Today I am 34

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When Nabe got 33, he went to Jerusalem to get baptised. A mystical move which he recounted in an essay, L'âge du Christ:

C'est fait, ça y est. Je suis rené, j'étais mort, je ressuscite. Tout peut commencer parce que tout recommence.

I have not read any of his book yet, but I know his infamous style from excerpts and from his acid pamphlets (he calls them tracts, they are all available here). Also from his media appearances. I rather like the character, and the style is powerful indeed, if not beautiful. Both written or acted. Beyond that, I respect the courage and the philosophy, of the tracts for instance, or his freedom of speech (*). The content is something else. But in everything artistic, the content does not matter so much as the form. And in his own field, that of provocation and cynicism, Nabe is an artist. So I always wanted to read him, which essentially means, to read au Régal des Vermines. But my interest was never enough that I made particular efforts to overcome out-of-print problems or the high prices I found on the standard platforms.

Still, when I got 33, one year ago, I remembered this book of Nabe that he wrote when he was my age, and thought it'd be a good occasion to finally read one of his big work (my reading list is so long and time for long pauses so little, I must find the pretext of occasions). Now that I'm not 33 any more, I remember that I remembered this book. And its title has an even stronger resonance at this particular time since the last two which I read were—although fortuitously—about Christ. So I thought I should make a serious effort this time and really try to get hold of the text that, on the other hand, has probably little to do with Christ himself.

So that's my self-inflicted birthday present, 35€ on his own selling platform (*) plus transport. I'll come back to it when I've read it and also on whether his private selling tribune is working and is a good idea.

As for the two other titles that turned this one into a trinity, they were El Evangelio según Jesucristo by Saramago and Christ recrucified by Kazantzakis.

It's my birthday today and we planned to visit an "authentic" Ethiopian restaurant, about which everybody has only fantastic praises, so the evening might be taken by honey wine rather than reflections and recollections of my readings. And until this culinary experience, where one eats with their hands in a shared plate, there's work pulling me by the sleeve.

I wish I could write in this blog more often, to pause upon and to remember this life that is going so fast before my eyes, even if to keep the slightest record of what happened, and have a chance to put it to the test of wording it out. On this day which is my birthday, I thought I'd take some time to write about all the extraordinary events I've been through, if only last month... dolphins dancing in the sea, going round Germany, my hospital adventure that culminated with an express colonscopy (all this almost reads like poésie).

There is so little time, however. I always think "I'll do this later". The same error, always repeated. I'll still try. Maybe not everything. Kazantzakis' novel was a gift from a friend and we will discuss it privately... Maybe I don't feel the urgency to share it with the world. I like the novel and would speak about it at any occasion but maybe I wouldn't provoke such an occasion. Saramago however, I definitely want to go through in details. It is such a powerful masterpiece, such a change of paradigm, such a gripping reading of history and religion. It is not prose, poetry, comedy, or spirituality any more. All this fades away as Saramago brings them together, along with derision and realism. It really reads like a gospel. It made the figure of Christ "possible" to me. Even if one that menaces to bring God and the devil to the sight of men by rowing them to the shore. So I want to go in detail through this major text... but not now. For now I'll just postpone, promise to do it later and look forward for a new experience tonight.

⇢ See also the next reading list.