Bove Emmanuel – Armand
Bove Emmanuel – Armand: Published in 1926, Armand is Emmanuel Bove’s second novel, after My Friends, of which he is quite close in style and purpose.
Armand lives with Jeanne, a widow older than him, who maintains and loves him while giving him a lot of freedom. Armand does not work, he often walks during the day and the evening, and comes to meet an old friend, Lucien. He did not have the chance of Armand, he remained poor, shy, borrowed in all his actions and uncomfortable in society, but it is the “witness of a painful past” for the narrator. Apart from an incarceration of Armand with the younger sister of Lucien and a separation at the end of the novel nothing happens: no intrigue, no brilliance even in the separation, no passion even in moments of sweetness , only a meticulous psychological and physical observation of the facts, a love of detail pushed to the extreme, which bring a feeling of discomfort and tension palpable to each page.
Banality and mediocrity, poverty, quiet misfortune are omnipresent, but Bove surpasses this monotony by erecting it in innovative writing style, which has made several critics say it was a precursor of the “New Roman”.
Samuel Beckett also said of him: “He has as a person the sense of detail touching.”