Le problème de la thèse de Florence, c'est qu'elle fait plus de six cents pages. Même si elle est imprimée recto-verso, cela consiste à se promener avec presque une ramette de papier sous le bras. Ce n'est pas très pratique pour lire en attendant le bus, debout dans une rame de RER ou de métro, en marchant, sans compter les dizaines d'autres occasions où un livre permet d'oublier qu'on attend.

Voilà un excellent prétexte pour emporter en plus de la thèse de Florence un livre de poche, un texte facile afin de pouvoir l'ouvrir et le fermer sans vraiment avoir besoin de se concentrer (parce que la thèse de Florence... J'attends les exemples de jurisprudence entre deux passages théoriques pour me reposer).

Prétexte dis-je, car l'esprit (du moins le mien) étant naturellement paresseux, je me retrouve à ne plus lire que le poche, abandonnant la thèse. C'est ainsi que j'ai passé une semaine plongée dans la série policière des Joe Sixsmith, de Reginald Hill.
C'est une petite série, quatre livres. (La grande série de Hill, c'est "Pascoe et Dalziel", qui est d'ailleurs devenue une série télévisée en Angleterre.) C'est l'histoire d'un ouvrier mécanicien de Lutton que les années Thatcher ont mis au chômage (Hill déteste Thatcher) et qui décide de devenir détective privé, au grand désespoir de sa tante Mirabelle.


Voici un passage qui va me permettre de copier une phrase en gallois dans ce blog. (Il n'y a pas de petits plaisirs.)
Le contexte est le suivant: de passage au pays de Galles, Joe Sixmith a l'occasion de sauver une jeune femme d'un incendie. Pour le remercier (et l'interroger), les notables du coin (les Lewis) l'invitent à dîner en compagnie d'un couple de riches Londoniens (Fran and Franny). Les Lewis dirigent une école privée. C'est la fin du repas.

«A bread pudding which wouldn't have made above two decent sandwiches was soon polished off. Then came coffee in an elegant silver jug, but Joe recognized the flavour as belonging to the supermarket instant he himself favoured. He piled in two sugars and an inch of cream and dranck it quick. He was beginning to feel seriously knackered and the sooner this evening was done, the better.
He waited for his moment, then coughed, wich was easy with his throat, and said, 'Time for me to be off. Still a bit achy from, you know, last night...'
Sounded like he was wanting to milk the applause, he thought.
'Of course, my dear chap. How inconsiderate of us to keep you so long,' said Lewis.
'No, that's OK. I mean, I've enjoyed it. Thanks for a lovely dinner, Mrs Lewis. And thanks everyone...'
For the second time that night he sought a good exit line. The quote from 'Men of Harlech' that had got him out of the Goat didn't quite fit there, but there was that other bit of Welsh Bronwen has used. Thanks for your company, she said it meant.
He conjured up the memory of her voice and said clairfully 'Sugnwch fy nhetau, bachgen bach.'
He thought he'd got it just about perfect. Certainly everyone looked amazed.
Franny said, 'Joe, am I right, is that Welsh? My, my, you even speak the lingo. What a man of hidden talents you are.'
That hand on his legs again, this time unambiguously on the upper tigh. This rate of progress, it was definitely time to leave.
'So are we going to be let into the secret?' said Fran the Man. 'What does it mean?'
'Perhaps you should do the honours, Mr Sixsmith', said Lewis.
Maybe his book-earned Welsh didn't run to everyday conversation, thought Joe.
'Don't really speak the language,' he said to Franny. "Just a phrase I picked up earlier. It means, thanks for your company, something like that.'
'Well, I'm still very impressed', said the woman. 'All the time I've been coming here and I never picked up a word. Don't you think it's amazing, Leon?'
'Indeed I do,' said Lewis. 'Mr Sixsmith, I compliment you on the excellence of your ear'.
Wain stood up so abruptly he knocked his chair over.
'You're not going to tell him, then?' he demanded. 'You're going to wait till he's gone, then have a quiet little chuckle at his expense?'
'Owain, that's enough,' thundered Lewis in a voice wich probably had the sixth form trembling and the first form wetting themselves. But it had no effect on his son.
'You disgust me, you know that?' said the youth, suddenly sounding more mature than his father. 'Mr Sixmith, someone's been playing a joke on you and my father obviously thinks it would be funny to let it happen again. But if you spend all your life with children, what's how you end up —childish— isn'it?'
'Sorry?' said Joe.
'What you said doesn't mean anything like thanks for your company,' said Wain. 'What it actually means is Sucks my tits, little man.' »

Singing the Sadness, de Reginald Hill, p84.



Incidemment, les blogaddicts auront reconnu la structure d'une anecdote racontée par Ron.