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N.K. Jemisin dans le magazine américain Salon

N.K. Jemisin dans le magazine américain Salon

Lundi 14 Novembre 2011
N.K. Jemisin, « l’une des voix les plus célèbres de la fantasy épique dont le premier livre, Les Cents Mille Royaumes, a remporté le Locus Award du meilleur roman ».

Laura Miller, journaliste au sein du magazine américain Salon, qui couvre notamment les rubriques musique, cinéma et livres, a interviewé N.K. Jemisin, « l’une des voix les plus célèbres de la fantasy épique dont le premier livre, Les Cents Mille Royaumes, a remporté le Locus Award du meilleur roman ».
 

L’auteur dévoile ses débuts dans l’écriture ainsi que sa vision de la fantasy :

« Je lisais exclusivement des auteurs masculins », dit-elle.
 
Dans son premier livre […], lorsque son père l'a incitée à créer un personnage féminin noir, elle a découvert qu'elle ne pouvait pas le faire. « Je ne savais vraiment pas comment écrire du point de vue féminin, même si j'étais une femme. »
 
« Le travail sur la fantasy consiste à regarder en arrière, tout comme la science-fiction regarde vers l’avant. Mais la fantasy ne correspond pas à un simple retour en arrière à un endroit ou à un moment précis. »
 
«  Il y a tellement d’histoires riches, fascinantes, intéressantes que nous n’avons pas encore explorées dans le genre : des pays dont la mythologie est complexe et fascinante, des cultures dont nous n’avons même pas tenté d’en raconter l’histoire. »
 
« Le genre peut aller beaucoup, beaucoup plus loin », a enfin déclaré l’auteur.
 
 

Voici un extrait de l’article :

« She started out reading science fiction, deeming fantasy to be insufficiently “real,” a notion she now considers “bizarre.” Furthermore, “I was reading almost exclusively male writers.” Her youthful attempts at writing her own stories hit a snag when her father prompted her to create a black female character, and she found she couldn’t do it. “I really didn’t know how to write from the female perspective, even though I was female.” An active search for more innovative science fiction led her to the work of Octavia Butler, “and my consciousness was utterly changed.” […]

Nevertheless, when Jemisin decided to write her own epic fantasy in grad school, she found herself abiding by some of the genre’s most shopworn conventions. Her main character was a man. “I was thinking it had to have a quest in it, with a MacGuffin of Power being brought to a Place of Significance,” she said. The book didn’t quite work, so she set it aside, and when she returned to it a few years later, she decided to start over. She made the main character a woman and, in an even more marked departure from the norm, she decided to have that character narrate the book in the first person. “I knew that what I was writing was inherently defiant of the tropes of epic fantasy,” Jemisin said, “and I wasn’t sure it would be accepted.”
 
Jemisin’s series, too, is set in the capital of an empire that has been run by an aristocratic clan for generations. The power of the Arameri family, however, resides in the gods — specifically a pantheon of deities whom they have imprisoned and enslaved. The narrator of “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” is the daughter of a renegade member of the clan who ran off with a foreigner. Raised in a remote kingdom with its own fiercely independent customs, she returns to the capital seeking information about her mother and, once there, becomes embroiled in vicious palace intrigues.
 
Jemisin has been annoyed to learn that her first novel sometimes gets shelved in the same section, which means that readers searching the science fiction and fantasy area can’t find it. “The inherent danger of that section,” she said, “are the ideas that, a) only African-Americans would be interested in it, and b) African-Americans are interested solely because there is something African-American associated with it — usually the writer. I don’t see the novels of white authors who write black characters getting shoved into that section.” This is all the more irksome when, as was the case with her first novel, people assume her narrator is black; Jemisin envisioned the character and her people as similar to the Incas. “Just because I am black,” she said, “does not mean I am always going to write about black characters.”

 “The genre can go many, many more places than it has gone,” said Jemisin. “Fantasy’s job is kind of to look back, just as science fiction’s job is to look forward. But fantasy doesn’t always just have to look back to one spot, or to one time. There’s so much rich, fascinating, interesting, really cool history that we haven’t touched in the genre: countries whose mythology is elaborate and fascinating, cultures whose stories we just haven’t even tried to retell.” »

 
 
Si vous désirez en savoir plus (et si vous lisez l’anglais), allez jeter un coup d’œil à l’article de Salon.
 
 
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