Thierry Crouzet

Automatic translation from French

Sunday 1st, Balaruc

The sewers overflowed, at their lowest point, in the garden studio, which Isa transformed into an office to isolate herself from the house. This is not the first time, it is quite unpleasant as a cleaning. So I send the ferret by a glance, two meters further it collides with an obstacle. I open a second look that I haven't touched in years. Surprise: large roots surround the pipe. I unscrew the inspection hatch and discover it blocked by rootlets. When I tear off the cork, it is not beautiful to see. I spend the morning cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting. Life, what, maybe real life, too often ignored by literature, unable to make the big gap between all existential dimensions.

Soir
Evening
Soir
Evening

Monday 2, TGV

A scientific article: it becomes possible to water plants in order to modify their DNA. Idea of ​​novel: a cyclist passes near a field being watered, he believes in water, then the following days he pedal better and better, he does not come back. Then try to understand. It would be a realistic fiction, like a report.

Monday 2, Paris

Celebration for the tenth anniversary of The Book Factory in a cafe near Place Blanche. The whole middle of the thriller is there. And I’m hardly in my place because I have not read a thriller for a long time and do not write it. But paradoxically, we find literature talking, between authors, because we have it in our skin each in our own way. Pierre makes a beautiful speech. "I wanted to be an editor out of love for books and I discovered that I was an editor out of love for authors. "That's why I love him too.

Tuesday 3, Mulhouse

Just in time to catch the last glow at the end of a canal. Guided to the central square by Hervé Weiss where, at the foot of the ostentatious temple, the swarming smells of the Christmas market turn my neurons back on me. A symphony with conductor mulled wine, cinnamon with drums, gingerbread with violins, melted cheeses with double bass and sweets with brass. The cold sets in for me, dry, gripping. I lost the habit and until the pleasure of facing it. Without being disoriented, because the city center is tiny, I don't really know where I am, Hervé making me dance in circles as if to lose myself, in streets which, in the night and the electric light, have nothing in particular, if not standardized signs. You have to look on the side of an Alsatian pastry shop so that I show myself intractable in the face of the proposed temptations (to which Marie-Anne succumbs). We find ourselves warm in the Bisey bookstore, where an intimate meeting follows.

Mulhouse
Mulhouse

Wednesday 4, Mulhouse

I wake up earlier and earlier, go to bed earlier and earlier, on the slope that many people seem to follow as they get older, without me being used to it yet, trying to go back to sleep, so stamping , and wasting time that I don't get back in the evening, so maybe get to work right away.


Mulhouse, a city because you have to live well, a city with its central square, its monument, its shopping streets with the same shops as everywhere else, houses with doors and windows, mineral streets, cold, gray despite the sun brilliant, but too low to pierce the ground, to warm buildings which want to be bourgeois at lower cost, which do not catch the eye, which order me to move away from this center without any other reason than being geometric. I head for the canal seen yesterday, crosses a vaguely Turinese city, with red buildings with arcades, arranged around a triangular and green square, a semblance of research, of light. A little further, I rejoin the canal and discover that it is the Rhône-Rhin canal, a canal which therefore leads to my house. Here I am reconnected to my roots by a filament of H2O molecules, and undoubtedly a very slight gradient. Mulhouse suffers from its flatness, just if going up the canal, I see a vague gray hill. The grass is white with frost, the puddles frozen, I try to sit on a bench and soak my buttocks. I leave limping, my right leg stubborn. It works wonderfully on a bike, but it hurts me on foot, my knee being very painful at the moment, as if my thighbone was imposing tensions on him that he himself can no longer bear.

Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse

Wednesday 4, Paris

From Gare de Lyon, I walk to Sèvre Babylone, under a pink sky, the city vibrates, I drink tea with a friend who encourages me in my multiple autobiographical project, then I return by another path, it is night this time, people in a hurry, more violent in their attitude, and I do not feel safe with my leg still fragile, fear of not being able to react if someone rushes at me, fear of not being able to take the step aside or produce the proper acceleration. I'm in the shoes of an elderly person.

Thursday 5, Paris

I think back to the meeting at Bisey's. Hervé asks me about my past, about the beginning of writing for me and I realize that I started writing at the same time as I started programming, I was seventeen years old. It could be the starting point for psychoanalysis.


Yesterday in Sèvre-Babylone, I drank my tea in an extraordinary café-restaurant, La Démocratie, opened a year ago on the ground floor of a narrow building, itself bearing the mention Democracy on its pediment , where at the beginning of the twentieth century Marc Sangnier published a newspaper of the same name with the ambition of bringing Christians and Democrats together. We enter through a secret passage on Raspail, before joining a wooded room, open onto a courtyard where it is good to dream in summer. On the walls of the S, reminders of the name of Sangnier whose descendant remains the owner of the place.

Friday 6, Montrouge

Exit university, passage under the periphery, then I enter another world, grayer, darker. Compartmentalized humanity which by all means tries to rank in order to give us the illusion that life is only a long escalation, walk after walk, until the moment when tired we stop on a landing. And I am always sweating on the staircase of literature which has the particularity of going around in circles.

Sullen weather, sticky humidity, I am unable to photograph, to look for the image that would make me happy, I would have to zoom in, track the close-up, the detail, which is contrary to my aesthetic turned towards wide shots, even in literature, I am not a specialist in dissection, but landscapes.

I walk in Paris without experiencing the slightest change of scenery. I'm at home, I have exhausted places there more than anywhere else, perhaps even more than in the South where I am more in movement, in subjugation, while in Paris I am in reaction , in a perpetually critical state, a state of disagreement and questioning, I do not accept this city, I was one of its residents and I have always disputed this existence.

Saturday 7, Balaruc

À vélo
By bike
À vélo
By bike
À vélo
By bike

Sunday 8, Balaruc

Small form, but we're going to show Isa's electric bike. She swallows 40 km as laughing. On the climbs, it leads me hard, but downhill or on the flat I have to slow down.


I publish an article on bicycle pedals , a great debate among us cyclists. Rather than arguing for one style or another, commentators tell what they do, they talk about their habits, sinking into their irrationality and solipsism. Social networks highlight our collective failures on a microscopic scale. A discussion on the bike says a lot about all of us.

Bellevue
Nice view

Monday 9, Balaruc

A question about my novel: "How did you receive this past of sniper, of killer of your father? We understand ? Are we upset that it may have changed it? We apologize ... or not? "I never tried to judge my father, I tried to understand him, to understand how he got there, and when I unroll the story, I have to admit that he is not alone in this situation, the military has more than forced his hand. She massacred her generation, without repairing it. I didn't find out that he had been a sniper until very late, four years before his death. Paradoxically, I was relieved, because I could start to set out towards him. I had a beginning of explanation.


I'm trying to write what could be the start of depletion , this text composed with the 300 or 600 most frequently used words in French , potential story of a guy who, due to an impoverishment of language, can no longer access his memory. "He had lost his words , yet its memory was intact , present to him, but he couldn't materialize in him, even less in him Express . The wrong had taken it little by little, insidiously , like a aging , until incapacity . It was only the first victim , I know it today before I too lose my words . In bold, the forbidden words. The word "word" itself is not in the list. You can't be in analysis or reflexivity with so few words.

Here is a text that uses only the authorized words: "I was not yet sick. I remember mom and dad, my sister, our house by the water, in the light. There were trees, birds. We were happy at the time even though we were hungry. And then an armed soldier came to ask us for our books. We agreed to give them to him for cash. He burned them in the garden. One hand on the heart, mom started to sing, she was crying. I did not understand why. We never read a book. She made us promise not to forget. Forget what ? The books, she replied. "

On Google trends , I discover that "facebook" is a hundred times more sought after than "dad" or "mom". Google searches do not tell us the most used words. A few sites list these words, but none explain its methodology. If I wanted to write depletion , I should make my list, maybe give it a color in the world where the story takes place.

Tuesday 10, Balaruc

The hero would become poorer over the course of history, already well bald at the start, he would continue to lose his words, from chapter to chapter seeing his vocabulary shrink with the obligation to tend towards poetry. The question: how to pursue beauty with less and less nuance? This project, launched as a joke during a meal, begins to occupy me overnight. A man sheds things and words to tend towards an increasingly simple life dedicated to minimalist beauty.

Wednesday 11, Balaruc

The impoverishment could be a play, a long dialogue where ideas become more and more difficult to express. I don't know why this theater idea comes to me.

Matin
Morning

Friday 13, Balaruc

I just spent three weeks at compose a book on bikepacking from my web articles. A book written over the past twelve months, without my realizing it, and which finally has a nice consistency in my eyes, with an unexpected idea that has arisen: a bike ride is memorable when it can give birth to a story. It’s a book about writing and cycling, about the bike as a typewriter, as a romantic machine.

Sunday 15, Balaruc

Always read the newsletters with as much pleasure Nothing but noise by Philippe Castelneau and Fleeing is a drive of Guillaume Vissac, the friends of the web, engaged like me in the journaling of their digital life, with this ambiguous feeling that it is online that contemporary literature is played and at the same time the end of a world, with the celebration victorious ultracapitalism of any category, where the old book chain still remains handcrafted, with men and women who talk, kiss, smile, have lunch together, love and hate each other.

The web has given me nothing human, hatred in disarray, arguments, false relationships, all under cover for everyone in the quest for ultracapitalist recognition. Is this what I should celebrate on the pretext of defending today's literature? Who is better literary on the web than outside? I wonder. Authors who watch themselves write, who as long as they line up three words pretend to be brilliant and who ultimately bring nothing new formally no more than emotionally.

Outside there are artisans, perhaps artisans are better than counterfeiters working in a system that only celebrates money. I'm not sure what to think anymore. If I had not blogged on the bicycle, I would not have come to my romantic vision of the bicycle, I would not have made this little discovery which lights up my life at the moment, all this was only possible because I was able to pour out live and in public, and have many conversations.

It didn't happen from the start of a book - a book implies a project, a more or less clear direction even if the stages of the journey are blurred. It was a writing workshop, a public journaling of my reflection, made possible by the web and only by it, until afterwards meaning and form appeared. The web as maieutics. This is perhaps what artisans authors miss out on compared to us ultracapitalized authors (in the sense that we accept this logic since we use the tools even if it means that they roll us up).

I remain convinced that literature plays there, in the opening of creative processes, in their theatricalization, in the social increase of our intelligences. But what do most web authors do? They throw their texts over to us as if they were final. They bring their lives to us, often refusing to write because it is not the most impactful medium of ultrapacitalism.

So I resist, I stay with the ineffectiveness of words, their silence, their media invisibility, their slowness incompatible with multitasking performance. They have the merit of doing me good when they escape from me, more rarely when I read them again. They are like my pedal strokes, they sometimes make me jubilant, so I enjoy these little pleasures.

To proclaim "It’s on the web that it is happening" at the end of 2019 becomes ridiculous and almost a crime against humanity. It is on the web that ultracapitalism is happening, that the gap is widening between rich and poor, a state which in history has led to the end of many civilizations. I say one thing and its opposite. I need the web, if only to run my studio there, but at the same time it wants to destroy me, because it's a tidal wave. All I have left is the judoka tactic of using the strength of the opponent.

My article on the pedals was read over 12,000 times in two days. Here is ultrapacitalism at work. Who says pedals, says products, says trade, and the readers arrive by the thousands where they are at best a few hundred for my "literary" stuff. I'm not surprised, just terrified to see the phenomenon at work on my own blog. I could monetize this audience, write an article on saddles, handlebars, wheels. Sell ​​advertising, record videos, and go into orbit. Popular writers succumb to this drug. They ask for more, each on their own scale. Whoever has a thousand views on YouTube wants ten thousand, then ten times more and so on, and it is claimed, gargles as if it were a proof of genius. Metrix society, standard meters of ultrapacitalist superficiality.

But the emotion I feel when I write this or that text? No one measures it any more than the emotion of this or that reader. It escapes, it slips between, this is where literature is played out, in the invisible inside of us, in resistance to the machine to destroy. It's easy to forget when outside everything requires numbers with lots of zeros behind.


I read My sunbeams of Louis Nucera . I remember Nucera on TV, I knew he was in love with the bike, I know he died on the road, murdered by a driver. A 1987 text, touching, but without literary breadth, with a slightly dented, sometimes flashy style, which lacks fluidity. Nucera was more a man than an author and we celebrated him as an author because he was a man above all. A Germanopratin affair that is no stranger to the bloodless world of web literature.

Monday 16, Balaruc

Nucéra refuses the story, the narration, it wants to be in literature, but that of the late twentieth years, where in France had forgotten to tell, whether thoughts, emotions or events. The trace is not in his text, this spine trace of my cycling stories. Nucéra is in history, it speaks of that of champions, still venerated as gods, that of monuments and cities and wars, but it forgets its own path, its meanders, its encounters and its illuminations.

I read by reading what has changed as much in the literature as in the bike, at the same time, in the same direction, as taken by our time, by its technology, and which gives me the proof of a transformation if not of an evolution. In itself the need to write again and again on the same subjects, because they cannot remain the same as long as we open our eyes. The difficulty, it invariable, to grasp what is specific to a time so that it remains significant in the next time. Nucéra only speaks to me in the hollow, in her already distant voice, although coming from the 1980s, and I hear it less loudly than that of Rousseau or Flaubert. Literature explodes time and memory. It distorts the continuums like a black hole that plays with space and time.

"Forgetting the fundamentals on the pretext of violating them" was the program of a literature that is perpetuated online, where one does not need to have a reader or to be accountable to them. We come to forget the fundamentals to the point of not even mastering them: the innovator breaks what he dominates, he breaks to open a breach in the wall and go beyond. But how do you break the narration? There is nothing more than a punk delirium, a poetic mist, an illusion of non-technicality in everything, while the opposite is obvious, that technique is everywhere. I feel like an eternal child when faced with the possibilities offered.


A technician comes to install the fiber, but he encounters an obstacle at our portal. I spend the afternoon hammering. I put myself in it reluctantly, then get caught in a sort of frenzy of ants, the night stops me. Sometimes uninteresting tasks serve as a meditative airlock. For example, clean the chickpeas before preparing a hummus.

Wednesday 18, Sète

Two o'clock, Émile glued, I wait for him without a coffee near the market among a crowd of booze. Women surround a beautiful kid with small eyes that breathe neither health nor intelligence. One of the women never stops caressing him, he gives back his caresses. An artist-type quadra comes to speak to him, court him, then the step-kid turns away from him, returns to this woman, and the courtier, like an idiot, uncomfortable but who does not run away. I want to go see him, tell him not to hurt myself, but the step-kid comes back to him, I don't know what door he can open, a filthy door to self-sufficiency.

Sète has always been seen, snobbish, pretentious, and the arrival of the world of TV and cinema does not help. Here is my courtier again planted, in the middle of a sentence, the other party to see someone else, turning his back on him. You have to be desperate to bear this farce. The courtier goes around in circles with his glass, I fail to catch his eye, to signal him, to prevent him from drowning in alcohol, he avoids me as if he felt my judgment. The handsome kid deigns to come back to him, he laughs, a red laugh of alcohol. A woman is just as red, deformed, her nose covered with swollen champagne.

I ignore the link of dependence that binds these figures and pushes them to drink to find the strength not to take off as if a miracle could happen after their mole proximity. The handsome kid plays happy, center of attraction, little sun of a star system without vitality. He tells jokes and all of them explode with laughter, exaggerated laughter, theater laughter as if to be seen from the bottom rows.

I expected to daydream at the beginning of this afternoon, to plunge into poetic meditation, to float between words and I have before my eyes a spectacle of demolition, destruction, collapse, all the more frightening that its actors are not aware of it. In my corner, on my moleskin bench, I'm not there, I don't exist, I'm invisible, locked in my own snobbery.

The courtier dodges and the others laugh at him. The handsome kid buries him, spears him. I don’t hear the words, but I know them by heart, like in novels that want to hurt readers by hurting their heroes. It's disgusting, there are filthy people. And I am no better because I am silent, an impassive witness to a crime.

Soir
Evening
Planche
Board

Thursday 19, Balaruc

I slowly let myself slide towards the end of the year. As if there was a social gravity, an impossibility to work in these dates which arrive. I finish my book on bikepacking, dreaming of new trips.

Friday 20, Balaruc

There is something poignant to read Nucéra, who speaks about his tour of France by bicycle, the drivers who graze him, who frighten him, knowing that one of them will kill him fifteen years later. When we drive on the road, we act no more and no less like cigarette smokers. But is it better to take the place of the drivers? No, they are cancer itself.

Saturday 21st, Balaruc

À vélo
By bike

Sunday 22, Balaruc

An introduction to bikepacking is available on Amazon. I'm posting a post to advertise it and explain why self-publication is inevitable in this case, as in many others. I anticipate the critics: "You change your mind constantly ..." But no, while praising independent booksellers, I warned that I will continue to self-publish on my blog and across platforms, because that publishers will not want all my projects, because for some like this I would not want to wait a year before seeing it available, not want to negotiate, to discuss. I write, I publish, that's what digital literature is the logic of send . I am unable to do without his speed. If this book obtains a small success as they say, it will be easy for me to distribute it otherwise. Publishing a text on a platform is one way to test its validity. To sell less than three hundred copies, I have no reason to complicate my life.

This text is in my opinion a typical example of digital writing. Started as a series of tickets, extensively discussed, the fruit of long online conversations, then put to the test in the field, before a posteriori a new organization gives the texts a consistency that did not previously exist and which his turn reveals new avenues of reflection, arouses new texts, foreign to the first draft.

Digital writing, in my opinion, involves a winding, a spiral progression. It looks like a cinnamon roll or a raisin bread. We start from the center, from a seed, and we wrap ourselves around it, feeding on interactions. When it comes to publishing, there is almost nothing digital, except a game with speed, and when this game with the "send" is refused, there is nothing left but dead letters.

Monday 23, Balaruc

1 / My postulate: literature is at the service of storytelling not at its own service.

2 / My text on the bicycle is also a text on writing, on what causes it, and therefore on literature itself.

3 / It is only an apparent contradiction: literature is accomplished in narration and work on itself.

4 / Forget one or the other, and there is no literature.

5 / Literature can be harmed by wanting to celebrate it too much.


depletion would be a play because only the words of the protagonists would gradually become impoverished until they were nothing more than borborygmas. “Impoverishment”, “borborygmes” would be the words of the didascalies, not words authorized in the mouth of the protagonists. But it would be as if Perec had used an "e" in the title of Disappearance .


Without digital, I wouldn’t have written on the bike because I couldn’t have published my texts on the fly, or they would have had a very different flavor. Without digital, I would not have discovered the art of tracking and, again, I would not have written on the bike. Without digital, bikepacking would not exist. I guess links that I have not yet taken the measure. Writing, digital, territory. A propensity to go out, explore, live, experience, at the same time to question, to tell. As if digital and literature, office activities in a way, only happen for me outside, where I find their material and where they push me to find them.

For a long time, I had the idea of ​​writing my Paradise Green , a text on the South, and I started it inadvertently with my Mini adventures , a text more generally on the link to landscapes, topography, geography, the network of roads and paths, little by little a form is essential, with the photographs as memory point to allow me to tell by the next, because they are geolocated, because they are superimposed on my track and my memories, then I can redo with the words the routes made with the pedal.

Could the same work be done while walking or running? After all, we have many stories of pilgrimages to Compostela, but they are on a different, slower pace, which makes the trace useless, since then we can follow the GR signs and signs marked on the trees or at the corner walls. The bicycle, by its speed, implies the recourse to the digital trace, it gets rid of the traditional cartography, it makes us change metaphor, and thus makes tilt the narration in a new dimension.

And not really a possibility to take notes, even less to write when I unroll a track. I still have the time and the strength to photograph, my brain accumulates the sensations and transforms them into a story at the time of the restitution. On foot, on the contrary, I have all the time. That of unfolding the map, that of writing, then perhaps too long with the risk of forgetting the narration. The bicycle imposes its rhythm on writing like the typewriter or the word processor.

Tuesday 24, Nancy

Arrived last night by car. And all along the way, I felt alienated by the other motorists, especially during the painful crossing of Lyon. We do not travel, we suffer and make the planet suffer. It's not even cold in the East. Sticky, dull moisture. I am incompatible with this latitude which makes warm coffees. So I run there, hoping that an idea will pass, that an image will prevail.

I don’t look at people, I’m now lacking in curiosity about them, maybe because I no longer expect disruptive encounters, too rare in a lifetime to continue chasing them. I’ve always met in action, never in the distraction of coffee. However, I’m writing, I should get the attention of other writers, but no one ever sits next to me wondering what I’m writing. I remember a girl one day in Paris, and I was so taken up with writing that I did not pay attention to her, I just shrugged.

It’s not the artist’s job to seize opportunities, to take what escapes, what slips, to fix it before it faints. We are not creators, but fishermen. The photographer is our paragon. In Florida, I may have seized the opportunity of bikepacking, as in the beginning of 2000 I seized that of digital writing. Grasping things, concepts, emotions, landscapes, practices ... it happens to me, but grasping people, I can't.

I don't even know what it means. Going into an unexpected, surprising, crazy conversation, listening to a story, telling yourself that it is romantic in itself, only worrying about it. Two days ago, N, my Iranian friend, said to me, "You have to tell my life story. "She has everything from modern heroine almost to caricature: beauty, intelligence, character ... and at the same time helplessness and terror. She is romantic, also intimidating. Writing about women is perhaps my biggest challenge. The mountain of misunderstandings I have to face.

I read Dorian Gray . An unbearable text from the feminine point of view. Quite unbearable. Which makes me want to scream. This is enough to designate a great text even if it is only yet another story of cursed superheroes. I also reread the first chapter of The Stranger , because Tim has to read it during the holidays. This text which enchanted me so much left me cold, just if I felt the warmth that once illuminated me. All that remains is the literary mechanism that is still so admirable.

Detachment, coldness, being foreign to one's own life, being close by, looking at it without reacting, then absurdity has no limit, kill and destroy, without even falling into nihilism. I am not from that time. I have the illusion of accessible happiness. He touches me quite often, with words, the bike, the lights, a few laughs, with dazzling beauties.

Do not just survive, but over-live, live more. This is why the slightest vagaries of everyday life strike me down. Bills, breakdowns, obligations drive me crazy. I am unable to thrive in all circumstances. I am weak. Survive the climate crisis, the disruption of the world. Hemingway showed us how to survive war, poverty ... but he failed to survive old age. Survive in any situation. Survive in crises when they encourage withdrawal. This is an artistic and political objective.

Capturing people may be like falling in love all the time. I feel like I am immune, that I have closed the hatches as if to protect my family, but maybe it is also hurting them, because I also closed myself to them. Protecting yourself from the outside you could only protect yourself from the inside. Unless the inside and the outside don't exist. If you open, you close. Maybe not. Osmosis allows diffusion in one direction and not in another. I believe in sentimental osmosis.

Almost all of us are sentimentally closed. Let a rupture occur and we transform almost overnight, demonstrating the existence of an earlier locking, a threshold at least, a barrier of osmotic potential, undoubtedly an evolutionary defense system intended to protect the family while the children are growing up. If this theory is true, the barrier must come down over the years, and then it leaves us old enough that it no longer matters, habit driving us. So you have to fight against it. Living in harmony is perpetual combat.

Around me, the coffee is emptying. The boys set up the vacated tables for lunch and the customers fled. French coffee no longer exists. No freedom to dream when you want, to eat when you want. You have to comply with absurd schedules. I make this observation each time I come back to a cafe, each time I want to linger there, I find myself chased out of it, not while I'm being kicked out, but the atmosphere crumbles and the crowd that 'then bathed me stops dictating my thoughts.

In the cafe, I'm a telepath. I turn into a sponge in spite of myself, write foreign things, deviate from my natural flow, victim of my overpowered empathy. I am not even responsible for my words, more too sure to understand them or to approve them, I am in direct contact with whispers which are transformed into interior voices. This is why I have always been unable to work on a long text in cafes. I cannot hold a thread there, I can only listen to the voices and obey them.


The sun is coming by surprise and I’m going to join it, following the Marne-Rhine canal, before going to the old town, then going up to the Excelsior, near the station. The sun still lights up the room, the woodwork burns, the stained glass shimmers and the mirrors multiply their images. Customers have lunch, or contemplate their mobile phone, or chat with two, dating, mother and daughter, single woman busy in front of a huge plate of profiteroles that she ingests while licking her lips stained with chocolate, another woman in front of her computer, passengers waiting for their train, and me waiting for a thought.

An Asian woman has a diamond in her left eye that catches the light and dazzles me. I can’t detach myself from her face, which leans over, gets up at the same time as she tastes a cup of vanilla ice cream. The gold glitter is stuck under the left eyelid. When the woman turns her face to the window, another glitter sparkles under the right eyelid. Is it a Christmas decoration? A tattoo, high heels, an extravagant je ne sais quoi. Many writers use the same tricks to get attention. On them and in their texts. To defend literature, they had better disappear. Except that we don't care about literature, it is our livelihood, and therefore of visibility. I exist because I write. I exist because I cry.

By one of the high windows of the Excelsior, cumulus trains parade against blue. There is only them left to catch the sun, even the glitter of the Asian no longer sparkles. Outside, on the other side of the street, a kitsch pastry shop, extraordinary enough it seems that curious people do not stop licking the shop window: eating, eating, gorging on sugar, the world does not change. This morning I was a telepath, this afternoon I am deaf. The discordant voices twist my ears, sing me a harmful cacophony, perhaps the vestiges of digestion.

Speeches on the collapse have the effect of pushing for vice, overconsumption, jeering. Since we have no future, we wallow in the big no matter what most people unconsciously say to themselves. They have given up happiness, only debauchery attracts them. They get drunk, gorging themselves, gobbling up series. It does not take more to enter decay. We are there when money matters more than values. I do not forget the Alexandria of Eratosthenes. I do not want it.

What if not to live another life, to show that she is happy and makes it possible to escape collapse? But there is no point in shouting it out, or even writing explicit books on the subject, especially not theoretical essays, you have to tell other ways, awaken hope. What connection could this have with depletion ? The more words I shed, the happier I am? I always thought the opposite. Two characters could oppose. One loses his words and becomes more and more unhappy, the other gains and becomes more and more happy. A kind of communicating vase.

La cathédrale
Cathedral
Canal de la Marne au Rhin
Marne-Rhine Canal
La tour
Tower

Wednesday 25, Nancy

In Dorian Gray , Oscar Wilde is a visionary: "We see in San Francisco all the people we think are missing. It must be a delicious city; it has all the attractions of the future world ... "Further on, he gives us advice to exist on the Net:" I am happy that you have never done anything: neither modeled a statue, nor painted a canvas, nor other product thing you yourself!… Your art was your life. You put yourself in music. Your days are your sonnets. "

I doubt that many of us have this project of making our lives a work, because then social networks reveal nothing but horrors. Or maybe we only publish scraps of ourselves, our failures, only the rejected drafts. Social networks would play the same role as the portrait of Dorian Gray. They capture our vices, our baseness, our perversions, our wickedness while we ourselves remain pure. But while Dorian hid his portrait and showed himself in his eternal beauty, we do the opposite, exposing our ugliness and reserving our virtues to our loved ones. Everything would have been reversed.

There was a modesty of the dandy, the desire to be only perfection, that will to project oneself into an ideal in the eyes of others. Now, the more modesty, whether thin or fat, we walk naked on the beaches and we get off line, swinging his most mundane ideas, the most common, and judging everything without worrying about the relevance or originality. We are no longer afraid of being as we are, that is to say mediocre.

Some people use pseudonyms to pour out without restraint. These trolls play carnival. Perhaps they are right, refusing to sign their portrait with their real name. They retain a touch of modesty, still dream of delicacy even if they cannot fulfill their dreams by remaining silent. They obey the world, abandon themselves to it, but, by dissociating their digital self from their authentic self, their picture from their image, they express their disapproval of a tendency to which they succumb all the same.

How are they for real? Are their lives works? Or how do Dorian Gray gradually feel guilty? Do they suffer from their lack of courage? Either that of not being silent, self that of not assuming their nonsense. The people I met were beautiful, artists of themselves.

A bike ride is a work if it provides material for narration, whether this narration is materialized or not, with photos, videos, texts ... If I manage to make my life a work, I must be able to tell it, and having the project to tell it, I rock it in art, and art in itself. To keep a newspaper, to publish it, is to accept this game, it is therefore implicitly to adhere to the project of one's life as a work.

If I were convinced that my life was insignificant, I would not write about it, I would not build it by means of reflexivity. When I write, when I publish, I feel a form of pride. If I refused my life as a work, I would pour into pure fiction, I would try to deny myself, to forget myself. But I don't want to run away, I want to love myself, to accept myself, maybe to make myself acceptable.

True geniuses work without conscience, unlike Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray. And their works are all the more dramatic, turned entirely to narration without the idea that they will turn into narration when the eyes of an artist like Michon land on them.

On a bike, I forget about reflexivity, I don't have time for it, just the time for a few photos. I know that the narrative is built, but I manage to put it aside and to live, sometimes rediscovering sensations of childhood, brilliant joys like when we pain in the mud, we crot from head to toe. Some of my friends are less playful. They think too much, see the disadvantages, refuse to surrender to the joy of the moment. Walks disturb them as soon as they stray from their familiar routes. They pedal out of habit, out of their works, and I doubt they are writing them in spite of themselves.

Basically, I don't like pedaling in their company. They only ride bikes to get some fresh air, discuss and maintain their bodies, others go hunting or golf (I experienced the same thing with gamers: they played to pass the time and I played for make our parts works of art). On the contrary, I seek what is specific to the bicycle, what only it authorizes and invents, and in writing I seek the same own potentials, potentials changing from time to time under the constraint of other potential forces. Giving up writing to jump to other media is an admission of weakness. Because the literary door is narrower, it can lead to purer beauties by the effect of a form of filtering.

Dorian Gray is not a narrative novel, but a reflexive one. The action is constantly questioned, stopped, watched. I no longer have any desire to write such novels, I want to be in narrative film: show Dorian Gray alive and no longer his portrait which then is only the portrait of a portrait of a portrait ... For the portrait, there is photography. For film, isn’t there cinema and video? No, the first requires reconstruction, the second shows only what has had time to be grasped. Film narration is neither reconstruction nor capture, it is creation ex nihilo like a special effects cinema. But then The Stranger ? Isn't this a pure example of literary film? Perhaps, but nothing prevents filming emotions, thoughts, filming heroic characters, while preventing the camera from looking at itself.

Le port
The port
La Meurte
The Death
Nancy
Nancy
Canal de la Marne au Rhin
Marne-Rhine Canal

Thursday 26, Nancy

In gray weather, without the sky showing me north or south, I have a way out of my parents-in-law who lost me, sent me into the city with an offset of ninety degrees , projects me into a disturbing quadrilateral that I can only stabilize once on Place Stanislas, where I fall by surprise with astonishing astonishment.

Back at Cafe Foy, I find the crowd crowded on the red velvet armchairs, unable to imagine this place outside of the holiday season, perhaps it is empty and inspiring in the depths of an ordinary week. There reigns in this room a literally hushed atmosphere, even if nobody reads or writes except me, but the customers are there in latency, arrived without objective, by a simple effect of the gravity of this city, turning on it- even not far from there, around the center of its place which sums it up and defines it.

As soon as I walk away along the canal, I arrive at its poorly dilapidated motorway border, always without perspective, with rare walkers to whom I say hello without their raising their heads, perhaps perceiving my accent in this one "hello" and consider myself too foreign to make any effort.

Today, I did not walk, it was enough for me to get lost as I will no longer manage to do it during my stay, but with the certainty that I will lose again on my next visit. If I were an alcoholic, it would be a day to get drunk, a day without grace, a day to clean up by running or biking and trying to tip it over on its own. I only have the words to repel conflicting emotions.

The holiday ritual centered on meals that are too rich and too commented and too prepared resembles the city where they are played. They drag on and make me feel worse and worse, because I see myself as more and more animal when we are supposed to celebrate our most positive humanity. I who eat little, I cannot deny this too often protein food stacked in front of me, it is like an insult and I close myself to it, and to protect myself from it, from its perverse incentives, I also close myself to joy of my loved ones which almost seems like a provocation. I might not be there, but then I will experience another form of grief, so the situation is hopeless unless we flee to the mountains and wave our bodies in the snow until we laugh. .

I re-read two of the last night Tiny lives of Michon and I see clearly in his game now: he only talks about him, he has written only his own life, always with the same voice, the same rhythm and point of view, whether a man or a woman or even a child who died too early. He waited for this text and ended up falling on it, letting the young authors believe in the possibility of a miracle. I felt like my raptures had also run into me, and I’ve almost forgotten about them already, wondering what I could do with them.

If I had published them online on a day-to-day basis, they would have already existed as happening, they would already be in sublittary history, but it is too late to make them digital literature. I only have a traditional editorial possibility without me wanting to fight for it, the magical effect of this text having already acted on me, like a past summer whose lukewarmness is gradually dissipating. This final "like" being a sort of Michon-style refrain.

Friday 27, Nancy

This morning, when I have been biking for two pellets, I get up, look out the window, at a metallic sky, and in the garden, the motionless tree, paralyzed with its bare branches stretched towards a non-existent light. Across the street, an unhappy pigeon shivers on a smoky chimney. Nothing is moving, especially not him, no wind, no breath, the still freezes the city, you have to take to the streets, meet humans and cars for the world to start moving. In the South, the country is moving, the wind does not stop, neither do the clouds. It rocks, squeaks, rumbles, shakes. Here, even when it's not cold, the idea of ​​cold freezes.

I made it my goal to think about depletion , write a few lines and I'm not there. Too much on the bike, in this journal, in theory. However, I guess a possibility, a power, that the form should make emerge, but a form is never sufficient, even if it aims to say a tendency of contemporary literature, the impoverishment of texts to try to scrape the latest readers. A tactic adopted by bestsellers. Denouncing does not interest me, rather curious to discover what beauty we can still bring out when we reduce expressive means.

Next to me are two women. One, cute, in an empty story. The other, plump, who complains about her husband: "I prefer that he be absent than there without my being able to count on him. And his children do the same. "I would be better if we separated. Then she picks herself up. "There is the financial side, it's not easy. "And the other one who told her that she would have a pension. The only tenderness left is a husband who has become a father, an ineffective service provider.

My neighbor is leafing through a bike magazine, I let him fold it up, then call him out. We left to remake the world for an hour. He patched up the old Peugeot cars, discovered gravel in California, advised me to drive in the Vosges in summer. The link, the trigger. The opportunity. I’m not missing any of the bikes, but I’m ignorant of everything else, basically hidden in limbo.

Saturday 28, Nancy

I slept as rarely, emerging, diving again, until a faint ray of sunshine touched the room and revealed to me a headache caused by the onset of sinusitis. Very rare that I don't catch something in Nancy, especially when I don't do sports there. This city is physically harmful to me.

The web popularized the "text", a short form without genre, because it comes and that it must be taken, everyone is capable of this feat, hence the writing workshops, but things happen complicated in the length, when one exceeds the jet to project oneself towards a work.

Literature is played in the connection of the fragments until they produce a narration. I could spend my life capturing impressions. Stop there, and I’d be frustrated. In the newspaper, the fragments are coordinated by the passage of time. They tell a story against the will of the author. It would be frightening to reread mine from start to finish, I would discover a man there that I may no longer love, whose thoughts would be foreign to me, sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes unpleasant, and I should relive my sufferings without success to experience my joys again.

The autobiographical project is then a revisionist work, a reconstruction distorted by the filter of memory, a romantic idealization as opposed to the very relative realism of the newspaper. They talk about the same person to tell two unrelated stories, and in fact the newspaper cannot help in writing an autobiography.

My relationship with other writers blurs my plans. I should do only what matters to me, and I cannot get past History, wanting to position myself there, when that only gives me frustrations. When I look at the list of my texts, it's a shambles, a mountain of garbage. I would have preferred to write only a few books all identical to each other, rather than fighting with the whole world, going in all directions as if I was unable to find mine, all the more frustrated that when I think I find it, like with One Minute , the reception is more than mixed, even results in outright rejection, no publisher having deigned to be interested in this text.

My work, if I do work, is illegible, incomprehensible. I myself am unable to classify myself, either in a genre or in a school. My forays into the bicycle or into hospital hygiene don't help.

I was reading this morning an article about a rock fresco from 43,900 years ago which already testifies to religious rituals, therefore to a mythology and indeed to an oral literature. In a few tens of millennia what will remain of Proust? Probably not much, little more than me and each of us, perhaps less because he will not have lived in the age of digital memory. The posthumous project makes no sense, especially as long as one cannot afford to escape from a stellar system condemned to death. The only worthy project is the one that makes us fall asleep happy every evening, and which will do the same on our last evening. So write to be content with yourself, to recognize yourself, with the little hope of doing good to a few readers.


Everyone says "I" on the Net and when I use the "I" in my book on bikepacking I am criticized for it, as if a book should translate an ideal and not a personal point of view. I'm just telling what I learn, what I see, what I experience, in the hope that this experience will help others. To say "I" is to be humble, to refuse to speak for others and to generalize, as politicians, unionists and philosophers too often do, giving themselves the right to speak on behalf of all. I titled my book An introduction to bikepacking , adding the article to show that it was only a possible initiation, in this case mine, and which despite everything has some features that I imagine universal.


For more than a year, we have known that we have to redo our wooden deck, of which after twenty years the foundations have rotted or are rotting. And I block, I can't find a solution. For the past few months, we have been seduced by the magnificent concrete terrace of the Miami Museum of Modern Art, of unshakable solidity. From time to time, I researched, told friends of the building industry, and then gave up. I bring up this anecdote because it reflects the creative process.

Have a desire, an urge, try to express it, then give up, then come back to it until something gets unlocked. That night, I saw our concrete terrace as an ecological and thermal monstrosity. In summer, it would be like an oven under our windows. So I thought of something simpler, slabs placed on the ground and between them let the grass grow as desired, without any watering. Create material, breathable upholstery. With that, I go for a walk along the canal and fall on floors in the spirit of what I would like to do. The pieces fall into place. If it was a book, I would just have to let it come.

Par ma fenêtre
Through my window
Canal de la Marne au Rhin
Marne-Rhine Canal
Au bord du canal
By the canal

Sunday 29, Nancy

Le port
The port

Monday 30, Balaruc

Yesterday we crossed France by car, and on the radio they were talking about recognized people whom I don't know. When we stopped for lunch, I saw other people who wanted to be recognized on social media, and more when I got home. Have we all suffered from a lack of recognition by our parents and are we looking for extra-family recognition? This psychoanalytic explanation does not hold, or we are a broken society.

Once the myth of art for art is rejected, it remains art for itself, for its own construction, both internal and financial, which leads to the quest for recognition. So "self" becomes the subject, a self that wants to exist through outside eyes. But there is also the possibility of a social art, art for the people to which Tarkovski aspired, an altruistic art, an art for changing the world. I have always tried to line up in this vein, with this significant risk of doing wrong by wanting to do well. I still dream of autonomous stars, brilliant in themselves, without the need to be supported by their creators (a bit like the universe itself).


The next scandalous novel will tell of a twelve-year-old boy who was abused by a woman. A novel confidence, which could be invented from A to Z (or almost). I have material for such a book.

Tuesday 31, Balaruc

L'étang
The pond
Soir
Evening
Meilleurs vœux pour 2020
Best wishes for 2020
Meilleurs vœux pour 2020
Best wishes for 2020