Collection(s) : Capes-agrégation
Paru le 07/11/2007 | Broché 159 pages
A Multitude of Sins
A sequel to Rock Springs and Women with Men, the collection of short stories entitled A Multitude of Sins was published in 2001 and immediately achieved worldwide recognition. If this series of ten short stories seems to feature adultery, it would be a major mistake to believe that the stories can be reduced to what is actually a side issue or a pretext to something else, sometimes of much greater importance. As often with great writers, Richard Ford tackles several other topics along with the sin of unfaithfulness which is a base camp from which to go further up into the knowledge of human deficiency, lack and want. Pondering these sins, Richard Ford lays them all bare while often unveiling the issue of the story right form the beginning, instead of cautiously preserving it as a last chance literary trick to pull it off at the last moment. Showing insight througt observation, his writing is deceptive in as much as it seems natural and easygoing when it requires close analysis and several successive readings to yield up its literary and humane secrets. The comparison some critics have made to Chekhov is not overblown and Agregation students, certainly among the most perceptive readers in the world, should naturally enjoy both reading and studying A Multitude of Sins, pleasure and scholarship being complementary, not antagonistic. The exclusive interview of Richard Ford at the end of the book will certainly be appreciated by Agregation students, who will thus be able to finish off their knowledge of Ford's works.
Patrick Badonnel, former chair of the Agrégation, is full professor of American literature and civilization at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Paris III).
Claude Maisonnat, a former member of the jury of the Agrégation, is Professor Emeritus at the Lumère-Lyon II University where he taught seminars on English and American literature and psychoanalytical criticism.