Home New Releases Backlist News Contacts

Publication in France:
18 August 2005

228 pages

L'Architecte du désastre


Add to my list


Belgium, 1940.
The German military administration clashes with the local military command in the Ypres region of Belgium. The Cultural Office is trying to prevent the destruction of a memorial which, while it does not necessarily reflect the German view of History, is the work of the sculptor and Vichy collaborator Maxime Real del Sarte. Major Hauptmann believes he can strengthen his claim by drawing on Metzger's skills as an architect. Carefully exerting his authority, the Major assigns Metzger his mission: draw up a report attesting to the command's good faith in aiming to protect Del Sarte's monument. Metzger does as he is told but the report backfires. A few days later, he watches the memorial being destroyed, making him the unwitting "architect of ruin".
The other stories, either set in present day or in the previous century, are all connected to unsung war heroes.
Through this work, Xavier Hanotte pays tribute to those men whose sacrifices have been consigned to the shadows of History.


Xavier Hanotte was born in 1960 in Belgium. He lives in Brussels where he works in computing. His novel De secrètes injustices (Belfond, 1998) won the Alain Fournier and Gironde 1998 prizes. He has also translated some of the greatest contemporary Flemish novelists (Retour en Atlantide by Hubert Lampo).

More information in french

« Les romans de Xavier Hanotte sécrètent une magie envoûtante. »
Michel Abescat, Télérama

À propos de Manière noire

« Hanotte sait rendre une atmosphère en moins d'une phrase. Ce qui est exceptionnel. »
Philippe Cusin, Le Figaro

À propos de De secrètes injustices

« Difficile d'échapper au charme étrange du deuxième roman de Xavier Hanotte, à l'emprise immédiate de son écriture, lumineuse et inspirée. À cet art de faire surgir, en quelques mots, un visage ou une atmosphère, de faire vibrer la lumière ou d'emplir les silences. À cette singulière capacité à capter les images furtives, les émotions fragiles, les instants perdus. »
Michel Abescat, Le Monde

À propos des Lieux communs

« On tremble, on frémit, on se réjouit que les choses soient si bien dites et si bien menées. »
Sébastien Lapaque, Le Figaro