You are not dead, Christian Bobin

Newspapers sometimes make these things up. We announce your death, Christian Bobin. I hasten to check. I reopen The Most Low and I am reassured. Appearances have played a trick on them again. Your voice is there, all vibrating with amazed astonishment: “Today’s books are made of paper. Yesterday’s books were gone. The Bible is the only book of air – a deluge of ink and wind. »

They are strange, the living, strange sadness comes to them when one of them pursues its path on the other side of splendour. They say, gazing into the folds of the veil: “Christian Bobin is dead. » Without understanding that death breaks its nose at the door of poems. And that she takes only an empty envelope. The letters that were in it, all the letters, you took care, over the years, to leave them on the windowsill, so that the lost, on the lost path, would not starve.

You spared no pains, you listened to what the spirit of poverty blows to those who love it. You have left empty-hearted minds to believe that there is no prestige except in disenchantment. You have assumed to be considered naive by the serious sitting in the reinforcement of their seriousness. You heard the sparrow say: I am a crumb of bread in the beard of Christ. » You knew that “donkeys see angels” and that it is in the simplest houses that the gods sometimes enter.

Paul has been telling the Corinthians and each of us for centuries: we see the world through a mirror, in a confused and inverted way. We believe to raise the right hand: I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth,” but it is the left and its sinister accommodations that we reach out to each other. When we protest our humility, pride always takes its tithe in passing. And when we say: “Christian Bobin is dead”, we do not see that his word lives with a great and beautiful life carried by the breath of the Always.

This breath, you have exposed your words to its risk, to its chance. When the horse dealers give theirs to the rambling mills of the conventional and the disposable. You knew the danger that awaits all works: There comes a time when what a man has built in his life closes in on him and suffocates him. » Your life, like your books, you have ensured that it remains open, offered to the four winds. You walked as you wrote: in a hand of mercy.

Jacques Chessex, in The Interrogationhowever warned us: Do not consider literature as a game, but remember that all true text manifests the Word in the Word. » The Word with a capital P, that of the Psalms and the Gospels. The one that breathes into our bivouacs, which we believe to be citadels, this hustle and bustle or flood of ink and wind » which imperiously reminds us of our condition as pilgrims.

Your word, dear Christian Bobin, is worth more than these few quotes that we see passing like caged birds on social networks. Your Verb sausage like those museum masterpieces that we visit and let vegetate on fridge magnets in the hope that, by superstitious capillarity, they will radiate a little of their beauty on our daily lives. Poppies withering in the herbaria that we take for crossroads. Your word of life, we must not content ourselves with reciting it, but well and truly follow the paths it traces in us. Because writing for you was not a sport to be indulged in when the weather or the stock market demanded it. Like Marina Tsvetaeva, you could have said: “I’m not a gambler, my bet – it’s my soul! » (Mountain letters and end letters).

Pierre Reverdy wrote, in his solitude and destitution at Solesmes: “The poet is an accumulator of weaknesses which sometimes end up, without paradox, by giving a lot of strength to what he writes” (The Book of My Edge). Your word disarms us like a beggar’s smile. She joins us at the place of the incurable question: our childhood eyes. It makes us find hope again, by connecting our lives and our souls to the immensity of love for which they were born.

And they say you’re dead! This habit that the living have of calling dead the fire that sings within us, the voice that calls us to the insurrection of joy against the petrifying evidence of disaster. You are not dead, Christian Bobin, dear worker of hope. You have done your duty and gone to rest. We are not sad because thanks to you we know our task: to continue to give birth to the Word in us.

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You are not dead, Christian Bobin

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