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Université du Québec à Montréal

Le bonheur est possible

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Petit clin d'oeil pour contrebalancer ma dernière entrée plutôt sombre...

Dans une nouvelle originalement publiée en 1978 dans The New Yorker, John Cheever se moque de la tendance à chercher quelque chose de suspect, de malsain dans la perfection de la banlieue. En même temps, le texte se clôt sur une tournure qu'on ne peut s'empêcher de lire de façon ironique... À vous de voir.

Cheever, John. 2000. «The Stories of John Cheever».
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Cheever, John. 2000. «The Stories of John Cheever» [Couverture]

Extrait de "The Worm in the Apple", The Stories of John Cheever, New York, Vintage International, 2000 [1978], p. 285, 288 :

"The Crutchmans were so very, very happy and so temperate in all their habits and so pleased with everything that came their way that one was bound to suspect a worm in their rosy apple and that the extraordinary rosiness of the fruit was only meant to conceal the gravity and the depth of the infection. Their house, for instance, on Hill Street with all those big glass windows. Who but someone suffering from a guilt complex would want so much light to pour into their rooms? And all the wall-to-wall carpeting as if an inch of bare floor (there was none) would touch on some deep memory of unrequition and loneliness. And there was a certain necrophilic ardor to their gardening. Why be so intense about digging holes and planting seeds and watching them come up? Why this morbid concern with the earth? She was a pretty woman with that striking pallor you so often find in nymphomaniacs. Larry was a big man who used to garden without a shirt, which may have shown a tendency to infantile exhibitionism.


You might at least expect to see in them the usual destructiveness of time, but either through luck or as a result of their temperate and healthy lives they had lost neither their teeth nor their hair. The touchstone of their euphoria remained potent, and while Larry gave up the fire truck he could still be seen at the communion rail, the fifty-yard line, the 8:03, and the Chamber Music Club, and through the prudence and shrewdness of Helen's broker they got richer and richer and lived happily, happily, happily, happily."



Cheever, John. 2000. The Stories of John Cheever. New York: Vintage International, 693p.

Pour citer ce document:
Parent, Marie. 2011. « Le bonheur est possible ». Dans Suburbia: l'Amérique des banlieues. Carnet de recherche. En ligne sur le site de l’Observatoire de l’imaginaire contemporain. 28 mars 2011. <>. Consulté le 26 mars 2023.
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