"Love lasts about seven years. That's how long it takes for the cells of the body to totally replace themselves."
After a Murakami marathon, I decided to take a break and read something "light" but still enjoyable. Francoise Sagan seemed the perfect choice.
"Avec mon meilleur souvenir", written in 1984, is a book about what Sagan loved the most: gambling and how she won her only possession - a big house in Normandy; speeding up, jazz and her Favorite BIllie Holliday for whom she travelled all the way to New York; writers, especially Tennessee Williams whom she considers to be amongst the greatest writers; the theatre, which she started as a way to amuse her entourage but which ended up being a passion that she would never give up, just like gambling.
The book ends with a love letter to Jean - Paul Sartre in which she acknowledges him as the most important writer in French literature, the one that delivered what he had promised in his books: to be true to his words and beliefs. The sequel? A blind Sartre wishes to meet Sagan...
Everything that Sagan writes about is what moved her along the years. She reveals herself in a tender way, while sincerely narrating about the years long past and the fascinating people that she encountered. We discover between the lines a writer that fears loneliness, and who spends nights on end in the casinos of Saint-Tropez.
Still, Sagan returns to literature, fearing the fact that she might not write and reminding us of the four books that she considers to be her guiding light in a troubled universe. These books are Gide's "The Fruits of the Earth", Camus' "The Rebel", Rimbaud's "Illuminations" and Proust's "Albertine gone".
Here are a few of her words of wisdom:
“Jazz music is an intensified feeling of nonchalance.”
“I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.”
"I have loved to the point of madness; that which is called madness, that which to me, is the only sensible way to love."