Itw de Robin Hobb sur La Cité des anciens (VO)
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Auteurs : Robin Hobb
Date de parution : février 2011 Réédition
Langue d'origine : Français
Type d'ouvrage : Interview mail
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Actusf  : How the idea of Rain Wild Chronicles came up to your mind ?
Robin Hobb  : The Rain Wild Chronicles continue the threads of a story that began in the Liveship Traders Trilogy. At the end of that Trilogy (Spoiler warning ! Read no more if you haven’t read the Liveship Traders tale !) the serpents have migrated back to the Rain Wilds to begin their transformation to dragons. The Chronicles picks up the story of the dragons and what became of them.

Actusf  : Your dragons are very unusual ones. They’re unable to fly, weak... Why did you chose to show them up this way ? Do you weaken them at purpose to focus on other questions, just like the way they interact with humans ?
Robin Hobb : At the end of the Liveship Traders trilogy, there are hints that not all may be well, for the sea serpents are much older than they should be, they are weaker and they are ’cocooning’ at the wrong time of year. Given all those factors, the biology suggests that they may not emerge as strong as they should. And of course that sets up all sorts of possibilities for the story.
 
Actusf  : As your vision of dragons is pretty original, did you read a lot of other fantasy books and tried to distance yourself from what you’ve read, or is it only a kind of happy accident ?
Robin Hobb : The inspiration for any story comes from many places. It always seems to me that the most interesting ideas come up with two ideas collide. I find it interesting that many cultures have tales of both dragons and sea serpents, and yet so far as we know, none exist or existed. Somehow that connected the two creatures in my mind. And one day, sitting down by a pond on my little farm, I was watching the dragon flies over the pond, and thinking that no one would look at a dragon fly nymph and think of the glittering flying insect. They seem completely unrelated, the one spending its life under water and the other in the air. The two ideas collided, and my story germ began to grow.
 
Actusf  : How do you see Alise ?
Robin Hobb : Alise is, to me, like many women I’ve known. She begins her life knowing that she is intelligent and capable, but also being patient with people who don’t see her that way. She tends to step back rather than challenge people who think she should behave in a different way or be a different sort of person. The reason for that is that she believes other people when they tell her she would be happier if only she WERE like ’everyone else’. If she could fall in love and accept a narrower role in her life, then she could be happy. And for a time, she tries that, even when she becomes aware that her marriage is definitely NOT like everyone else’s marriage.

As the story progresses, she begins to once more assert who she is, but she does it by aggressively pursuing the very things that set her apart in the first place, as if what she does is who she is. As she continues to stand on her own she discovers how hollow the her marriage has been. The final straw for her is when she realizes that her life has been much like the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes ; there are people who have never been deceived by her façade.
 
And that is when she begins to be who she really is. So, in some ways, this is a ’coming of age’ story for her, even though we usually think of ’coming of age’ as being a process that adolescents undergo. I believe that at every stage of our lives, we have these times of increased awareness and reevaluation of our lives.
 
Actusf  : Why the Rain Wild Chronicles settles in the same universe than The Farseer ? Do you want to explore every side of this world, and do you have many other stories in this universe ?
Robin Hobb : Almost all of the Robin Hobb books are set in the same universe, with the exception being The Soldier Son Trilogy. In this case, the time and geography and some of the characters are carried over from the Liveship Trader Trilogy. This becomes even more evident in the book that will continued and conclude this story. I think that once a writer has put a lot of time and energy into creating a world, it is natural that story ideas about that world will continue to come to mind. In this case, I had to wonder ’What will become of those dragons ?’ Do I have many stories set in that world ? Of course. I think it is natural that a writer has an idea of what happened next to any character that he or she creates. But not all those stories are compelling and demand to be written.
 
Actusf  : In 2007, you told us that you were planning to anthologize all of your short stories released under both Hobb and Lindholm brands. Is this still on its way ?
Robin Hobb :The forthcoming collection THE INHERITANCE gathers together many of the Lindholm and Hobb short works into one volume. Not all of them ; that would make a very large book ! But I’ve put together some old and some new, some that were finalists for awards... I think it is a good selection. The book will be available in the UK in April of this year. In the US, it will come out in May.

Actusf  : You’re keeping a close eye on your readers. How do you manage writing and
spending time with them ?

Robin Hobb  : Well, the short answer to that is, with great difficulty ! The longer answer is, I have realized that I cannot. I’ve written a post on Robinhobb.com that lets people know that I simply cannot spend as much time on the web as I have been and still write the stories I want to write. I do enjoy chatting with readers, so I will not disappear entirely. I still check my newsgroup at sff.net daily, and I will still update my blog on robinhobb.com when I actually have news to share. But I simply had too many social network sites to tend : Meganlindholm.com, robinhobb.com, Robin Hobb on myspace, MeganLindholm on LiveJournal, Robin-Hobb on LiveJournal... it was ridiculous. But in each community, one acquires friends and soon one feels obligated to post and to keep up with those friends. Except that I can’t do that and write all the books and stories I want to write. I thought about it, and decided that the books and stories were probably more important to those friends than knowing what I ate for breakfast. So, the random blogs and posts have been cut way back, and more stories are being written.

Actusf  : You told, on your website, that you just sent your manuscript to your publisher. Could you tell us a bit more on this very project ?
Robin Hobb  : We don’t have a title for this book yet. It will continue the story of the characters in Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven. There was obviously a lot more to tell, and I hope that this book will do that, as well as give readers a few glimpses of some characters from The Liveship Traders Trilogy.

Jérôme Vincent