“Brothers”, life without a mother

It is a tale of recklessness. He teaches us that not too much is needed, and that the accepted masochism of mothers has its limits all the same. The author of this story, beautifully illustrated by cartoonist and comic book writer Jean-Paul Krassinsky, is Isild Le Besco, who is also an actress, screenwriter, director, and mother of two sons. Brothers also is a world of young boys. The only woman on the horizon is the mother, who takes care of all the unexpected. It’s her job as a mother, but she has the right to give a thumbs up. This is what she will do and which will generate complications. As for the father, who was a lumberjack, he is dead.

Six boys, six brothers with slightly complicated names live on a modest farm in the village of an imaginary country. They are having fun like crazy. They enjoy the gentleness and patience of their mother, and take advantage of full freedom to snort in the nearby forest. In this world, there is no school, no constraints, no comrades: just these siblings, and animals. One fine day, their mother shows signs of fatigue and asks her children for help in organizing daily and material life. Without malice, motivated by the sole habit of letting go, they do not provide their mother with the support she needs. A few hours later, a bad beast “Hairy and shapeless” rushes at the boys in the forest. Back home, the brothers no longer find their mother. For her to return, they will each have to put themselves in a certain moral disposition: the elder will have to guide his brothers, another will give more confidence in life, to work to erase the fear that often rises. in him, in the form of “Black waves” that overwhelms him. It is a perfect definition of anxiety. The third should show more joy; the fourth will have the task of becoming aware of the elements (water, wind) and the beauty that surrounds it, etc. : “Courage, reason for living, memory, joy, empathy with the world and those who inhabit it”, this is the condition for the happiness and reappearance of the mother.

Read alsoour special issue of children’s comics

Brothers, which isn’t overly disturbing, just the right amount, tells the story of learning to build self-confidence by putting obstacles in the way of the characters. It is a classic schema of an initiatory tale. The disappearance, ephemeral, of course and fortunately, of the mother is a metaphor for autonomy and responsibility. This pretty blonde woman, who is not unlike Isild Le Besco, returns when the children learned to fend for themselves, when they verified that they would survive without her, even if they would then be missing something. essential. The tale is also a praise of nature, it is in season. The initiators of the children are animals: a goat, luminous rabbits (literally), a wild cat, and a blue bird.


Virginie Bloch-Lainé

Brothers from Isild Le Besco, Jean-Paul Krassinsky, L’Ecole des Loisirs, “Neuf”, 64 pp., € 9.

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