Rating: 3 out of 3
"A dead poet can no longer write. Hence the importance of staying alive." (self translation)
I present yet another review of a book by an author whom I truly love. "Rester Vivant" (something like "Staying Alive" in English) was one of Michel's earlier books. This tiny little novel was published in 1991 and even predated Michel's first novel "Extension du domaine de la lutte", which I reviewed earlier this month.
This little novel is narrated by someone who provides advice to the aspiring poet. This unnamed narrator also provides insights into his own reasons for putting pen to paper.
Like all of Michel's works that I've read to date, this novel is deeply touching and draws you very close to the author/narrator as a result of its sheer honesty and force of emotion. The passages in the book are, as well, simple, yet so beautiful and profound that they resonate within you. I, for one, couldn't help but note down many, many passages to re-read again and again at a later time. They say that writing something simple but profound is 100 times harder than writing something wordy and ornate, and I would have to agree. Michel is one of those great authors with the gift of being able to write works that are often so simply worded, but so captivating and exquisite to read at the same time.
Some of my favorite lines:
"As you reach the truth your solitude will increase, The building is splendid but deserted." (self-translation))
"The truth is scandalous. But, without it, there is nothing worthwhile." (self-translation)