Naboja est en cours de traduction en anglais. La traductrice, Abigail Grater, s’est intéressée à ce roman et, conquise, a proposé de le traduire.
Je vous propose donc de découvrir le premier chapitre du roman traduit par ses soins.
« Naboja, the forbidden frontier » is protected by copyright at SGDL
Book 1, Chapter 1
As Benjamin falls sleep, he smiles. He is impatient and rather pressed. Besides which, he wishes he had already arrived.
‘I hate going to bed,’ sighs a goblin with a shrivelled face like an old apple. He grumbles, hidden under the child’s fluffed-up pillow. Yes, strange as it seems, Benjamin does indeed have a goblin hidden under his pillow – and he has plenty of others camouflaged all around his bedroom!
‘Me too,’ adds Margot straight away, scratching her head with her third little left foot – Margot is a sweet little spider who lives between two books in the bookcase. She isn’t very friendly with the pillow goblin, whom she too often finds arrogant and grumpy.
I know, it’s not possible!
We must do something!
This child isn’t like the others!
This child isn’t normal!
Sometimes, there is such a cacophony at bedtime that it’s hard to understand how the little boy manages to go to sleep. But nothing seems able to bother him when, having clambered into his bed, his head comfortably resting on his pillow and the sheets pulled up to his nose, he clasps his teddy bear to his heart and closes his eyes.
His mother barely has time to kiss him goodnight before he is already asleep.
‘Sweet dreams, my angel …’
she says gently as she closes the door behind her.
That evening, when her footsteps could still be heard going down the stairs, Aurane, experienced spirit of the night, proposed the most incredible adventure possible.
She had asked for silence and had positioned herself in front of the pale light of the alarm clock so that everyone could see her. Not so easy for an invisible spirit! But what a result! She was so beautiful! Infinitely graceful! We all stood open-mouthed – at least those of us who had a mouth!
Shattering our admiring paralysis, her voice, soft as a whisper, emerged from the shadows:
‘My friends of the night, goblins, elves and spirits,
all sorts of creatures, insects and animals!
You who ask why this human child is so happy to fall asleep
that he fears nothing, and that his loathsome joy prevents us
from accomplishing our duty of nocturnal terror!
You who ask what we may become through idleness!
You who ask how we might restore our reputation
among the other Sowers of Fear throughout the world and beyond?
My friends, my dear friends,
We can no longer accept the unacceptable!
This child owes it to himself to be afraid of the dark!’
Punctuating the end of her rant, a hubbub of indistinct murmurs invaded the room, as a denser and denser crowd gathered around the place where Aurane stood. It’s surprising how many creatures a child’s imagination can conjure up, each one more strange than the one before! And each having only one sworn aim: terrify the unfortunate child! It’s quite astonishing when you think about it, isn’t it?
Anyway, we were all there, hanging on her every marvellous word, when she suddenly announced the diabolical plan that she had conceived:
‘We will enter his dreams!’
An icy silence fell across the gathering. The impact of the news caused some young, emotional goblins to be struck by dizziness, and their frail little bodies were whisked away by security to a calmer place.
Aurane’s incredible idea had the effect of a clap of thunder, as until then absolutely nobody had ever dared think of penetrating a child’s dream.
However, far from being worried about the general level of emotion, Aurane set about re-establishing calm.
‘Please, calm yourselves!
I know that I am asking you to violate a rule that nobody has ever dared break.
But our survival is at stake!’
Old Sam, a shadow monster with protruding, bloodshot eyes, lifted his deformed, bony arm. And as all eyes turned towards him, he raised his deep and gloomy voice louder than all the others, bringing silence back to the room.
‘Those who tried before never returned!
We do not have the right to cross the frontier of Dreams,
you know so yourself!’
Aurane frowned. She knew that the old fool’s words would have a heavy influence on the others. Without his approval, nobody would follow her; and there was no question of allowing him to make her plan fail. So, not leaving any of us time to react, she announced, more determined than ever:
‘I know a way.’