Book about TFC: “The life of a fan is an addiction”
the important thing
With his novel “Ferveur violette” Michel Fraysse, a fan of TFC, follows the memory of the club from Toulouse in the footsteps of a little boy, who literally has violets in his blood. A wonderful dive into the torment of passion.
How did you come up with the idea to portray a purple TFC fan?
We often hear fans say that their blood is the color of their club. I thought to myself, what if it’s true? . This is the starting point of this novel, full of love for the club of my heart, TFC and my city, Toulouse. I wanted, in a playful way, to treat the idea of addiction to football, pushing the limit, sometimes on the edge of the fantastic, that a work of fiction allows. The original proposal features a 9-year-old boy, Rémi, who actually discovers that he has purple blood. At the same time, Rémi learns that he will have to live with this peculiarity, for better or for worse. I had fun pushing the theme of passion to the extreme. I tried to reject those demonstrations of enthusiasm and frenzy of support taken by the purple monomania which also plunges into superstition, even mysticism. And in this matter, reality often surpasses fiction.
You describe the passion for the club as an addiction that can marginalize you socially…
For Rémi, the diagnosis is final. All his life he is called, or condemned, to be an ardent supporter of the Toulouse football club, with all the consequences that this addiction brings, since his first upset love emotions. with his exclusive passion, until he came of age. I wanted to imagine a day hospital where we treat soccer addicts by encouraging people to think about their passion for the sport. There is also the character of Mika, a kind of penitent who sacrificed his personal and professional life for his passion, a kind of double of the narrator. I tried to approach these topics in a humorous way. I try to have fun with the reader and ask them what makes a fan.
“They are admirable, these fans loyal against all odds to the club they always support”
Ferveur Violette is also a dive into the memory of TFC and Pink City from the 80s…
I share with Rémi the fact that I grew up in Toulouse, on the left bank, in the district of Patte-d’Oie, and that in my youth I was an ardent supporter of TFC, a club to which I am still very attached, the one whose history I know best. The comparison ends there. Therefore, it was natural and easier for me to talk about this club and this city, which I wanted to portray through the adventures of my characters. Nearby and already distant Toulouse, with SEMVAT buses, FNAC Saint-Georges, the American Grand Café, the stadium and its columns, so many places that are in the background of the novel, with, in truth, a bit of nostalgia. Please note that the characters and situations are fictional. On the other hand, what concerns the club is true, I tried to be as accurate as possible using my memories of matches and documentation dedicated to the club.
There is real tenderness in your novel towards this nation of football enthusiasts…
I wanted to bring back to life all those lovely fans who follow their dream, week after week, vibrating in the stadiums. They are admirable, these loyal fans no matter what, who always support their team. Football in the 80s may seem far away. However, I think Rémi’s generation loves our time and the popular fervor that accompanies today’s TFC. The current frenzy shows that there is always room for a big football club in a city where a big rugby club is already reaching European heights.
Is football also an invitation to travel?
Yes, apart from Toulouse and TFC, the book is an opportunity to tour the planet and football, remembering other prestigious clubs such as Crvena Zvezda or Espanyol Barcelona. I wish all the fans in the world could be found on these pages.