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Que reste-t-il de Colomba ?!

Colomba… ce prénom à la fois inspirant et mystérieux que l’on retrouve sur des dizaines d’établissements dans l’Ile, sans vraiment comprendre le symbole orchestré autour de ce personnage.

Alors Colomba, qui es-tu ?

Colomba… c’est le titre de l’œuvre écrite par Prosper Mérimée à la suite de sa mission en Corse, paru en 1840.

Le premier point serait de comprendre pourquoi cet écrivain a fait le choix d’écrire sur la Corse et les corses :

Lorsque l’on replace l’œuvre dans son contexte, la raison semble évidente. L’Ile de Corse, française depuis 70 ans à peine, représente un réel mystère pour les français. En effet l’ile, département sous développé, est perçue comme un territoire hostile ; ses habitants y appliquent une vendetta pour faire régner une justice restée trop longtemps absente, et semblent se contenter d’une vie pastorale rude et sans abondance. Cette culture fascine et fait l’objet de publications plus ou moins élogieuses.

Le second point serait de comprendre le succès national de l’œuvre, dès sa sortie en 1840 :

Malgré les craintes, la Corse reste un symbole d’évasion pour les classes aisées françaises. Parler de sa culture, de ses paysages, de ses femmes indomptables, sa gastronomie savoureuse et ses chants traditionnels, autour d’une intrigue traitant d’une jeune femme voulant venger la mort de son père, le tout se terminant par une fin heureuse grâce à une vengeance accomplie hors vendetta ( Je n’en dirai pas plus… à vos livres !) : tout était réuni pour faire de cette œuvre un succès.

En réalité, lorsque Mérimée rencontre Colomba, cette dernière est âgée de plus de 70 ans. Or le personnage de Colomba n’a qu’une vingtaine d’années. Mérimée précisera s’être inspiré de la beauté de la fille de Colomba, pour illustrer la ferveur de la mère.

Mérimée modifiera également les noms des familles ennemies ainsi que le nom du village dans lequel se passe l’intrigue.

Je me suis rendue dans le village natal de Colomba, Fozzano. Ce village est doté de deux « case forte » en granit qui se font face, appartenant aux deux familles ennemies. A l’époque, ces bâtisses faisaient office de frontière entre la partie haute du village gérée par le clan Durazzo, et la partie basse du village gérée par le clan Carabelli (Clan de Colomba). Je m’y suis rendue pour rencontrer des personnes susceptibles de m’en dire davantage sur cette héroïne… et bien, je n’ai trouvé aucune âme charitable pour me renseigner !

J’ai eu la sensation que Colomba n’avait jamais existé. Comme si la Corse avait tiré un trait sur l’une de ses héroïnes corses ! Pourtant, les deux tours fortifiées et agrémentées de mâchicoulis témoignent bien de cette époque mouvementée.

Mais pourquoi en est-on arrivé là ?!

Un raccourci sommaire reviendrait à penser que les femmes sont souvent mises à l’écart dans la société corse, et que de fait, il était préférable de ne plus parler de ce personnage.

Selon moi, le mal est bien plus profond : la Corse ayant souffert de son image d’ile violente, a préféré mettre en sommeil ce personnage rappelant à l’humanité de quoi était capable le peuple corse.

Alors, que reste-il aujourd’hui de cette femme qui deviendra le symbole des femmes corses, dans l’esprit de bien des français durant plusieurs décennies ?

Eh bien, grâce au livre « La Vraie Colomba » écrit par M. Lorenzi di Bradi et paru en 1922, nous pouvons retrouver le portrait de cette héroïne oubliée.

Sur la base de témoignages récoltés auprès de membres de la famille, Lorenzi di Bradi dressera le portrait d’une femme à fort caractère, capable de tuer pour préserver l’honneur de son clan, fougue que l’on retrouve également chez le personnage de Mérimée.

On apprend qu’au-delà de ce tempérament de feu, cette dernière était connue dans toute la région pour ses talents d’improvisatrice ; elle accompagnait les familles endeuillées en chantant des voceri et lamenti durant les obsèques et  chantait des nanne à ses petits-enfants.

L’auteur nous dévoile ensuite l’origine de cette vendetta fozzanaise ayant décimé deux clans ennemis. Une haine alimentée de génération en génération, qui, à la moindre étincelle, pouvait s’embraser.

Ce fut le cas un soir de printemps 1834, durant lequel une légère bousculade finira par tuer un membre du clan Carabelli. Il n’en fallait pas moins pour relancer cette vendetta qui se soldera par la mort du fils de Colomba quelques mois plus tard.

A la mort de son fils, envahie par le chagrin Colomba continuera de chanter des lamenti en son honneur, attendant patiemment sa délivrance ultime.

En définitive, l’auteur nous présente le portrait émouvant d’une femme à la beauté exceptionnelle, victime du poids que la communauté laisse peser sur l’ensemble de ses villageois.

Une femme d’une autre époque mais pourtant très contemporaine… 

SDC

Texte : Ste DE CICCO
llustration : protégée réalisée par Elisa Di Giò (Elisabeth MATTEI)
www.elisadigio.com
facebook : Elisa di giò
Instagram : @elisadigio

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