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nimrod-171 Altro

Les jambes d'Alice
Publisher Actes Sud
Arles, 2001

This short and poetic novel tells of a love affair between a teacher and one of his
students, during an exodus to rural safety from N'Djamena, capital of Chad, around 1979,
because of the civil war. It is for the teacher a brief, sensual reprieve from normal
life: his job, his wife and child, but also involvement in the political upheaval of his
country. He justifies his affair with Alice by the situation in which he finds himself,
far from his wife, far from his normal self.
The novel?s plot is minimal. On the road leaving the capital, the narrator sees Alice and
a friend, basketball players from his school. He had already become obsessed with Alice's
athletic body. The friend conveniently leaves, and very soon he and Alice are lovers.
They stay in an almost deserted hotel, visit Alice's family (to whom he is introduced as
her fiancé), live only for the moment, a situation prevailing in many wars and flights.
Because of Alice?s jealousy, the teacher begins to feel guilty that in this special
situation he tends to forget about the implications of the civil war, and about his
family. Eventually, after some hesitations and reflections, the narrator is joining the
civil war.
The novel is a very sensual reflection of the beauty of the female body, starting with
boyhood reminiscences of motherly love, involving also a recollection of the relationship
between husband and wife, and finally the love affair with Alice which to some important
degree is an infatuation especially with her beautiful legs. In this respect, it is also
very special in contemporary African creative writing. The story is also an eulogy to the
narrator?s (and author?s) country, with vivid descriptions of landscape, trees and
Nimrod, a pen name (his full name being Nimrod Bena Djangrang), was born in Chad in 1959.
He has been living in Paris for the past ten years. Although he began writing poems at
the age of sixteen, he published his first collection at thirty, in 1989, entitled
Pierre, poussière, earning him the poetry prize Vocation. While preparing for his
doctoral thesis (he now holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Amiens),
he managed to publish a few poems and short stories. In 1999, his second collection of
poems entitled "Passage à l'infini" was published (for which he was awarded the Prix
Louise Labé), and in 2001, his third collection entitled "La traversée des jardins" was
published in a limited edition, earning him the Prix Aliénor. Nimrod's first novel, "Les
jambes d'Alice", came out in 2001 and was awarded the Prix Thyde Monnier from the Société
des Gens de Lettres. This novel is the first of a trilogy with two more books to follow:
Fugitive parce que reine and Un balcon sur l'algérois.

L'Or des rivières
(River Gold)

Heading back to his homeland as he does every year to visit his mother, at the first
light of dawn Nimrod sets off through the ochre streets of his old neighbourhood. In all
the years, the old woman has not moved, and her exiled son ? a scholarly traveller just
passing through a world whose timeless reality she still preserves ? has a sudden
realisation: ?My mother is inventing this country. It?s taken me so long to formulate the
thought. And yet it?s so simple. Stripped of all my wealth, particularly since I was
nineteen when the civil war struck, the country has never stopped looting from me. My
mother is the incarnation of that impoverishment. To Chad poets, now and in the future, I
dedicate this parcel of nakedness that even the cool of morning now spurns. It takes a
great deal of imagination to find a single maternal quality in it. This is my rôle as a
poet. My mother is inventing Chad.?
Taking this subtle homage as his starting point, Nimrod uses a succession of tableaux, to
rediscover the enchantment of past happiness, to evoke rare moments of common ground with
his father who was mostly absent from his life, and revisits the origins of his
contemplative temperament as if it were a refuge as vast as the universe: poetry is the
daughter of memory.

Nimrod has had four novels, one work of non-fiction for young adults and one literary
essay published by Actes Sud. His poetry is published by Editions Obsidiane.
NIMROD è nato nel Ciad nel 1959. Ha cominciato a scrivere poesie a sedici anni e mezzo, ma è a trent'anni che ha pubblicato la sua prima raccolta, "Pierre, poussière", nel 1989, che ha ricevuto il Prix de la Vocation. La preparazione della tesi (è dottore in filosofia all'università di Amiens) l'allontana per qualche tempo dalla creazione, anche se continua a pubblicare su riviste di poesia e narrativa. Nel 1999, pubblica la sua seconda raccolta, "Passage à l’infini" (Prix Louise Labé...