The family is made up of Cédric, his friend and rival, Alice, a charming young girl, mother Maud and father Georges. Marius’ life takes place between the tennis court (he takes part in a tournament which is told throughout the novel) and his teenage adventures, swimming in the pool or in the sea, parties, family dinners. while waiting for the days to pass one after the other.
Because the attitude of Marius is the same as that which he has on the tennis court: an active passivity, one could say, attentive and strategic, which gives the feeling of knowing how to take things in hand and of being able to control them. only if we let them happen. But also an indolent passivity, a kind of detachment from things – the same that he shows on the court, with his wait-and-see and defensive game – which can hide a risk in itself. That of allowing oneself to be crossed by events, of not imprinting a form on them, of accepting everything and deciding nothing. However, this attitude, which will evolve slightly in the heart of the novel, appears consciously affirmed by the protagonist: “but I had to remain myself, that I let things come. “
And it is also the author’s bet on writing: a pen which is content to describe what is happening while remaining as close as possible to the objects. Marius’ sensations, often physical but also psychological, are recounted with a precision as clear as it is modest: the world around him is recorded with finesse, as if the writing was transparent and could cover things and bring them to light without appearing. show, staying as close as possible to them.
This is how the events are told, in a sustained and pleasant rhythm that creates a constant dynamic, articulated around the parallel between what happens on the tennis court and what happens off the court. And, as in the best initiation novels, the protagonist also goes through an evolution, personal and spiritual, as well as as a player.
Tennis, therefore, is only a pretext to describe life as it is perceived and lived by a boy of sixteen or seventeen, who seeks himself and follows a philosophy, which is also a way of writing , with humility and accuracy. A remarkable writing therefore, which makes one think of The Stranger by Camus, to tell the fresh story of a teenager in search of himself inside and outside the tennis court.
Thomas André – The advantage – Tristram – 9782367190808 – € 17