Groupe de lecture “Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’éléphants” de Mathias Enard

Tue 30 April
Books & Ideas

Once a month, the reading group meets up to discuss a couple of books selected in advance (from classical to contemporary French literature) and discovers other members’ views on them. Meetings are taking place at the Institut français d’Écosse, usually on the last Tuesday of the month.

About the book :

By landing in Constantinople on May 13, 1506, Michelangelo knew that he was braving the power and anger of Julius II, a warrior and deadbeat pope, whose tomb he had left under construction in Rome. But how could he not respond to the invitation of Sultan Bajazet who suggested – after refusing Leonardo da Vinci’s plans – to design a bridge over the Golden Horn?

This is how this novel begins, full of historical touches, which seizes on an exact fact to unfold the mysteries of this journey.

Disturbing like the encounter between Renaissance man and the beauties of the Ottoman world, precise and chiseled like a piece of goldsmith’s work, this portrait of the artist at work is also a fascinating reflection on the act of creating and on the symbol of an unfinished gesture towards the other side of civilization.
Because through the chronicle of these few forgotten weeks of History; Mathias Enard sketches a political geography whose hesitations are still just as sensitive five centuries later.