Books

In his book “My fragile”, Jérôme Garcin overflows with tenderness for his missing mother and brother

In his book “My fragile”, Jérôme Garcin overflows with tenderness for his missing mother and brother

On the one hand, there is a journalist who rules the literary world The Obs etc Mask and feather (France Inter), a man in a hurry, a sharp critic, demanding, sometimes strict, always curious, presents completely unknown authors, while others are content to introduce us to the usual guests. On the other hand, there is a writer, author of novels, essays and autobiographical texts.

Jérôme Garcin has already recounted the tragedy that took his twin brother away from him in 1962 in Olivier, the fatal accident of his father in 1973 in horse fallthe disease that claimed his father-in-law Gérard Philippe Cid’s last winter. Here he is again in mourning, for his mother and brother, a few months apart. How to resist sadness, how to face lack?

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Writing, canvas for loved ones

In his misfortune, Jérôme Garcin has an opportunity: writing, a shroud for loved ones, a balm for those who remain. As implacable as Garca’s journalist may seem at times, Garca’s writer overflows with tenderness for those he loves. He had a brother Laurent, born a few years after Olivier’s death. Laurent was always a detached child, a bit absent. Fragile. It would take years to discover that a genetic disease, an X chromosome anomaly, had weakened him.

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In his youth he painted large solar canvases. He gradually stopped, gained weight, developed diabetes, but that never stopped him from taking care of their mother, who was taking care of her son herself. When she died, Laurent found himself completely lost, despite the warmth that surrounded him. Then there was the coronavirus with its high-risk cases, of which Laurent was one. And Lawrence is dead.

“This is for you my brother”

Six months later, Jérôme Garcin and his sister Nathalie found themselves again in the church of Saint-Séverin near the family home in Normandy, facing the same vault in the Bray-sur-Seine cemetery that already housed their brother, their father and their mother. “Beneath this old troubled earth was, dizzyingly, my whole story. It was falling apart, crumbling, but it weighed more and more. » Today it is his two “fragile” that he pays homage.

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We do not get used to death, to absence. And it is utopian to believe that since we have already been hit by misfortune, we will be protected from it. Did Laurent get away with it because he didn’t want to burden his brother? asks the latter. Probably not. But he left her memories, love, pictures (“This is for you my brother”), which Jérôme Garcin hopes those who look at them will say is the one who painted them “he was joyful, eloquent, inventive and fulfilled, what a beautiful life he must have had and how he was loved”. And if those canvases are not enough, then there is this beautiful narrative that shows with every line, oh yes, how much he was loved.

Jérôme Garcin, “My fragile”, Gallimard, 112 pages, 14 euros.

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