Historian Jacques Le Brun joins his mystics

Jacques Le Brun, who died on Monday April 6 of Covid-19, was one of these discreet scholars but whose work, devoted to spiritual and mystical literature of the XVIIe century, imposed a deep mark on a whole field of knowledge. Born in Paris in 1931, he had followed a classic course (preparatory classes for Henri IV, aggregation of letters, teaching in high school) before joining the section of religious sciences of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) where he supported his diploma – “Bossuet et les psaumes” – in 1956. Followed a thesis at the Sorbonne, under the supervision of René Pintard, on Bossuet Spirituality.

At the University of Poitiers, then at the EPHE where he occupied from 1978 to 2000 the chair of history of modern Catholicism, he devoted his research to Bossuet, Fénelon (which he published in La Pléiade), to spiritual biographies women and forgotten mystics like Angelus Silesius. Member of the Sigmund Freud School of Psychoanalysis, he sought to register some of his works – on “pure Love”, forfeiture and abdication in a long story going from Plato to Lacan.

Tireless worker, prolix author (ten personal works, as many editions of texts), Jacques Le Brun had published his latest book, God, a pure nothing, Angelus Silesius, poetry, metaphysics and mysticism at the Threshold in 2019 and worked until these last weeks on a manuscript entitled “Jesus Christ in the XVIIe century ”.


Dominique Kalifa

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Alain Badiou believes in communism after Corona

NThe extraordinary “, the French philosopher Alain Badiou can see in the“ current situation ”. In an essay “Sur la situation épidémique”, which he wrote these days, he lists: “AIDS, bird flu, Ebola, Sars 1, various flu, but also measles and tuberculosis, against which antibiotics have become powerless. We know that the globalized market (…) inevitably creates severe and destructive epidemics, AIDS kills several million people. “Covid-19 should be called” Sars 2 “:” Nothing new under the contemporary sun. For me there was nothing else to do but try to lock myself in at home. And nothing else to say but do it the same way. “

Nothing new under the sun

Jürg Altwegg

Alain Badiou, born in 1937, was a leading head of Maoism. He is now the most translated contemporary French intellectual. He wrote novels and plays. He became famous after the death of Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Lacan and the internment of the Marxist theorist Louis Althusser. They were his “master thinkers”, in whose place he stepped.

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“The scandal”, obscure object of delirium

“Ithere is always something to see, provided you know how to look “, throws Paul Wagner (Maurice Ronet), during a bourgeois reception, to a friend who was annoyed by his rascal escapade escapades. Occurring in the first third of Scandal (1967), a false crime fiction and a true philosophical treatise on madness, almost anecdotal aside seems to give the viewer the keys to the film. It’s as much a sentence of a film buff as of an entomologist, a great architect of the world, having the gift of double vision or the sense of observation, to detect what is hidden behind appearances. But above all, she says that the world is not one, there is always another story, a logic that escapes logic, and that everything is a matter of look, interpretation, and therefore delirium. This is the occult subject that this thirteenth feature hides under its twisted whimsical air, whose codes Chabrol does not really respect – crimes but no investigation, no end of story, since nothing is unequivocal . It’s almost like it’s all in the head and sick brain of a character with shaky reason. The intrigue plays on this ambiguity: following a head trauma during an attack, where a prostitute was strangled before his eyes before he lost consciousness, Paul Wagner (Ronet, masterful as a childish and disturbed hero) is sometimes subject to absences. When other women around him are murdered, everything suggests that he may be the murderer, unless he is the victim of a plot, which we imagine to have been hatched by his cousin Christine (Yvonne Furneaux), wealthy champagne merchant, married to Christopher (Anthony Perkins), a former gigolo, who wishes to sell the domain of which Paul is still the owner of the name and exerts pressure and blackmail on him. But the presence of a blonde vamp (Stéphane Audran, beauty of elusive sphynx), haunting the place, leaves other mysteries hovering …

We are far from the original idea of ​​producer Raymond Eger – a murder in a nudist camp. To the “sans-pagne”, Chabrol and his accomplice from the start, Paul Gégauff, never stingy with Lacanian puns, will have preferred “champagne”. A rotten wine, like the big bourgeoisie that the filmmaker brushes with vitriol in their decadent evenings. Gégauff’s cynical pen infuses the film with an atmosphere of destructive madness that echoes the formal biases of the staging. From the credits in the colorful colors, Chabrol accredits the idea of ​​a mental film by multiplying the plans stretched to abstraction, the fluid circular movements, the slowness, the pattern of the spiral – wink at Vertigo by Hitchcock, who also evokes the role of the double brunette / blonde woman and the presence of Anthony Perkins.

Chabrol will often say that he was influenced by the thought of the philosopher Alfred Korzybski, general semantics and non-Aristotelian logic, namely the idea that a subject is always trapped in his representations. Starting from an undecidable point – is it Paul who is mad or the world around him, or both? -, the film constantly seems to adjust to the flickering perception of the hero, often under the influence of alcohol, and this distortion of reality is visually translated by formal audacity, games of mirrors and transparencies, dense decor of heterogeneous statues and objects, and up to the creeping gestures of Ronet. An astonishing final plan, taking height, will replace the scenario writer in the position of the demiurge entomologist, observing his characters, tangled bodies, to (d) fight like three worms in a box.


Nathalie Dray

The scandal of Claude Chabrol (1967), Blu-ray € 19.99 (BQHL).

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