Ramuz Charles Ferdinand – The Savoyard Boy
Ramuz Charles Ferdinand – The Savoyard Boy: True or False? Appearance or Reality? Joseph is a boatman on the Vaudaire, one of the last sailing boats of Lake Geneva, soon replaced by a motor barge. Dreaming of elsewhere and of escape, he leaves wandering in Lausanne and falls on the spectacle of a traveling circus. An acrobat disrupts him in his airy grace and unreal perfection. Georgette, her fiancée, although a beauty of the village, has broken nails by gardening, a crooked tooth and a birthmark. But is beauty of this world? Between everyday life and the dream Joseph would like to choose. He thinks he finds this ideal in Mercédès the waitress but realizes the artifice that makes her beauty, the “false” of her appearance. Loved by the absolute, baffled by the prosaicism of his life and incapable of realizing a world in which Beau and Vrai could coexist, Joseph can not bear this revelation. Although little known, The Savoyard Boy is perhaps one of the most complete novels of Ramuz. As Pierre Monnier writes, “the stylization of matter and expression makes Ramuz the master of the poetic novel” (La République des Lettres, Paris, Sunday, March 25, 2018).