Emmanuel Bove - Armand
Armand: Published in 1926, Armand is Emmanuel Bove's second novel, after Mes Amis, 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 leaving him with a lot of freedom. Armand does not work, he often walks during the day and evening, and comes to meet an old friend, Lucien. He did not have Armand's luck, he remained poor, shy, borrowed in all his gestures and uncomfortable in society, but he is the "witness of a painful past" for the narrator. Apart from Armand's incarnation with Lucien';s younger sister and a separation at the end of the novel nothing happens: no intrigue, no brilliance even in separation, no passion even in moments of sweetness, only a psychological and physical observation meticulous facts, a love of detail taken to the extreme, which bring a sense of unease and tension palpable to each page.
The banality and mediocrity, poverty, quiet misfortune are omnipresent, but Bove surpasses this monotony by erecting it as an innovative style of writing, which made many critics say that he was a forerunner of the "New Roman".
Samuel Beckett said of him: "He has a touching sense of detail as a person."
Published in 1926, Armand is one of the most astonishing novels of the modernity of the interwar period. Following the success of My Friends, Emmanuel Bove's first novel, Armand confirmed the novelist's exceptional gifts for the quality of psychological observation and the finesse with which he knows how to uncover tensions and rivalries under the slightest word, in the slightest gesture. At Bove's, even the silences speak. The plot is simple: Armand lives with Jeanne, but he desires Marguerite, the younger sister of his friend Lucien. However, the interest is in the way of saying things in such a way that is suggested a curious determinism that con-dusit the hero to value misfortune rather than happiness. Doing one's misfortune is one thing, desire is another; the first choice answers the question "how?" (seduce Marguerite), while the second reveals the underlying question "why?". It is in this question that lies all the art of the novelist, which is to show instead of saying, which is to pretend instead of paint. Bove is the art of the subjective, of underground thinking, which makes every relationship fundamentally characterized by misunderstanding