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Roman noir et Palestine

lundi 1er juillet 2013 par Philippe Lewandowski

 

Les lecteurs de Dashiell Hammett ou d’autres auteurs du même genre savent que le roman noir permet de scruter le fonctionnement d’une société et de dénoncer les turpitudes de ceux qui prétendent la diriger. Ils savent aussi qu’il s’agit cependant de littérature, et que les faits relatés diffèrent de la description mécanique d’une réalité dont le tragique ne perce parfois le silence qu’avec difficulté. L’avantage de la fiction réside dans la possibilité d’exprimer des non-dits douloureux, de suggérer des analogies latentes, et de susciter des réflexions pouvant s’avérer fécondes. Encore faut-il pour cela que les analyses proposées ne se limitent pas à un schématisme manichéen ou réducteur, et que les contradictions à l’œuvre soient exposées sans idées préconçues qui en pervertiraient le sens. Le « mentir vrai » cher à Aragon se doit d’être un « mentir honnête ».

LES ENQUÊTES D’OMAR YOUSSEF [1]

La série de romans de Matt Rees consacrée à la société palestinienne répond-elle à ces exigences ? S’il convient d’aborder cette question d’un point de vue à la fois littéraire et politique, le premier évènement à saluer est la reconnaissance de l’existence même de cette société que veulent ignorer les tenants d’une « terre sans peuple pour un peuple sans terre » ; car il s’agit là d’un mythe dont il faut se débarrasser une fois pour toutes.

Les personnages mis en scène sont tous profondément ancrés dans l’histoire même de leur terre, et les vicissitudes de leurs biographies respectives sont le reflet fidèle de vécus palestiniens contemporains que l’on peut retrouver dans la réalité. Omar Youssef, l’enquêteur, est professeur d’histoire dans un camp de réfugiés à Bethléem : c’est là rappeler simultanément qu’il existe une vie intellectuelle palestinienne, et que cette dernière s’exerce dans des conditions difficiles, dans un contexte de déplacements forcés, dans le prolongement de la Nakba [2]. Son ami, Khamis Zeydan, a des fonctions importantes dans la police de l’Autorité Palestinienne : membre de la vieille garde, il fait partie de « ceux de l’extérieur », qui ont accompagné Yasser Arafat dans ses exils successifs, et sont revenus avec lui après les accords d’Oslo ; il est bien au fait des jeux internes qui agitent les coulisses du pouvoir.

Les affaires qu’ils sont amenés à résoudre relèvent bien entendu de la littérature policière, mais les deux premières affichent des sources qui ne relèvent pas de l’imagination : « Tous les crimes relatés dans ce livre s’inspirent de faits réels. […] Si les identités et certains détails ont été modifiés, les tueurs ont tué ainsi et c’est ainsi que les victimes sont mortes » [3]. Ce choix de l’auteur est éminemment politique, non pas dans le sens où il prendrait un parti déterminé parmi les protagonistes, mais dans le fait de mettre au grand jour les tenants et aboutissants de crimes véritables que d’aucuns eussent préféré tenir cachés.

La question qui se pose est dès lors la suivante : la société palestinienne est-elle véritablement aussi noire, et, disons-le, désespérante ?

INCERTITUDES CONTESTABLES

Les conventions du roman noir mettent de toute évidence l’accent sur ce côté sombre. Le pessimisme de l’auteur déteint visiblement sur ses personnages : Omar Youssef semble ainsi résigné à ne plus revoir le paysage de son enfance ; et les autorités existantes sont engluées dans la corruption, les affaires et de féroces luttes internes pour un pouvoir des plus hypothétiques.

L’appréciation (négative) de l’intifada me paraît particulièrement sujette à caution : s’il est indéniable qu’elle s’est terminée par un échec, elle n’en demeure pas moins un signe éclatant de la vitalité d’une société qui n’a jamais baissé les bras, et son écho persiste à l’instar d’autres luttes historiques dont la défaite n’amoindrit pas le prestige : je pense ici à la Commune de Paris, par exemple. Il importe de rappeler qu’il s’agit en l’occurrence non pas de manipulations aventureuses, mais d’authentiques mobilisations de la population, prenant de court tant l’occupant que les directions des organisations politiques palestiniennes.

Peut-être l’auteur veut-il montrer qu’il n’y a pas grand-chose à espérer de ces dernières structures ? Soit. Mais pourquoi reporter cette impuissance et ces désunions sur une société qui fait par ailleurs preuve de ses capacités d’initiative et de résistance ? Ainsi que se plaît à le rappeler un Mazin Qumsiyeh, le seul fait de s’affirmer et d’exister en tant que Palestinien constitue en soi un formidable acte de résistance. Le lancement de la campagne BDS [4], les manifestations pacifiques hebdomadaires dans des localités comme Bil’in, les implantations de nouveaux villages symboliques sur des terres menacées par les colons, témoignent de la réalité d’une résistance réelle, opiniâtre et inventive, qu’il serait absurde de confondre avec les directions qui prétendent la représenter.

UNE OCCUPATION OCCULTÉE ?

L’absence de personnage israélien dans les romans de Matt Rees peut prêter à confusion. Ne serait-ce qu’une apparence ? En un sens, oui, car les problèmes de déplacement des Palestiniens sont omniprésents, ne serait-ce qu’en raison des postes de contrôle (checkpoints) et de la nécessité d’obtenir des autorisations (temporaires) pour certains voyages. Les occupants sont donc bien là, mais de manière impersonnelle : ils ne sont pas des héros de roman, fussent-ils négatifs.

Mais un aspect de l’occupation disparaît du même coup ; car, roman noir ou pas roman, les Israéliens, armée ou colons, sont les principaux criminels à l’œuvre dans les territoires palestiniens : il ne se passe pratiquement pas de mois, si ce n’est de semaine, sans un ou plusieurs assassinats de civils palestiniens. Ne parlons même pas des mauvais traitements ou des arrestations arbitraires, y compris d’enfants. La police palestinienne a pour consigne de se retirer lorsqu’intervient l’armée « la plus morale du monde » (sic).

S’agit-il d’un choix littéraire justifié par l’obligation de se concentrer sur un sujet précis, et le désir de ne pas dériver du roman policier vers un genre qui s’apparenterait plutôt au roman de guerre ? Cela peut se défendre, mais il s’ensuit également que c’est tout un aspect de la vie quotidienne des Palestiniens qui disparaît du tableau présenté. Il y a plus noir que le noir du roman noir. Que le lecteur ne l’oublie pas.

Mais qu’il ne boude pas non plus son plaisir : les trois ouvrages cités présentent des intrigues construites selon toutes les règles de la littérature policière, et le lecteur se régale en marchant sur les traces d’un détective amateur somme toute bien sympathique.

Notes

[1] Matt Rees : « Le collaborateur de Bethléem », « Une tombe à Gaza », « Meurtre chez les Samaritains » (Livre de Poche 31384, 31583 et 31852).

[2] Nakba = la catastrophe, que constitue l’épuration ethnique de la Palestine à partir de 1948.

[3] Cet avertissement n’apparaît plus dans le troisième volume.

[4] Cf. « BDS », dans « Démocratie & socialisme » n°169-170, novembre-décembre 2009.

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