Off And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans In summary, Sorrow of the Earth shows promise, but is at least partially undone by the author s over the top writing style Un petit livre passionnant et tr s bien document dans lequel Eric Vuillard raconte avec sa magnifique criture l histoire de Buffalo Bill et du Wild West Show, spectacle hors norme, simulacre de la conqu te de l Ouest A travers ce r cit, Eric Vuillard pose un autre regard sur ce show qui se joue parall lement au g nocide des Indiens d Am rique et nous d voile le visage d une bien triste r alit. 4 5 5Excelente relato breve sobre el auge y caida de Buffalo Bill, que adem s incide en el nacimiento de la cultura del espect culo con el circo Wild West Show que viaj por todo el mundo la construcci n de t picos que han calado hondo en el imaginio popular se dan palmadas contra la boca y auu, auu,auu Brota una especie de grito salvaje, inhumano Pero este grito de guerra no se ha emitido ni en las Grandes Llanuras, ni en Canad , ni en ningua otra parte es pura invenci n de Buffalo Bill 4 5 5Excelente relato breve sobre el auge y caida de Buffalo Bill, que adem s incide en el nacimiento de la cultura del espect culo con el circo Wild West Show que viaj por todo el mundo la construcci n de t picos que han calado hondo en el imaginio popular se dan palmadas contra la boca y auu, auu,auu Brota una especie de grito salvaje, inhumano Pero este grito de guerra no se ha emitido ni en las Grandes Llanuras, ni en Canad , ni en ningua otra parte es pura invenci n de Buffalo Bill no pueden ni imaginarse que todos los ni os del mundo occidental, a partir de entonces, har n vibrar la palma contra la boca, en corro alrededor del fuego, para gritar como los sioux y, especialmente, la desolaci n del pueblo indio masacres como la de Wonded Knee, figuras como la de Toro Sentado, la participaci n en farsas como la del circo Wild West Show, etc


About the Author: Éric Vuillard

Born in Lyons in 1968, ric Vuillard is a French author and film director His books include Conquistadors winner of the Ignatius J Reilly prize 2010 , and La Bataille de l occident and Congo, for both of which he was awarded the 2012 Franz Hessel prize and the 2013 Valery Larbaud prize Sorrow of the Earth is the first of his titles to be translated into English.