Faced with the coronavirus and the containment it causes, Gallimard publishes one or two " Crisis leaflets "signed by the great feathers of the House such as Erik Orsenna, Sylvain Tesson, Cynthia Fleury, Régis Debray or Danièle Sallenave, in order to reflect on the questions raised by the epidemic and to keep the link with the reader. 33 titles have been published to date. UP' has chosen to offer you each day an extract from a selected text and author.
"No thinking! Let's copy! »
Gustave Flaubert, Bouvard and Pécuchet
In times of crisis, writers question the value of literature. I, for one, am immune to these doubts. Since the beginning of the confinement, I have been writing every day; and I can certify, without boasting, that I am writing better and better.
I don't keep a diary. I don't record my thoughts on life, death, literature and epidemics. A new novel? No, it's not under my roof that a thousand fictions will flourish.
The text I am dealing with is absolutely necessary.
My secret? Every morning, when my printer is out of order, I write my travel waiver by hand. For those who, like me, have lost the habit of handwriting, this is a difficult exercise.
To tell the truth, I've always had a problem with this business. I broke my right arm the summer before I entered the preparatory course, so I learned to hold my pen with my left hand. Once the plaster was removed, the fold was caught and I continued to write with my right hand like a left-handed person: the hand placed not below the writing line and plumb with it, but above it and bent over.
Now this unorthodox posture was dedicated to smearing my lines of writing as I advanced, because of this right hand which, with a fatal left-handedness, came to spread out on the barely written line, to blur the ink still wet and to wrap my words in a kind of blue mist. This exposed me to the furious sarcasm of some mistress with little mistress of herself.
The worried application that was then mine, I find it by copying the certificate. Of a fearful and cautious nature, I wish to present to the police, if necessary, an impeccable document.
Alexandre PostelCrisis Leaflets" No. 32, Gallimard, 3 April - 8 p.m.