Détresse des tresses


 ’Her hair was quite wonderful, I never saw hair so magnificently thick and long when it was down about her shoulders; I have often placed my hands under it, and laughed with wonder at its weight. It was exquisitely fine and soft, and in colour a rich very dark brown, with something of gold. I loved to let it down, tumbling with its own weight, as, in her room, she lay back in her chair talking in her sweet low voice, I used to fold and braid it, and spread it out and play with it. Heavens! If I had but known all!’

Joseph SHERIDAN LE FANU, Carmilla

Sur l’image, une forêt en des tresses, en détresse comme toutes les forêts et comme ma fausse raie sur l’côté. C’est qu’il y a peu, j’ai fait couper court mes cheveux, des cheveux longs depuis longtemps et remontés en chignon, souvent. J’arbore depuis un casque brun, sculpté dans la masse, au poil pour affronter l’été et mon besoin d’être éditée.

Sera-ce assez ?

Aveiro, Douro, Minho… #5: Parc National de Peneda-Gerês


‘Evidently, though he saw nothing, he suspected some sort of ambush, and was trying to go noiselessly. Wilfred saw all that, and he saw more, too. With a sudden and dreadful sinking at the heart, he caught sight of someone among the trees, waiting: and again of someone – another of the hideous black figures – working slowly along the track from another side of the field, looking from side to side, as the shepherd had described it. Worst of all, he saw a fourth – unmistakably a man this time – rising out of the bushes a few yards behind the wretched Stanley, and painfully, as it seemed, crawling into the track.’

M. R. JAMES, Wailing Well

Suite et presque fin de mon parcours lusitanien avec ces photos volées d’un Peneda-Gerês qui aurait dû être par moi dessiné. S’il ne l’a pas (plus) été, c’est que je manquais de temps : j’étais happée par le printemps.



Mais puisqu’il est arrivé, l’été, peut-être croquerai-je enfin l’orange de ses oranges et le noir des toilettes, désuètes, dont se vêtent ses vieilles. Peut-être maculerai-je mon écran blanc du lilas de ses glycines, du jaune de ses abeilles, du gris de ses espigueiros. Peut-être tremperai-je mon stylet dans ses champs roses de bruyères, et peut-être même que j’y laisserai des plumes (ceci est une allusion peu fine à Stanley Judkins, dindon du Wailing Well de M. R. JAMES, plumé dans un champ) (voir l’extrait ci-haut cité).


Peut-être aussi me souviendrai-je les bras croisés.
C’est une possibilité.

Aveiro, Douro, Minho… #4: Source d’eau chaude


‘In the black abyss there appeared a single Eye that slowly grew, until it filled nearly all the Mirror. So terrible was it that Frodo stood rooted, unable to cry out or to withdraw his gaze. The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.’

J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Lord of the Rings

Dans le Parc National de Peneda-Gerês, il me fut donné d’enfin réaliser mon rêve de fan de bain : trouver une source d’eau chaude qui ne soit ni privée, ni squattée, et buller dans l’eau évaporée…

Ci-suit mon ex-voto, total et achevé :


Par quel mystère le bain d’eau chaude s’est-il mué en bain à bulles, par quelle magie les corps baignés, multipliés, furent-ils défripés ? Imagination ou vin vert, les paris sont ouverts !

Aveiro, Douro, Minho… #3: Ruines de Porto et d’ailleurs

‘There’s no beauty without poignancy and there’s no poignancy without the feeling that it’s going, men, names, books, houses – bound for dust – mortal –’

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Beautiful and Damned

Comment n’pas admirer Porto, ville en collines, ville de points d’vue, forêt de toits enchevêtrés ? Je l’ai aimée de bas en haut, sous le soleil, sous ses étoiles ; j’ai vécu ses parcs et ses églises, ses murs d’azulejos, ses couleurs, son marché et ses marchands.

Au soir d’mon arrivée, un fait, pourtant, m’a attristée : tant de maisons sans locataires et tant de riches bâtisses laissées à l’abandon, sans dieu ni maître, sans toit ni f’nêtres ; attristée, il va sans dire, moins par les bâtiments –que j’aime aussi ruinés–, que par ce qu’ils me laissaient supposer de la vie des gens qui auraient dû les animer. La crise, me dis-je, la chute. Mais voilà que l’on me parle, mais voilà que l’on m’apprend que la ville avant était en pire état, que petit à petit elle se reconstruit et que le verre de Porto est réellement moins vide que plein… De quoi relativiser la portée du regard porté, non ?


Je vous parlais de ruines. Le fait est qu’au Portugal, j’avais en poche un Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned, dans lequel l’héroïne, Gloria Gilbert, loue leur beauté fanée, préférée par elle à la fadeur du rénové. L’extrait, extra, vaut son pesant de cacahouètes :

‘I think it’s perfectly terrible ! she said furiously, ‘the idea of letting these people come here ! And of encouraging them by making these houses show-places.’

‘Well,’ objected Anthony, ‘if they weren’t kept up they’d go to pieces.’

‘What if they did!’ she exclaimed as they sought the wide pillared porch. ‘Do you think they’ve left a breath of 1860 here? This has become a thing of 1914.’

‘Don’t you want to preserve old things?’

‘But you can’t, Anthony. Beautiful things grow to a certain height and then they fail and fade off, breathing out memories as they decay. And just as any period decays in our minds, the things of that period should decay too, and in that way they’re preserved for a while in the few hearts like mine that react to them. That graveyard at Tarrytown, for instance. The asses who give money to preserve things have spoiled that too. Sleepy Hollow’s gone; Washington Irving’s dead and his books are rotting in our estimation year by year –then let the graveyard rot too, as it should, as all things should. Trying to preserve a century by keeping its relics up to date is like keeping a dying man alive by stimulants.’

‘So you think that just as a time goes to pieces its houses ought to go too?’

‘Of course! Would you value your Keats letter if the signature was traced over to make it last longer? It’s just because I love the past that I want this house to look back on its glamorous moment of youth and beauty, and I want its stairs to creak as if to the footsteps of women with hoop skirts and men in boots and spurs? But they’ve made it into a blondined, rouged-up old woman of sixty. It hasn’t any right to look so prosperous. It might care enough for Lee to drop a brick now and then. (’)

Elle parle d’Arlington House, je pleure Mount Vernon, Herculanum et tant d’autres beautés gâchées par un ravalement raté.


Aveiro, Douro, Minho… #2: Parure en cheveux du Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis

Ma fascination pour les bijoux en cheveux ne dORt jamais que d’un œil et fait au réveil flèche de tout bois… ce verre de vin vert !

C’est un ORdre.


Liège, la veille de mon aventure lusitanienne. Fignolant une illu, je prête une OReille distraite au Sense and Sensibility de Jane AUSTEN (ou comment les livres audio ont changé ma vie) quand soudain, j’entends Marianne parler d’une bague, de cheveux, enfin, d’une bague en cheveux :

She was sitting by Edward, and in taking his tea from Mrs. Dashwood, his hand passed so directly before her, as to make a ring, with a plait of hair in the centre, very conspicuous on one of his fingers.

“I never saw you wear a ring before, Edward,” she cried. “Is that Fanny’s hair? I remember her promising to give you some. But I should have thought her hair had been darker.”

Marianne spoke inconsiderately what she really felt—but when she saw how much she had pained Edward, her own vexation at her want of thought could not be surpassed by his. He coloured very deeply, and giving a momentary glance at Elinor, replied, “Yes; it is my sister’s hair. The setting always casts a different shade on it, you know.”

Elinor had met his eye, and looked conscious likewise. That the hair was her own, she instantaneously felt as well satisfied as Marianne; the only difference in their conclusions was, that what Marianne considered as a free gift from her sister, Elinor was conscious must have been procured by some theft or contrivance unknown to herself. She was not in a humour, however, to regard it as an affront, and affecting to take no notice of what passed, by instantly talking of something else, she internally resolved henceforward to catch every opportunity of eyeing the hair and of satisfying herself, beyond all doubt, that it was exactly the shade of her own.

Grosso modo, le timide Edward porte au doigt un bijou en cheveux, ceux de sa sœur, dit-il. Marianne et ElinOR font mine de le croire mais croient surtout reconnaitre une mèche des cheveux d’ElinOR et s’en réjouissent.


Plus tard, Lucy confie à ElinOR être secrètement fiancée à Edward et lui apprend que les cheveux sertis sont les siens :

I gave him a lock of my hair set in a ring when he was at Longstaple last, and that was some comfort to him, he said, but not equal to a picture. Perhaps you might notice the ring when you saw him?”

“I did,” said Elinor, with a composure of voice, under which was concealed an emotion and distress beyond any thing she had ever felt before.

“Life isn’t f’hair”, songe alORs héhé ElinOR.


PorTO, une chaude journée de printemps. Papillonnant de vitrines en tableaux, je tombe nez-à-nez, fascinée, avec les bracelets en cheveux ici photographiés. Ils sont faits de citrine, de cheveux et d’OR, sont exposés au Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis et je puis d’ORes et déjà l’écrire :

Je les adORe ; – )