The super-remixed Count of Monte Cristo
Book 1 The fall
Autoédition - 2018 - États-Unis
Humour - Roman
Dans un prologue sous forme de dialogue quelque peu délirant, Hansel Castro explique que sa version de Monte-Cristo n’est ni de la fanfiction (ces variations sur des œuvres célèbres écrites par des fans, qui prolifèrent sur Internet), ni une parodie, ni un hommage, ni un pastiche, ni un remake, ni une suite, ni une version modernisée… Il s’agit tout simplement d’un « super remix », concept dont il se proclame l’inventeur.
Dans la pratique, il s’agit d’une réécriture directe du roman de Dumas sur un mode humoristique. Le déroulé du Comte de Monte-Cristo est suivi de très près. L’humour utilise de nombreux procédés : raccourcis ultra rapides, langage décalé (populaire, moderne…), anachronismes, expression directe au premier degré des sentiments cachés des personnages, etc. (voir extrait ci-dessous).
Cet exercice de réécriture humoristique est plutôt réussi – tant qu’il dure, c’est-à-dire jusqu’à l’arrivée d’Edmond Dantès au château d’If. La deuxième moitié du récit, qui court jusqu’au moment où Dantès est jeté à la mer depuis le château d’If, est une simple réécriture au premier degré, beaucoup moins humoristique, et donc nettement moins intéressante.
L’auteur annonce vouloir couvrir l’ensemble du Comte de Monte-Cristo en cinq tomes. Le tome II, intitulé The rise, couvre le roman de Dumas jusqu'à la fin de l'épisode du carnaval de Rome. L'humour n'y décolle pas beaucoup.
Extrait du Livre I, chapitre 2 Father and child reunion
At that very moment, a greedily grinning, black-bearded face pokes right through the open door. This is the good neighbor Caderousse, who heard the clinking of coins from walls away.
“Oooooh, look at all that coinage! That buys a lot of beers! Welcome back, Edmond my boy!”
Edmond narrows his eyes and is about to give Caderousse a piece of his mind, and most of his fist, when all those nice little sayings about “loving your neighbor and not ripping his beard off” come to his mind. He nobly counts to ten and says: “Thanks, Caderousse. At your service. I brought back money to pay you, but I hear we’re even when it comes to our debts. I am grateful, and if you ever need money...”
“I’ll be knocking right at your door!” Caderousse steps in, one eye on the young sailor and another on the pile of coins. “Fancy, I was trying to catch a beer by the docks when I ran into our mutual bud, Danglars. We talked about your arrival and your streak of luck.”
“Someone died, I wouldn’t call it luck,” Edmond says coldly.
“But it’s lucky that you’re in like Captain Flint with Monsieur Morrel,” Caderousse keeps on grinning. “You act all innocent but you ain’t no dummy, my boy! Still, you shouldn’t have said no when he asked you out to dinner. If you want to be captain, you gotta learn how to play the game, kiss a little ass.”
“I’m going to be captain because I’m GOOD at it. No other reason. You sure keep informed, Caderousse.”
“Because I care about you, my boy! I care! I love you like a neighbor!”
“Love your neighbor and all that” Dantes sighs. “I know, Caderousse, I love you too, I just wish you hadn't taken Father’s money while I was away. You could have waited. Now, if you and my father may excuse me, there is someone I have to go see.”
“Ah,” the grin at the middle of Caderousse’s beard widens. “That hot Spanish chica who lives in the Catalans, perhaps?”
“Mercedes. My fiancée. Who’s going to be my WIFE.”
“Your WIFE! I like your confidence, but... jumping the proverbial musket there, aren't you? It hasn’t happened yet!”
“Ah, my boy, there is nothing PRACTICAL about pretty girls. And Mercedes is a friendly one!”
“She does have many friends, because she is a good person, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Caderousse raises his hands: “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a warm-blooded girl having dozens of friends! Besides, I wouldn’t worry too much about them! Now that you’re captain and you’ve finally got cash to spread around, she’ll probably stop paying attention to all the others.”
Edmond is re-considering the ‘loving your neighbor’ stance. He says: “There ARE no others. You know nothing about women and least of all Mercedes. And you know nothing about relationships, either. We will always love each other faithfully and we couldn’t care less about money. And now, excuse me, I have to go see her.”
He hugs Daddy Dantes, who makes no comment on the complicated issue of male-female relationships, but let’s just say he’s been around for many years of worldly, heartbreaking experience. (Where IS Mommy Dantes, anyway?) The young sailor leads Caderousse out of the humble family home and heads to see the popular damsel, while the black-bearded grinner leaves him... to reunite with his buddy Danglars, who’s been waiting for news a mere street comer away.
“So,” says the D man to the C man.
“I was just with him. He thinks he’s already captain, he thinks he’s already married. My boy Edmond is all confidence.”
“Confidence is a sin, Caderousse. I like Dantes plenty, don’t misunderstand, but people like that should be knocked down a peg, preferably with a big hammer.”
“Oh, he will be. Wait until he goes to see his ‘fiancée’ at the Catalans. He’s going to get a surprise there. That girl is grade A Spanish ham, and you don’t leave that lying around for three months without dogs sniffing at it.”
Danglars leans in: “What do you know?”
“I know that you snooze on a flooze and you lose,” Caderousse grins. “Every time Mercedes comes down to the city, she hangs from the arm of a tall, dark and handsome type. She says she loves him ‘like a brother’ and they’re just ‘good friends’. HA! Sing me a new one, hoe-bag!”
“Poor, poor Dantes,” says Danglars. “You said he’s going to see her... and possibly them... now? I wonder how much do the tickets to THAT show cost.”
“If you buy me a bottle of wine,” says Caderousse, “I know a nice little tavern called La Reserve which is pure front row. You can see the road all the way down to the Catalans.”
“So why are we jawing here? Wine it is.”
And so it is that on that afternoon the two buds are sitting outside La Reserve chugging vino, watching the birdies in their merry flights, and wishing nothing but the best for good old Edmond Dantes.
Who is about to walk into every boyfriend’s nightmare.