Happy Days Question #18 ~ The Message

by Laurent Graff

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suec
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Unread postby suec » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:04 am

The message of the book, for me is contained in the question, "where do you live"? My emphasis, of course, being on the last word. It is asked right at the beginning and right at the end. Antoine's response: "I'm coming to that". In my opinion, he doesn't. But I won't go repeating myself. What I do find interesting, though, is that he doesn't live at all. He has no existence, because he is a fictional character, and the author makes a point of that on p85: I also noticed a writer... wondering what important thing he might possibly find to say in his attempt to revolutionize the French novel. I have no advice for him, but if I were he, I wouldn't take it all too seriously and would try to lighten up a bit".
People of zee wurl, relax!"

The glow sputtered out.
Nothingness replaced it.
And that was that
.


Sorry about that. I just saw a connection with Fierce Invalids and couldn't resist. :blush:

To continue: Antoine's life isn't a real one, and this is the book's message for me. It is right and proper to contemplate these issues from time to time. But give them their time that is due, and no more. The key lines aren't in the "big heavy" passages for me. They are in those little "epitaphs", and especially in the last one: "All my life, I've let myself die" and the message is, don't.

It seems I am in quoting mood today. I'm going to post a poem that I found on an Inspiration thread one time. I have no idea who posted it there - apologies to them - and thanks, because this is a piece that I have taken to heart, and so has everyone else whom I have shown it to.

Dies Slowly

Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit,
repeating every day the same itineraries,
who does not change brand,
does not risk to wear a new color and doesn't talk to whom he doesn't know.


Dies slowly he who makes of television his guru.


Dies slowly he who avoids a passion,
who prefers black to white
and the dots on the "i" to a whirlpool of emotions,
just those ones that recover the gleam from the eyes,
smiles from the yawns,
hearts from the stumbling and feelings.

Dies slowly he who does not overthrow the table when he is unhappy at work,
who does not risk the certain for the uncertain
to go toward that dream that is keeping him awake.

Who does not allow, at least one time in life, to flee from sensate advises.

Dies slowly he who does not travel, does not read,
does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself.

Dies slowly he who destroys his self love,
who does not accept somebody's help.


Dies slowly he who passes his days complaining of his bad luck or the incessant rain.


Dies slowly he who abandons a project before starting it,
who does not ask over a subject that he does not know
or who does not answer when being asked about something he knows.


Dies slowly he who does not share his emotions, joys and sadness,
who does not trust, who does not even try.

Dies slowly he who does not relive his memories
and continues getting emotional as if living them at that moment.


Dies slowly he who does not intent excelling,
who does not learn from the stones of the road of life,
who does not love and let somebody love.

Let's avoid death in soft quotes,
remembering always that to be alive demands an effort much bigger
than the simple fact of breathing.
Pablo Neruda

I want to thank everyone for your fantastic contributions. I have thoroughly enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions, organised as always by our wonderful moderators. :thanks!:
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Endora
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Unread postby Endora » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:43 am

Parlez wrote:Accord! In the time of your life, LIVE!


Parlez, so glad you brought this magical quote up, it had been hanging around in the shadows just outside my conscious thoughts about HD for a while. Because I thnk by saying that, you've nailed it. I found the book ultimately a depressing read, because I couldn't get over the sense of waste regarding Antoine's withdrawal from the wider world. But if it makes you realise how slyly the habit of waste of time (by procrastination or by sheer pig headed avoidance of life's issues) can creep inside you, then the book has done its job as art, that is it's made you look at the familiar with new and more critical or appreciative eyes.

So thanks for pointing out the quote. I can't say I enjoyed the book, but like a lot of things I don't like it probably has done me good.

And Happy Christmas Liz, DITHOT and all you others, and thank you for keeping me thinking.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:30 pm

Suec, your inspirational poem..... and Parlez, your quote from TTOYL.... have said it all for me.

And you both just reminded me I never posted my epitaph. I know this is the wrong thread and it's not a light and comical one, but it is the one I would choose and the one I wrote back on Nov. 15. I hope it is accurate when the time comes:



Here lies a woman who lived a full and authentic life. She was open-minded and true to herself, being honest about who she was and proud to be that person, even though she walked to the beat of a different drummer.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Endora
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Unread postby Endora » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:31 pm

That's nice Liz. Honest and to the point.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

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Theresa
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Unread postby Theresa » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:48 pm

Liz wrote:Suec, your inspirational poem..... and Parlez, your quote from TTOYL.... have said it all for me.

And you both just reminded me I never posted my epitaph. I know this is the wrong thread and it's not a light and comical one, but it is the one I would choose and the one I wrote back on Nov. 15. I hope it is accurate when the time comes:



Here lies a woman who lived a full and authentic life. She was open-minded and true to herself, being honest about who she was and proud to be that person, even though she walked to the beat of a different drummer.

Beautiful epitaph, Liz -- and a description I hope that could also be said of me after my passing.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:17 pm

suec, the poem you quoted is by Pablo Neruda.

Liz, that would be a lovely way to be remembered!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Parlez
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:19 pm

"No worries, then!"

Each of us has done an outstanding job of formulating, or re-formulating, our convictions about how we intend to live and we've stated them, each in our own way, right here on this thread, in black and white.
How cool is that?!
Stick to your guns, everybody, and stay WONDERFUL (as in filled with wonder)!! :heart:
Cheers!
Parlez

ps. I'm not as snowbound today as I was yesterday, and I don't have to be anywhere until I depart for England next week to ring in the new year across the pond. We Coloradoans are reveling in our White Christmas ~ YoHo!
Peace be with you all. :lilyrose:
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
savvy avi by mamabear

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:52 pm

Well said, Parlez. I tend to reformulate often during our discussions and I love it! I saw some pics of snowy Denver on the news. Stay warm and enjoy your white Christmas. We may actually have snow flurries tomorrow but nothing will stick. Still fun! And enjoy your trip across the pond!

Happy Holidays!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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