The Gallery

15.12.09 > 17.01.10

Patrick Mallet

Smarra

Exceptionally, the exhibit chosen by the Belgian Comic Strip Center for the top of the Gallery is absolutely horrible!

Patrick Mallet's \"Smarra\" depicts a world of nightmares, exploring every nook and cranny with almost unhealthy pleasure. The firm lines of Mallet's raw, expressionist graphic style are perfect for tracing Lorenzo's trip to hell every time he meets the night demons in his sleep.

Patrick Mallet's art, heightened by Laurence Croix' inspired colours, masterfully reiterates the romantic universe of Charles Nodier in a creative hommage to its literary power.

JC de la Royère, BCSC

In Smarra, Patrick Mallet dusts off one of the first self-proclaimed Romantic writers. After Stendhal but before Victor Hugo, Charles Nodier (1783-1844) was one of the most ardent supporters of this new litrary genre that broke with the rules of Classicism. From 1823, he managed the Arsenal library in Paris and organized the Arsenal salon in its name.

Smarra, the \"Démons de la Nuit\", was published two years earlier. It shows his passion for sentimentality, exotism and fantasy, all in a historical setting that does so well for a dark-minded playwright..

Dream or nightmare? The reader lets the author guide him through this colourful adaptation where monsters have a melancholy cast. Knowing that Nodier died in his sleep, what is the fate of his characters? In Smarra, this friend of Alfred de Vigny developed an original approach to dreams that express man's anxiety and folly.

Patrick Mallet could have chosen the easy way, adapting a pretty, traditional tale. He preferred a different challenge – making us appreciate a text that dates back, but is still fascinating.

Paul Herman, Glénat

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