• Available eBook version
Manifeste incertain 1
Avec Walter Benjamin, rêveur abîmé dans le paysage
Frédéric Pajak

On September 26, 1940, Walter Benjamin killed himself at Port-Bou, France, near the Spanish border. Forty years later, on August 2, 1980, a bomb blast at the Bologna, Italy, train station left 85 dead and over 200 wounded. After 15 years of investigation, those responsible for the bombing were finally identified: they were members of a neo-fascist terrorist group, military intelligence officers who were faithful to Licio Gelli, the leader of the masonic P2 lodge. In a bar on the banks of Lake Leman, two young neo-fascists celebrate the success of the Bologna massacre, dreaming of having done it themselves.
In Italy in 1924, Walter Benjamin witnessed Benito Mussolini’s first parades. Benjamin immediately understood which way Europe was headed. In 1933, he left Berlin, the city of his birth, and began to wander through Europe, from Ibiza, Spain, on to France, Italy and Denmark. In Paris, he was dumbstruck when he read Bagatelles pour un massacre (Trifles for a Massacre), Céline’s most anti-Semitic text, which at the time was considered a joke. Benjamin reflected upon the future of the novel, upon History, the emergence of culture for the masses, and on the long voyage that he had been obliged to undertake. Above all, in a most unexpected and roundabout way, he stood up to his family, to Judaism and to Marxism – a cause which he espoused in part.
This first tome of Uncertain Manifesto uses Walter Benjamin’s fate in war-torn Europe, the two young neo-fascists in the late 80s and several figures of the modern art world (Bram van Velde, Samuel Beckett and Edward Hopper) as counterpoints to the narrative. An anti-novel novel, a meditation on the novel, a fragmented novel, both written and drawn, Rêveur abîmé dans le paysage (Damaged Dreamer in the Landscape) has been conceived as a journey through beauty, fury, stupidity, illusions and disenchantment.
A written and drawn novel that brings us the quintessence of the 20th century through the lens of art, politics and wandering, by painting a portrait of Walter Benjamin, and others, that is as singular as it is endearing.

Manifeste incertain 1 -
  • Available material :
    Finished copy

  • Les Éditions Noir sur Blanc
  • Littérature française
  • Publication date : 18/10/2012
  • Size : 17,5 x 23,5 cm, 192 p., 23,00 EUR €
  • ISBN 978-2-88250-279-7
Backlist of the author
  • Manifeste incertain 8 -
  • Manifeste incertain 7 -
  • Manifeste incertain 5 -
  • Manifeste incertain 6 -
  • Manifeste incertain 4 -
  • Manifeste incertain 3 -
  • Manifeste incertain 2 -
  • L’Immense solitude -
  • L’Étrange Beauté du monde -
About the author

Translation Rights sold

USA, English, New York Review of Books
Spain, Spanish, Errata Naturae
Switzerland, German, Clandestin Verlag
China, Chinese Simplified characters, Gingko Books
Taiwan, Chinese Complex characters, Linking Publishing
Italy, Italian, L’Orma Editore

Front covers of the foreign editions