De Franse schrijver van Russische afkomst Andreï Makine werd geboren in Krasnojarsk op 10 september 1957. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 september 2010. en eveneens alle tags voor Andreï Makine op dit blog.
Uit: Dreams of My Russian Summers (Le Testament français, vertaald door Geoffrey Strachan)
„Throughout this parade of expressions and faces there recurred here and there that of a woman with fine, regular features and large gray eyes. Young at first, in the earliest of the albums, her smile was suffused with the secret charm of the “petite pomme.” Then, with age, in the more recent albums, closer to our time, this expression became muted and overlaid with a veil of melancholy and simplicity.
It was this woman, this Frenchwoman, lost in the snowy immensity of Russia, who had taught the others the words that bestowed beauty. My maternal grandmother… She was born in France at the beginning of the century in the family of Norbert and Albertine Lemonnier. The mystery of the “petite pomme” was probably the first of the legends that enchanted our childhood. And these were also among the first words we heard in that language that my mother used, jokingly, to call “your grandmaternal tongue.”
One day I came upon a photo I should not have seen…. I was spending my holidays with my grandmother in the town at the edge of the Russian steppe where she had been stranded after the war. A warm, slow summer dusk was drawing in and flooding the rooms with a mauve glow. This somewhat unearthly light fell upon the photos that I was examining before an open window, the oldest snapshots in our albums. The pictures spanned the historic watershed of the 1917 revolution; brought to life the era of the tsars; and, moreover, pierced the iron curtain, which was then almost impenetrable, transporting me at one moment to the precinct of a gothic cathedral and the next into the pathways of a garden where the precise geometry of the plants left me perplexed. I was plunging into our family prehistory.
Then suddenly this photo!
I saw it when, out of pure curiosity, I opened a large envelope that had been slipped between the last page and the cover. It was that inevitable batch of snapshots that have not been judged worthy to appear on the rough cardboard of the pages, landscapes that can no longer be identified, faces that evoke neither affection nor memories. One of those batches you always tell yourself you must sort through one day, to decide the fate of all these souls in torment…. “
Andreï Makine (Krasnojarsk, 10 september 1957)