L’odonyme ne fait pas le boulevard, … mais la rue fait le nom !

Petite chronique du Ramona Boulevard dans Le Dahlia Noir de James Ellroy

“Ramona Sprague forked herself a small mouthful of food, chewed it daintily and said, “Did you know that Ramona Boulevard was named after me, Mr. Bleichert?”

The woman’s out-of-kilter face congealed around the words; she spoke them with a strange dignity. “No, Mrs. Sprague, I didn’t know that. I thought it was named after the Ramona Pageant.”

“I was named after the pageant,” she said. “When Emmett married me for my father’s money he promised my family that he would use his influence with the City Zoning Board to have a street named after me, since all his money was tied up in real estate and he couldn’t afford to buy me a wedding ring. Father assumed it would be a nice residential street, but all Emmett could manage was a dead-end block in a red light district in Lincoln Heights. Are you familiar with the neighborhood, Mr. Bleichert?” Now the doormat’s voice held an edge of fury.

“I grew up there,” I said.

“Then you know that Mexican prostitutes expose themselves out of windows to attract customers. Well, after Emmett succeeded in getting Rosalinda Street changed to Ramona Boulevard he took me for a little tour there. The prostitutes greeted him by name. Some even had anatomical nicknames for him. It made me very sad and very hurt, but I bided my time and got even. When the girls were small I directed my own little pageants, right outside on our front lawn. I used the neighbor’s children as extras and reenacted episodes out of Mr. Sprague’s past that he would rather forget. That he would-

pp. 131-132 (Ellroy 1987)

Ou comment faire d’une charmante promesse un enfer… Ramona verra bien son nom attribué à un boulevard en guise d’alliance lors de son mariage avec un promoteur de Los Angeles lié à la commission municipale de planification. Mais ce boulevard, ex Rosetta street, est un bas-fond et Ramona qui ambitionnait un décor à la hauteur de ses rêves de parades, en concevra une frustration et une colère dévastatrices.

Ne jamais oublier la nature du lieu pour réussir sa nomination …

Ellroy, J. 1987. The Black Dahlia. New York: The Mysterious Press.

Crédit photo : Les yeux de J. Ellroy, La demeure du chaos, Thierry Ehrmann, 2012.

Citer ce billet
neotopo (2014, 22 février). L’odonyme ne fait pas le boulevard, … mais la rue fait le nom ! NEOTOPONYMIE/NEOTOPONYMY. Consulté le 28 février 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/rrmu

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