Charles Pennequin et Armée Noire



17/01/2012 - 19:54

That’s it for me it’s over, I can’t find it his vault and anyway I don’t give a shit, I don’t give a shit I’ve been walking for hours in this shitty cemetery, and the publishers who had asked me to take care of his case, the paper undertakers behind their desks and who write to tell me they love my work, the publishers loaded with their low-brow works and who adore my work, have given up on the project. They like my work a lot but find that it isn’t romanticized enough, good old cursivity as they say, good old soup, that’s what they want the publishers who love my work, but ask something else of me, because they prefer to publish things they don’t like, it’s not good to like the things we publish, we like it but it’s not good, we mustn’t. That’s what they say the publishers who had contracted me for a tomb. I had to redo him his tomb for Mesrine, as you would redo his portrait, or recover him his health, to put him in a tomb at last worthy of him in any case, a thing with all the cemetery of thought around it, but no. The good old soup as they say, the good old cursive thing, the good cursive wank, the cursive incursion into the novel for arseholes, that’s what they want behind their desks the publishers who just looove my work. They don’t want us to hole their arse for them, that we redo their arsehole for them. All they want is that we take it nice and deep, the good old cursive thought of the good daddy-novel, the good paternalistic wank, the good cursive arse bang, “cornysivity” as they say, that’s what we need, that’s what they want, even if they just looove my work as they say, frankly they love it but well here no, ah no we can’t here, oh here no danger that we fuck each other up the arse, oh here no danger that we screw you from behind madam, because yes madam, they walk a thousand steps that lead nowhere, they’re behind their desks, they’re publishers and they’re behind their keyboards with a hand on their dicks, they’re there asking themselves why we want to bash them one, oh that, whereas they, they want some novel, they want some cornysivity thing viable for the generalized buggery, the good old family thing, they want that even for Mesrine, and so what? They want a decent and dignified burial, with beautiful alleys, they want flowers, wreaths, some what-d’you’call-it as per usual, things as per usual, a good idea to piss people off, that’s what we want the publishers say, to really piss people off! But make us give a shit certainly not, oh no certainly not give our little crowd the craps, oh leave our little crowd underground there, well buried the desires of the little crowd, the lower classes of our desires well buried under the pretty alleys, the straight lines, tidied thoughts all wrapped up in a nice bouquet, and with no dirty tricks inside, no dirty tricks even for Mesrine, Mesrine he died among the lower classes, the crooked lower classes Mesrine he’s been put away with the inlaws, the good daddy-novel with it’s pretty girls, the daddies the girls but no arse fucking in the cemetery please, no public buggery please, go and do that somewhere else, no settling of scores with the pox-ridden publisher of publishing no, no explanations to give to the little half-pint of novels, just a stab in the back hup!, just a little stab of the contract hup, just a little bang in my tight little arse, come here little arsehole, come here you little queer writer you little fuck-up, you little shit come here and get your arse scraped out by the publishing world come, come and take a good one, we’re going to publish you you’ll see you little shit hole, little shitty thing, your life isn’t writing, your life is publishing, is the author, the published author, little tight arse tight-fitting trouser wearing author, nice cock shape nice quill, the shape the sheath the little quill, the good quill in the shape of the moment, the good mummy-shape come, come and take a narrative squirt in your face you who want to live, living is writing, living is life, life is violence, life is piled-up shit you little arsehole, your second tight little hole in your tight arse, it’s you, it’s you whose piled-up deep in the author’s arse, and the author squeezes his bum-cheeks, the author has squeezed his willie well against the publishing of my arse, and the publishing of my arse has once again decided to throttle everyone, because literature isn’t life, literature is squeezing willies, it’s contracts and being given a good telling off, publishing isn’t violence, violence is only up your arse you little deconstructed shit, has anyone already seen such a little shit deconstruct itself, has anyone already seen such a thing, it’s only up your little arse that freedom exists you little shit, it’s only in the smashed-up shit deep down in your thought that you exist, you are going to need to toe the line now, and toeing the line means taking smacks in the mouth my little dear, toeing the line in the alley of thought you little half-pint, you little melody for placing somebody in a coffin, we have placed thought in a coffin, we have shoved something up it you know where, come here little loser, come here, who did you want to sort out, whose portrait do you want us to sort out, we’re the ones who are going to sort out your little writer’s face, and kindly too, little tenderness, my little tender thing, my tender and sweet tenderness, my all tender little screw-up, I twist your tender, you little smoothy, tiny little smoothness my little end that I twist you, I twist you again you all tender little screw-up, little thing just as well drunk, little end all drunk and that I twist just as much, my little end, my tender little thing, my little tender thing my all drunk tenderness, my work, the work is drunk, the wine is drawn, come here little nutcase that I twist you some more, that I rearrange your portrait, and bend it, and smash its face, and that I make many faces from your face, my all plump little tender thing, all grimy little plump all in skin in a toad, all crapped and chewy, you tiny little beak end, come here my little mug, come here that I tinker with your mug, you creased up little being hahah, come here that I belt you one, that I smack your mouth, and that you be starving you little bird of misfortune, little thing end, come here that I break you in two, that I screw your arse you little shit, and that I belt you once more, and then twice, and then twice more, and that I belt you until you can’t take it anymore, it’s my round, you’re going to drink up you little fuck, little funny thing that you are, you really thought you were something else for few minutes, for a few minutes you were walking down the alley, the sun was out the weather was nice, nice weather to go for a walk, even if it rains I go for a walk I’m scared of nothing, I’m walking in the sun soaked alley, nice weather, it rains then it’s nice, as a result I am having ideas, I am going to write I am going to think, I think about a heap of things that could happen to me in my head, all these things that happen to me and it works, the head works fine you little queer, you really thought you were something else for a few minutes you little arsehole, in a few minutes you remade the world, and then the world dropped you, all of a sudden nothing under your feet, nothing left to answer back, nothing left to think all of a sudden the great emptiness, a good shovelful of earth on your face, and still you thought you had things to say, but there nothing left, nothing but emptiness and shoving yourself back in, as per usual, you could see life clearly in the alley, you could feel the present, the uncontrollable present, for the present is uncontrollable you were thinking to yourself, the present is uncontrollable my arse, the proof of it yes the proof, there you took a good hit in the eyes of the uncontrollable, the uncontrollable present my arse, the incurable present my arse, uncontrollable my arse, the present impossible to miss oh that yes, oh that my arse yes, the ungorable present oh that, you repeated it to yourself each one louder than the other your present, your ungored present of not five minutes ago, you couldn’t guess it would backfire, you couldn’t guess the uncontrolled backfire up your arse, that is all you needed today, a good uncontrollable present and all up your arse, today you were telling yourself I would really like to live the uncontrolled, and I’ll pass a thousand people, yeah it’s happy little crowd this, yeah people seem happy, yeah sometimes people,  sometimes no sometimes a little sometimes yes very, very happy that they are, are they? Are they really happy? Not all art makes people happy, not all art makes life happy I thought to myself, not all art is contentment, all art takes life as fat or lean, whereas life isn’t fat but lean, lean with the fat missing, but art makes us love the lean, that’s the essential thing, and the essential is in lactel[1], that’s what I was told once, someone corrected me because I had spoken of the essential, and someone retorted the essential, charles, is in lactel, once again they had shut me up well and good, like today, today they’re shutting me up with the present, the present is in the rain today, and yet it is nice, yet the weather is nice, nice weather to walk up the alleys yet, for a few minutes I believed it, I believed the world was well since I was well, and that it was nice, that the weather in the alleys was nice, but I was well because things aren’t going well, things aren’t going well for the people who are well I thought to myself, it would be good to have an argument with everyone we pass, to get angry with a thousand people around us, a good thousand, a barrelful of people which would  charge down, and we would get angry, we would be red with anger, throats would swell, we would knock back our rage, it would make everything swell, we would feel like a quarrel inside us, something rising up, like an adrenaline rush yeah, and all hell would brake loose in the streets, or in the pubs, the cinemas, the places open or shut, everywhere people with their teeth showing ready to bite, but it would be me who would bite the most, everywhere people who would be good only for being told off  and bitten and why? Why should we get landed with arguments with people now straight away, to tell them it is no longer possible to live in their fashion, their fashion is over, the fashion of when it’s them: not much left.  They can all believe in what they want and hang on as best they can to what they want, like their fashion, they can what they can and hang on as best they can to their fashion of them, they want to and they can, they want some power and will, these are desperate attempts people, because it is tempting not to despair, but everything is despairing and we need to hiss it, to hiss the desperation, that is what we need to tell the people we are telling you off for the good cause, keep going, the more you talk about it the more I’ll shut your mouth arse-face, no? No you won’t shut your arse-face? Your arse onion face ready to peel, all the peeled onion skins no? That’s what we shout in their ear, we make something like the noise of a creaking door in their ear, we clean the brains out, we shout animal songs in people’s ears, that’s all that’s left to do, there’s nothing else for it, enough of the nice words I read on bits of paper, enough of all the words of you culturally concerned people, now we need to bark in people’s ears, it’s the concept of now, it’s conceptafarted for now, for now is a time in full flicker, for now is a time covered in mud and in the mud a bone, or something hard, in the mud of all the fashion of how to live, there is now some one who says nothing of how to live, and that we must live, live the not how to live, live the je ne sais quoi which is written nowhere, nowhere opposite, not on my desk, not on the forthcoming problems, the problems of how to live, the problems of how to pay, and how we are going to manage to pay, all the problems of how things will be in a month, or two, or three, in three months we won’t know how to pay anymore, in three months the streets, in three months or less, maybe a month in the streets, a little month to wait until the streets and really bark, the street to me and me barking, and I’ll bark until they give me something, if they give I’ll stop, I’ll be told I’m not allowed to bark at people like that, you need a badge, if you want the badge it’s a big white badge and you can do your barking job, but here all is privatised, the street is privatised, the public spaces are privatised, the seats everything, the benches there are no more benches, you do not read your sheets of paper on a bench because there are no benches and on the floor neither, on the floor is privatised, you cannot sit on the floor, everything privatised, bricks posters shop windows neons landings tiles metal frames are privatised, therefore what you need is a badge.

[1] Translator’s note : reference to a French milk commercial. 

Ethics, pp45-47, No tomb for Mesrine.

24/09/2009 - 12:11

No matter who you might kill, any human being whatsoever if takes your fancy, the most important is your suffering, your own suffering, and not his, you will never reach inside another’s suffering, even the atrocious death of an outsider you didn’t kill will make you suffer more than it did him, him he’s dead, no matter then, what matters is my suffering, and I suffer from what matters to me, and what matters to me is life, life is nothing but suffering, and nothing to appease it, even death, Mesrine suffered, he is a bit like those characters in Flaubert who cannot stand still, alert all the time, like animals, because what is more anxious than an animal, always on his guards, especially if like the ganster animal, he is chased by a pack of cops, Mesrine then is always about to take off, always fleeing or coming back to his point of escape, Mesrine had a moral code however, and it was his suffering, everything made him suffer, prison was his suffering, money also, what suffering money is, to him living free signified having money, not working,  because that is all that is on offer in this society, to work, to earn money and live, but not free, the morality of others was also his suffering, the law, the State, society his suffering, and death also, all that was the source of his suffering to him Mesrine, but Mesrine had not read the Ethics, my own ethics said Mesrine, it’s my ethics and it’s me, I am all ethics and always ready to listen, to listen to time, time I listen to it and then I shoot it, I kill time with my ethics, Mesrine and his worthless ethics, he was a kind of poet, but a worthless one, he’s a poet with guns, sure he’s not Arthur Craven or Arthur Rimbaud, he’s not the man with soles of wind, he’d be nearer to the man with the belt of gold, but he is above all the man devoid of himself, devoid of his own story, the man who lives in the times of discipline and punish, yes Mesrine is not a legendary statue, a refined and intelligent guy with ethics deep down, ethics melting like butter, at the far end of his lines which are lines of life, and in his life Mesrine escapes the patterning forces, Mesrine substracts himself from the society of control, Mesrine escapes in spite of his condition the dressage of individuals, escapes the obsession of punishment and of making a pet of man, the pet of the powerful, Mesrine had not read the Ethics, because nobody made this man read the Ethics, and made sure he wouldn’t, because the State, the Law, society, morality and money, as well as prisons and death demand heads, all these things demand heads to run the lives of man, he didn’t read Spinoza Mesrine, he wasn’t given the time to, because the State sent him off to war to learn the rudiments of his trade as a killer, the politicians, the decision-makers, the bosses, the men of the welfare-state, the fathers, the upholders of the republic and the guards of the good running of things, of the good square march, and who have most probably read the Ethics at least a few of them, they made sure he didn’t read Mesrine, if he had read the Ethics, if he had had the time and placed the Ethics at his feet in his car, instead of grenades, the day of his shooting, then we would have seen the faces of the cops, their discomfitted faces at the sight of the Ethics, the distraught faces of the Bushmen, the inside-out faces of the city Sergeants as would have said Jarry, from understanding that Mesrine was armed with nothing but the Ethics, Mesrine if he had read the Ethics, he could have seen for example that there are people inside, in the Ethics, who have bad luck, yes, even in Spinoza people have bad luck, and God is blamed or praised, God all mighty, God who placed a stroke of bad luck, and God who made him fall, God who made some fellow invite another, another fellow who walked across to see the first fellow, God who brought his own fellow along, God who placed  the poor fellow under a stroke of bad luck, whereas Spinoza explains that bad luck is not divine, bad luck is a fact of life, and life carries on, and people have strokes of bad luck, and that’s how it is.


Eric Clémens, à propos de Pas de tombeau pour Mesrine (Al Dante)

10/08/2008 - 23:46





Rien d’étonnant si Pas de tombeau pour Mesrine[1] commence par s’en prendre à la censure éditoriale, à l’incommensurable médiocrité romancière qui correspond à la commande des éditeurs, et s’il en donne d’emblée la raison sociale, l’asservissement volontaire : ce livre découvre une autre façon d’écrire et qui plus est une autre façon d’écrire une « biographie » ! Car son style est singulier, méditatif et poétique à la fois, alors qu’il se devait de raconter une vie en guise de tombeau…


Soit donc cette commande : écrire la vie romancée de celui qui fut l’ennemi public numéro, Jacques Mesrine. Et la résistance de l’écrivain Charles Pennequin « à l’incursion cursive dans le roman pour trous-du-cul ». Pourquoi cette résistance ? Parce qu’il s’agit d’inventer une fiction, pas de prolonger une hallucination. Que la figure médiatique de Mesrine ait été celle d’un assassin, d’un bandit de grand chemin ou d’un martyre, l’enjeu n’est pas là : ces trois figures plus ou moins combinées relèvent de l’imaginaire romanesque dont la fonction sociale est de marchander le spectacle par la projection narcissique – on sait l’affligeante domination de la dite « autofiction » dans la production française actuelle. L’enjeu apparaît dès lors : ne pas servir le spectacle, et s’élargit : résister à l’asservissement généralisé. Car le sujet réel du livre est là : dans la question posée à la mort spectaculaire de Jacques Mesrine, au tombeau introuvable du fait de cette spectacularisation et, au bout du conte noir, à l’asservissement spécifique auquel elle a donné lieu.

D’où vient la servitude volontaire à l’époque où nous ne sommes plus censés croire en l’Un, tels les contemporains de La Boétie subjugués par le Roi, puisqu’après tout nous sommes des contemporains de la démocratie représentative ? Question que l’écrivain transcrit : D’où vient « l’étouffement généralisé » que manifeste la vie et la mort, fascinées autant que fascinantes, d’un truand ? Et la réponse, méditée et poétique, apparaît double : de l’époque et de la mort – « sa vraie tombe elle est dans l’époque »…


Notre époque, en effet, est « une sorte de couvercle (…) une mise en bière de toute époque un peu révolutionnaire, car notre époque est une époque de pensées révolues, nous sommes des révolus je me dis en marchant dans les allées du cimetière ». Or Mesrine a catalysé cette époque de façon redoublée : se révoltant contre « l’instinct de mort » (c’est le titre de son livre d’un journalisme des plus médiocres) et y cédant dans sa révolte même, par l’assassinat. Nul doute qu’il cherchait à s’évader de mille et une façons, de la prison comme de l’époque, refusant la passivité, l’attente, l’étouffement. Et cela explique la fascination dont il a fait l’objet : « premier de la classe morte de ceux qui ont l’instinct de vivre, il y avait qui sinon personne (…) il n’y avait que l’individu Mesrine face à cinquante millions de consommateurs, il y avait le Un de Mesrine face à tous ces numéros, et le numéro du président de la République ». Autrement dit, dans cette représentation imaginaire de Mesrine-Pennequin, la démocratie consumériste produit un anti-Un qui reste prisonnier de l’asservissement à l’Un : « il y avait le Un tout seul de Mesrine, face à la force, à toutes les forces » ! 


Parce qu’il ne sert à rien de se leurrer : dans le sursaut aveugle de vivre, Mesrine a cédé lui-même à l’époque, à l’idée d’une fin du « moderne » préparant le pire « post-moderne ». « Animal poético-médiatique, il faisait son numéro spectaculaire », jouant le jeu journalistique et torturant un journaliste, du même coup cédant à la mort, au fond de tout asservissement. Voilà pouquoi, « si Mesrine était là et qu’il se présentait aux élections présidentielles, il dirait peut-être ça, ne votez pas, mais butez-vous tant qu’il est encore temps, et sortez-vous du tas de votants ». Ce qui témoigne de sa souffrance, certes, mais celle de « l’homme démuni de lui-même, démuni de sa propre histoire, l’homme qui vit au temps de surveiller et punir ». Et qui ne survit que par la mort : « lui ce qu’il voulait c’est vivre, il voulait vivre et se venger de ce qu’on avait gangrené en lui ». La vengeance tue sans action, qui n’a lieu qu’avec les autres pour un autre commencement, sans même un faire poétique, qui n’a lieu que dans les langues des  autres : « Mesrine faisait de l’éthique à deux balles, c’est une sorte de poète, mais à deux balles, c’est un poète avec des barillets »…


En travers de cette fiction, l’écrivain Charles Pennequin nous aura effectivement forcé à dévisager notre propre asservissement. Le texte qui clôt le livre l’écrit en caractères gras : « Ça pue la ressemblance la France. La remouvance. Recouvrance de l’Etat. C’est l’Etat France. Ça pue l’Etat car la France ça rassemble. La ressemblance rassemble. C’est le ramassement de tout qui pue parce que ça s’oublie. » En travers du « pas de tombeau », cette fiction poétique médite sur la chance du « pas de mort » dans la vie, la sortie tenace mais lucide de l’asservissement dans le semblant. « Dans tout corps qui pue une idée qui est comme un bouchon. Et qu’il faudra faire sortir. » Pour gagner au dedans la pensée du dehors : « Toute la respiration du dehors. Tout le respirant qui pourrait faire que ça pense dedans… »

                             Eric Clémens

[1] Editions al dante, 2008, 87p.      

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