Literary wanderings

ˬ˯vᐯ˅ˇ⌣ᘁ᥎ᨆ  ⏝   ࡍ⩗ᨆ⌣˘ˬ᥎ᐯᨆ⌣ᘁ⩗ᨆࡍ˯

This post is from Mésange, my weekly ‘popup’ newsletter, from October 2022 to March 2023. < Previous | Next >

Last week, passing by Montpellier, while we were discussing with Hsiao about my uncertain and wacky future, I remembered this little text written 7 years ago.

A useless text, which describes a moment when nothing happened. But a light, colorful text, that makes you smile.

That makes you smile? Perhaps, then, a truly useful text?

Here it is, below, along with some new scribbles that came out of my hand last week.

Article content

This story through my voice (3:30 min)

For these first podcast episodes, I’ve set a rule for myself: I publish them without cuts, without edits, including my hesitations and mistakes. It’s raw, as if you were with me!

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This story through my pen

We wander through the narrow streets of Montpellier. My friend on my right, the writer on my left.

It has surely been one hour since we walk. Our steps are soft, fluid, synchronized. People are there, sitting at the tables. They look happy on this Friday evening.

Watercolor of three people walking in a yellow street.

But they don’t seem to recognize our buddy the writer: “One of the greatest names in contemporary Portuguese literature”, my friend whispered to me, “Gonçalo M. Tavares”1. We met him at a literary conference this afternoon, and he offered us to walk in the city tonight.

We go straight ahead, we turn into a narrow street. Look, here is the Saint-Roch church! We walk along it, for the third time. People are still sitting there, still looking happy.

Watercolor of three people walking in Montpellier, along the Saint-Roch Church.

The writer amuses me, he is simple, curious. He is himself. The writer and my friend are talking. I listen carefully to their conversations in Portuguese. I don’t understand a thing. But I listen.

Watercolor with Portuguese words.

Attentively, I immerse myself. There must be a way to learn a language by impregnation. To focus, to let yourself go through it, to immerse in it. There are the words, the melody. There is the Brazilian accent of one, and the Portuguese accent of the other. There is the rhythm, there are our steps, our movements.

There is the street, there are these people and their drinks. There are our random trajectories, our labyrinthine paths, and already our favorite streets.

Watercolor of people walking in a yellow street.

I listen, rocked. I don’t get a thing. It is pleasant. In the invisible, by thought, I participate, I agree, I argue. And all these people seem happy.

We walk under an arch.

Watercolor of three people under an arch.

The streets are yellow, in harmonics, and warm.

Some thoughts emerge. By the way, what is literature? What is its function? Why writing?

We arrive at the Comédie square. We have surely been walking in circles for two hours. We stop, we greet our buddy, then we separate.

For the writer is going to sleep.

Watercolor representing a labyrinthine path in a city on a map.

A brief moment passes, then a thought:

Ah! Me too! I want to be a writer!

Watercolor Literary Wanderings.

  1. My Brazilian friend also offered me one book from Gonçalo M. Tavares. It is called “Mister Swedenborg and the geometrical investigations”. In this book, Mr. Swedenborg likes to explore how to represent common concepts, emotions, or human relationships using only very simple geometrical shapes. It is quite funny, and it inspired me. For instance, I liked to represent Perle and her emotions with a round and a few segments. I also tried to draw as simply as possible an awareness (article in French).

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Lénaïc Pardon
Lénaïc Pardon

I am a kind of researcher-explorer. I am French, introverted, and hypersensitive. I value a lot freedom, creativity, and altruism. I am curious about almost anything, but I do have a preference for topics around simple living: permaculture, nature, craftsmanship, autonomy, philosophy, the mysteries of life… More about me and my work >