Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Christian Bobin, grief and la plus que vive

Christian Bobin's luminous book La plus que vive is a celebration of the life of the woman he loved. It is also a poetic map of grief following her sudden death.
Here's a translation of a short extract:

I go for a walk with Clémence in the park de la Verrerie. Not far from the swings there’s a phone box. Sometimes on Wednesdays, when I realised that she and I would be home later than we’d agreed, I would phone you from there to say that we wouldn’t be on time but that you shouldn’t worry, we would be back later safe and sound, laughter painted all over our faces.
Clémence a week after your death, points to the phone booth and says to me “shall we phone her?”
I help her into the glass cage and lift her onto the shelf where the directories are kept and I watch her lift the receiver, press all the buttons on the dial and then for several minutes be quiet and listen, interrupting only to say “yes yes”
When she’s finished I ask
“What did she say to you?”
she replies, “she asked me if everything was all right and if we’re still together. I told her yes and said I was still getting up to lots of silly pranks as usual”

Then we leave the phone box and return to the gentle work of laughing and playing,

There are a thousand ways to speak to the dead. Through the craziness of a little girl of four and a half I understood that we needed less to speak to the dead than to listen to them and that they have only one thing to say to us. Keep on living, always live life, more and more, above all don’t worry and never loose your laughter.

1 Comment:

لمونی said...

Hi. I'm looking for the english translation of this book. is it translated in english at all? If positive, please tell me the name in English.