Surprise : la fille et nièce d’autrices reconnues est elle-même une autrice talentueuse. Small Fry est l’un de ces livres dont j’ai prolongé la lecture, pour savourer l’écriture fluette mais viscérale de Lisa Brennan-Jobs, pour retarder l’arrivée de la dernière page et du long soupir qui la suit. À 40 ans, Brennan-Jobs est toujours la fille de son père, et Small Fry se lit parfois comme une longue lettre adressée à un fantôme. Certaines phrases sont fulgurantes, comme les moments où Jobs était bien « la personne la plus importante » de la vie de Lisa, d’autres sont lancinantes, comme la blessure qui reste après l’un de ses coups de griffe. « C’est l’erreur de papa », dit un jour sa demi-sœur, dans l’un de ces moments où les petits enfants semblent accéder à une vérité que les adultes ne parviennent plus à distinguer. L’homme qui a toujours su qu’il serait célèbre ne l’a jamais pardonné au père qu’il était. Le monstre qui a toujours cru qu’il mourrait jeune aurait dû pardonner à sa fille.


« Je suis ton père » :

The case was finalized on December 8, 1980, with my father’s lawyers insistent to close, and my mother unaware of why the case that had dragged on for months was now being rushed to a conclusion. Four days later Apple went public and overnight my father was worth more than two hundred million dollars. But before that, just after the court case was finalized, my father came to visit me once at our house on Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park, where we rented a detached studio. I don’t remember the visit, but it was the first time I’d seen him since I’d been a newborn in Oregon. “You know who I am?” he asked. He flipped his hair out of his eyes. I was two and a half. I didn’t. “I’m your father.“ (“Like he was Darth Vader,” my mother said later, when she told me the story.) “I’m one of the most important people you will ever know,” he said.

Le père et le géniteur :

“And this,” she said, opening another magazine, “is your father.” Now here was a face I could see. My father was handsome, with dark hair, red lips, a good smile. The rock climber was indeterminate, while my father was significant. Even though the rock climber was the one who took care of me, I pitied him now for his inconsequence, and also felt bad to pity him, because he was the one who was around.

Il mourra jeune :

When they were dating in high school, even before they started selling the blue boxes that let you call anywhere in the world for free, he predicted that he would become famous. “How did he know?” “He just did,” she said. “He also said he’d die young, in his early forties.” I was pretty sure that since the first prediction was right, the second one would be right too. I began to think of him as a kind of prophet, with loneliness and tragedy at the edges. (Only we knew how lonely, how tragic!) All light and dark, nothing in between.

Et sera enterré sous un pommier :

“When I die, bury me under an apple tree,” he said. I remembered to remember later. He repeated this often when we were alone, and I figured I would have the responsibility to make it happen. Unboxed, he meant. So the roots could drink him up.

De la beauté nue :

“Ingrid Bergman’s incredibly beautiful,” he said the next week while we watched Casablanca. “Did you know she didn’t wear any makeup? She was that beautiful.” I liked her lips, how they were flat and full and formed a ledge where they met her cheeks; I liked her accent, and the way she swayed gently as she walked. It seemed my father’s idea of beauty demanded no artifice, it simply was, although, looking back, I think she must have been wearing mascara, at least.

Lisa et le Lisa :

It might all have been a big misunderstanding, a missed connection: he’d simply forgotten to mention the computer was named after me. I was shaking with the need to set it right all at once, as if waiting for a person to arrive for a surprise party—to switch on the lights and yell out what I’d held in. Once he’d admitted it—yes, I named a computer after you—everything would click into place. He would patch the holes, get furniture, say he’d been thinking of me the whole time but had been unable to get to me. Yet I also sensed that if I tried too hard to set it right, it might tip some delicate balance, and he would be gone again. And so I waited in this suspended state, in order to keep him.

Une description d’une banalité affligeante, et puis soudain :

Debbie was tall and handsome with short, brown pixie-cut hair and thick gold-rimmed glasses. She wore long corduroy skirts. Her skin was a waxy layer of white on top of red, and when she became angry, the red bloomed through to the surface.

À propos de l’appartement de Jobs dans l’immeuble San Remo à New York :

It was hard to tell how a person could possibly be comfortable in such a place. It was hard-edged like rich people’s apartments in movies. It was opulent, the opposite of the counterculture ideals he talked about, a showcase made to impress. Yes, he had the Porsche and the nice suits, but I’d believed he thought the best things were simple things, so that looking at this apartment felt like a shock. Maybe his ideals were only for me, an excuse not to be generous with me. Maybe he was bifurcated, and couldn’t help trying to impress other people in the obvious ways rich people do, even as I’d thought, with his holey jeans, his strange diet, his emphasis on simplicity, his crumbling house, he didn’t care.

Du choix d’un nom à l’ère numérique :

I went over to the house, into my father’s study, and saw my father had typed out the name—Reed Paul Jobs, three names, three syllables—in many typefaces, fonts, sizes, filling his computer screen. Garamond, Caslon, Bauer Bodoni. He wanted to make sure the name would be good enough for a whole life of use.

Sans doute l’une des plus courtes — et plus justes — définitions de l’amour que j’ai jamais lu :

That night, I wrote in my journal: “When I tell him events, they come alive. When I don’t tell him, they don’t exist.

« On vous a déjà dit que vous ressembliez à Steve Jobs ? » :

The next day my father and I went to Country Sun to get avocados. “I’m really good at picking them out,” he said, cradling each in the palm of his hand for a few seconds, closing his eyes. At the register a man with long brown hair in a ponytail looked at him. “Does anyone ever tell you that you look like Steve Jobs?” he asked. I kept a straight face. My father was looking down, getting change out of his wallet. “Yep, sometimes,” he said, handing over the change. And then we left, me following him out to the car. How cool it was that he hadn’t claimed it. Even a regular errand with my father was edged with glamour.