So now we can get our very first book, Well living!, the lyric singer Marc Hervieux tells us about the works he devoured with pleasure during his life.
Which novel did you really start to love reading with?
At home, as a child, there weren’t really many books in the house. Only Agatha Christie and a few Harlequin novels. But suddenly there was this secondary 1 French teacher who pushed the class to read Thérèse and Pierrette at the Saints-Anges school, the second volume of Chronicles of Plateau-Mont-Royal by Michel Tremblay. It was an effort to open it. But since I was completely taken in by this novel, it was then an effort to close it!
And over the past few months, which book have you really liked?
Letters and Memoirs by Maria Callas. It’s a book that I really liked. It brings together the letters that Callas wrote over a period of 30 years, and all of them are always located in time. You learn a lot about your private and professional life there, and that fascinated me. I found this mix of personal and professional really interesting. It’s a world I know well and here I am putting together a podcast on this book.
Can you tell us about the books that have marked your life?
After reading Tremblay, the book that impressed me the most was In the name of all mine, which tells the story of Martin Gray. It can’t be all that happened to him and when we read that, we see that there are quite a few more situations tough than what we’re going through right now. To survive, this man really had to push his limits.
When I was 15, I was also impressed by the work of Émile Nelligan. At that point, I obviously couldn’t have known that his poetry was going to be so important in my life with the production Nelligan !
Adult is I shook hands with the devil, of General Roméo Dallaire, who impressed me. As with Martin Gray, we find the idea of pushing your limits, of adapting to very dramatic situations.
As for thrillers, do you have any crushes?
I think I have only read one thriller in my life: The seven days of retaliation by Patrick Senécal. I’m more of a history fan, that’s what turns me on the most. Some books that I really liked? A history of Quebec in photos by Hélène-Andrée Bizier, Champlain’s dream by David Hackett Fischer, all volumes ofPopular history of Quebec by Jacques Lacoursière.
What was the last book to keep you awake until the wee hours of the morning?
The Hitler dossier, a book which is presented by Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl. This is the secret file which was commissioned by Stalin and which at one point became public. Stalin wanted to learn as much as possible about Hitler to know whether he should be with him or against him. He managed to get a lot of information and the results are fascinating.
It reminds me of another book: I was Hitler’s bodyguard, by Rochus Misch. This man stayed with the dictator until he asked him to come out of the bunker. What he says is quite interesting.
I have a kind of fascination with Hitler. Not out of admiration, but to try to understand how people got caught by such a bully …
And what are you reading right now?
I don’t know if it’s because I miss this sport, but I read the bios Scotty – An Exceptional Hockey Life by Ken Dryden and Serge Savard – Canadian to the end by Philippe Cantin. Both were at the same time with the Canadiens and I find it interesting to have both points of view for the same period!
Is there a book that you keep putting off reading?
No, but there is still a book that I have wanted to re-read for at least a year and a half and that I always put off: Germinal, by Émile Zola. I read it in my early twenties, and I remember loving it. I found myself in this story of a worker of humble origins. So I would like to read it again to see if, today, I would enjoy it as much.
What novel do you still absolutely want to talk about?
Of all Chronicles of Plateau-Mont-Royal by Michel Tremblay. For me, these thousand and a few pages are extraordinarily reassuring. Probably because I am nostalgic, that they remind me of my grandmother and that they are very close to what I experienced.