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Amin Maalouf

The tour of the words

It is with resulting from the meeting with its readers that Amin Maalouf wanted well preter with our exercise of pun.

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It is not easiest since it is the center of my universe. The tour of Baldassare is my ninth book. D tells the history of a man who is a trader in curiosities and which is interested especially in the old books. It is with the continuation of a book which is entitled the hundredth name, which is supposed to reveal the hundredth name of God. This man is inhabited by fear, fear which comes to him from all that surrounds it. He lives in one time when everyone is afraid of the end of the world: end of the world, prophetic at the same time quoted in the Apocalypse and a book... Books thus occupy a place all at the same time in my life and in my work.

The Mediterranean
The Mediterranean is the sea common to my native land and with my country of adoption. It is it center majority of the stories that I tell. It is a sea which I affectionne, even if I do not live any more the edge of
The Mediterranean.

The Community
For somebody who comes from Lebanon, concept
of community all is associated at the same time with
the idea of religious community and with the idea of
conflicts between communities. I am somebody
who does not like the communautarism, however I come from one country where we belong of birth to one community.

It is a significant value for me. It is necessary to be just on all the levels. H seems to me that the hero of this book, Baldassare, is one just man, I tested in any case in to make a man with this quality.

This need, Baldassare A also. It has sometimes eulogistic sentences with regard to its congregation. I entirely do not take them on my account, even if I believe indeed with the conquest, by the trade, of the empires the Baltic. To arrive in somebody, and to test
he to sell something, is still not one honest process, but it is worth all the same better than some other ways of treating them people. The concept of exchange is always related to word trades. When somebody is said that it is of pleasant trade, there is always this idea of bond human, peaceful, between men. There is a sentence in this book called by Baldassare when it is in London: "it are not the merchants that Jesus would have had to drive out temple, but soldiers and them traitors ", I will not take it entirely with my account, but I understand that he says it.

There we evoke still a value ambiguous:
positive by certain sides, negative by others. I believe that it is a weapon with double edge. There is a kind of solidarity human basic to essence, I come moreover of an area where one gives much of importance to this bond, which is my case. But, at the same time, there is the risk to be invaded, and in its everyday life intellectual, and in its freedom by one home environment too present and too not very respectful the individuality of each one. The family, yes, but in the respect ofindividuality.

There, on the other hand, it is a concept for which
I will be enough being wary. I believe that the virtue is
a concept which could easily be détoumable towards all kinds of abuse, is withreligious character, is in social matter. Ibe wary of the virtues in general, I have itfeeling that sometimes the vice one is more virtuous that the virtue, it is not thus certainly one term which spontaneously comes me under the feather with a positive orientation.

II seems to me that my characters who are one
little the reflection of what I am and what I think, feel reluctant to lie, but sometimes do not say the truth. There is always one gymnastics which consists in saying the things which, without being false, do not reveal the truth. I confess that I often adopt this attitude in when I must say a lie. But in even time, there are many things that I like to keep, I am a rather discrete man, not to lie, I say things which nothing forgeries say but which do not reveal truth.

My relationship to the religion is very complicated, initially I come from a family which has very complex relationship with the religion, it is a subject which is omnipresent around me. I have a great intellectual interest for religion, I do not have attachment with one religion in particular, but I do not feel either atheistic. I am somebody who believes deeply with a spiritual dimension in the world and at the same time, none the dogmas monk really does not try me. I feel very indifferent with regard to any dogma monk, of any organized religion, therefore it y has at the same time an interest and a detachment for me. Essence, they are the values morals of each one. For some, the values morals are directly related to a religious presence, and I respect them deeply. For others, these values morals do not have any relationship with religion, these, I respect them at least as much as the first cities. I do not have respect for those which, in the name of the religion, make acts which appear to me reprehensible. The fact that they proclaim them attachment with the faith does not raise them in my eyes and those which consider that while rejecting religion, that enables them to live without any regulate moral, I do not test for them either, no respect. Any person has the right of not to have any religion, but in condition to have values equivalent morals, which guide its action. Somebody who does not fly, who does not kill because it is prohibited by its religion, I respect it, somebody who does not fly not and does not kill because it estimates that its human dignity would be ridiculed, if it dropped to make these acts, it has at least as much, if not more, of value in my eyes.

I believe that, from this point of view I am a little like Baldassare, I am a man who privileges reason, which does not like the resignation at all of the intelligence, which is wary of an attitude where one gives up this quality which makes our characteristic in this universe. I am not for as much insensitive to certain things which can be connected with the superstition, but by pure curiosity, because I doubt all. If you me ask whether I believe in the existence of a book which raise all the secrecies of the universe or a secrecy particularly significant, I would answer you honestly by the negative one, but if you bring a book to me by thinking that a secrecy essence is revealed inside, without believing in it much more, I would not resist the desire of lira. In the character of Baldassare, there is always this play enters the reason and the insanity, between the rational one and the irrational one, duality which is constantly presents in this book, just like besides in the life.

The love is so present in my life that that appears to me like an obviousness. I believe that, for thirty years, I have ever risen it morning without being deeply in love, therefore I really do not notice it. If one day, I raised me the morning and that I was not it any more, I think that it would have such a vacuum in me, it would be such an interior chasm, which I would not support not. The love is constantly present in all that I make, all that I live, and for to take again an expression of Baldassare, it is a little the clay of which I am made.

I am somebody who travelled a long time everywhere in the world, lasting of the years. I went to Ethiopia, to Argentina, in Vietnam, in Italy, in Russia, in Australia, I did them five continents. I had an extraordinary thirst voyages. The day when I started to write my first novel, I became sedentary.
The voyage is one time of my life where I have
garnered many things which reappear each time I write. Since my beginnings in the writing, I test less
need to travel, I travel well sometimes but more with same thirst. Today I travel by the writing.

I one am impassioned of history. I am not it
only in the direction where I like to read the history
to learn from the things of the times from passed in various areas of the world, but I am somebody who understands each thing in function of its history. If you to speak to me of a scientific discovery, I will need that you explain me the genesis of this invention, if not I will include/understand nothing there. I include/understand all according to the evolution history, I believe that that feels in my

The writing is my first fatherland. I live
really now in the writing. When I am in my tiny office with my books, my projects of books, my pencils, my computer, and my reference works, I
feel me in my universe. That always does not have
summer the case in my life, I started to write
my first book at 32 years, it was published two
years later. It is certain which as long as I
will live the writing will remain my universe.

Collected by N. A. Kay (May 2000)

Concours de Nouvelles  thème: Rupture


Bibliography   Amin Maalouf


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