August 2012, 144 pages
The touching journey of a family of marionettists across
Europe across three generations, between the 19th and 20th centuries. A story that speaks for all those who struggle with the passing times and the changes in the world.
JE SUIS LA MARQUISE DE CARABAS retraces the history of the Grand Pitou Theatre over three generations: its establishment by Auguste, who in 1850 abandons his job as a grocer’s boy to follow a traveling marionettist; the prosperity realised at the turn of the century by Emile, a brilliant draughtsman who masters the technical progress of the age and excels at stage direction; and, finally, the decline in the first half of the 20th century when the family comes up against the competition of the cinema, a field they struggle to adapt to.
Now in her turn steward of this dynasty of brilliant fairground entertainers, Lucile Bordes embraces her family’s legacy to compose a story filled with poetic whimsy, bringing to life the fascinating world of marionettes. Preferring the art of allusion to historical detail, she manages a tour de force: a century in the life of an exceptional family portrayed in broad strokes on a small canvas.
A beautiful tale performed by a new voice, offering an overview of the changes in art, family life and politics throughout the last two centuries.
Lucile Bordes lives in Seyne-sur-Mer, France, and teaches literature and stylistics. JE SUIS LA MARQUISE DE CARABAS is her first novel.