To the Heights
Original title: Vers les hauteurs
Ludovic, a 40-something divorced father of two, is an editor at Gallimard. Don’t delude yourself, it’s not as though he were playing host to the literary set in a loft overlooking the Seine. Worn down by money problems, he returns every night to his little apartment in the funereally named town of Deuil-la-Barre, where his dreams are buried. But not for much longer.
When he informs his friend and author Sylvain Tesson that he’s moving to Rue du Dragon, in the heart of Paris’s Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood, Tesson grins eagerly. By chance, his editor has just moved into the building next to his. Now all Sylvain has to do is scamper up to the roof, slide down the gutter pipe and knock on Ludovic’s window to introduce him to a forbidden and poetic Paris: from above. Every night, or nearly, the two partners in crime explore the city’s rooftops, re-living the thrills of their recent climb to the top of Mont Blanc, and the vibrations of Saint Germain des Prés from another era. The post-war period, when it was the beating heart of France’s literary world. With its luxury boutiques, the neighborhood has changed… except when it’s seen from above. When Sylvain Tesson and his editor slouch against a chimney to talk shop, they’re doing it with an unchanged Parisian vista spread out before them.
After L’Ascension du mont Blanc (Climbing Mont Blanc), Vers les hauteurs is an ode to friendship, freedom and literature. Plus the discovery of a secret world that is both near and far, where dreams become embodied once again.