The apple, heroine of the new work by ex-journalist Jean-François Fournel

The apple, heroine of the new work by ex-journalist Jean-François Fournel
The apple, heroine of the new work by ex-journalist Jean-François Fournel

By

Laura Bayoumy

Published on

June 14, 2024 at 8:30 a.m.

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Cooked, raw, whole or chewed, we do not know in what form the apple has bitten Jean-François Fournel. Unless it’s the other way around?

At 64, after stories reported from the four corners of the globe as a journalist for The crossthe retiree who now lives near Honfleur (Calvados), has narrowed its focus around another universe: that of the apple.

Local apple and contemporary life

Sometimes forbidden, sometimes coveted, the round fruit, like the Earth, fits in the palm of your hand. We can observe its color and texture endlessly, as still life painters once did. We can also explore the world through our lens and this is the approach taken by the writer.

“We are not local publishers in the sense that we are not going to tell stories of yesteryear about Camembert farms, for example. Others do it very well. What interests us is contemporary life! »

Jean-François Fournel, founder of the publishing house Cerf et Mer

Apple apple pom pom like the exhilarating and thunderous Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven. The writer is convinced, he has found his title.

A family staged

“When you take a shower, when you have just gone for a bike ride or even when you have secured a date with the girl or young man of your dreams, you can proclaim this Pom pom pom pom with joy! »

And then this type of expression can also cover a dramatic, even shattering accent. “Like when you’re at your grandmother’s funeral,” he continues.

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The book thus depicts a family whose members all bear the names of fruits or plants, with the apple as a filigree. It is at the heart of the concerns of the characters, like this calvados-producing family.

The fruit is in turn their fortune and their misfortune. The work is published by Cerf et Mer, the publishing house of this writer who enjoys the freedom of being able to caricature his characters at will, giving free rein to his imagination.

“As a journalist, the punchline of my article had to be logical in relation to my attack, whereas here, there is a strong element of creativity. »

Serious investigation

However, his work was tedious, “if not more so than in journalism!” “, he admits. A serious investigation was necessary for Jean-François Fournel to verify every detail. Because in this story, the writer took great pleasure in bringing together real facts, true anecdotes and fiction.

This is how, around the emblematic, “totemic” fruit of Normandy, the author managed to bring together in his story the small farmer like the actress Léa Seydoux, the pianist Erik Satie or even the musician Paul McCartney.

All the names of this beautiful world are, for example, mentioned between pages 134 and 136.

And this chapter entitled “Blueberry between apple and pear” places its scenes in Pelican, a historic bistro that some Honfleur residents will probably recognize! The Blueberry in question is a young tattooed woman, a bit rebellious and bold who takes us to New York, nicknamed The Big Apple…

Apple Pom pom, collection Tasteful news, published by Cerf et Mer, by Jean-Francois Fournel, 196 pages, €10, on sale at the bookstore A plus d’un title, in Honfleur, La petite merchante de prose, in Trouville-sur-Mer and in bookstores in Havre, Caen, Mondeville, Ouistreham, or online, www.cerfetmer.com

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