For a very long time, summer holidays have been synonymous with moments of withdrawal that I cherish very much. As a teenager, I already spent long parts of my days alone, reading, pedaling with a free spirit when I walked from one side to the other of my favorite antique dealers in the four corners of the Ile de Ré, doing nothing, noting down the interesting words that I eagerly gleaned as I read and then tried to use them: cowardly, chastising, Jansenist (it was hard to place that one!), wondrous,... And if I finally spent very little time with my peers, I can say with certainty that I shared wonderful summer memories with my books!
So words have taken to composing the skies of my July and August suns.
The passing years and the time (verum tempus!) which becomes a rare commodity in adulthood have in no way tainted the pleasure of these annual reunions with words. Even better, the ritual, which has become immutable, could not be more comforting.
Here are some travel companions for the summer weeks, I hope they will take you elsewhere whether you leave or not.
Pierre, Christian Bobin
“I don't care about painting. I don't care about music. I don't care about poetry. I don't care about everything that belongs to a genre and slowly wither away in this belonging. It took me more than sixty years to know what I was looking for when writing, reading, falling in love, stopping short in front of a bindweed, a snail or a setting sun. I seek the emergence of a presence, the excess of the real that ruins all definitions. I seek this presence which crossed the hells before reaching us to fill us by killing us.
Porca Miseria Tonino Benacquista
“The French words I hear my mother say most often are cholesterol and contrariety. I am surprised that a woman having so much trouble coaxing her adopted language can know two terms that I think are so learned. Contrariety wins by far. She ended up appropriating it as if it relieved her of the duty to get better, and that once pronounced, nothing forced her to develop, everything was said, contrariety.
The evenings when the confrontation with her husband becomes inevitable, she strikes the word ruin, in Italian, it is the highest note of her lament, the rouiiiina, whose meaning is unequivocal: it is emigration, the accursed departure, the original fault, the source of all its evils, the contrariety supreme. »
In 1954, the Benacquista family left Italy to settle in the suburbs of Paris. The parents, Cesare and Elena, will know the fate of the uprooted. In this moving tale of origins, their youngest, Tonino, restores this gesture with fantasy. He also recounts the battles that marked his conquest of the French language.
With sow misery, Tonino Benacquista traces the luminous trajectory of an autodidact that writing saved from the throes of reality.
Sans départir Diana of Beauvau-Craon
“I was 21, I was alone with Andy Warhol at the Factory. He throws at me: ''Diane, you have to start writing your diary'', I look at him: ''I'm only 21, I already have one foot in the grave, you want me to put both?' Andy's response: 'Just do it.'”
Leave the luxury of Avenue Foch, the gilding of the Lorraine and Portuguese castles, the English gardens, the dozens of servants, the smocked dresses and other aristocratic family eccentricities? It would take more to scare Diane, the youngest of the Beauvau-Craon princesses, who arrives in a New York in full artistic effervescence.
Determined to lead an extraordinary existence, at the age of 18, in 1973, she became an apprentice of Roy Halston, the American Yves Saint Laurent, before creating her own clothing collection. Very quickly, she is one of the most astonishing figures of the New York underground scene. Drunk on white wine and cocaine, she scoured the nightclubs with Warhol and Mapplethorpe, with whom she befriended. From the Factory to Studio 54, passing through the big fashion shows, she rubbed shoulders with all the legendary artists of the 1970s and 1980s: Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Margaux Hemingway, Diana Vreeland, Timothy Leary... In this universe of glitter and acid, Diane lives a hundred miles an hour.
From exceptional encounters to romantic adventures, from the pangs of addiction to the AIDS years, Diane de Beauvau-Craon paints the portrait of a free era. Without dividing are generous memoirs where splendor is not without levity. An ode to life, full of humor and tenderness for a world that has now disappeared.
Madame Pylinska and Chopin's secret Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Madame Pylinska, as welcoming as a bramble bush, imposes an eccentric method for playing the piano: lying down under the instrument, making circles in the water, observing the wind, listening to the silence, slowly making love. .. Over the course of his lessons, the young Éric-Emmanuel learns much more than music, he learns about life.
Does Chopin's work give meaning to existence? Will she help the narrator understand his path, and grasp the heartbreaking secret of a loved one?