bad / so-so / good / great / amazing


As we heard a lot about this great french philosopher and academician lately, especially since his death a few months ago – which was a little bit « overshadowed » by Johnny Hallyday’s one though – I felt interesting reading one of Jean d’Ormesson‘s books when my literature teacher asked us to do so.

I had to choose between C’était bien and Comme un chant d’Esperance (Editions Heloise d’Ormesson), and, as you understood in the title, I chose the second one. I chose it because the summary raised my curiosity. Indeed, this novel is an argumentative text about the world’s very beginning, exposing the different hypothesis around its creation – which is a subject in which I wanted to enhance my knowledge as I never really took an interest in it.

I was probably excepting a lot from this author about whom I didn’t know much but who had always fascinated me because of his culture and the fascinating character he is. And I must say I found myself a little disappointed by what I read. For three main reasons :

  • The book is composed of dozens of chapters, and each chapter only takes a page. Though, there were some chapters that seemed to always talk about the same subject, and I had the unpleasant impression to read the same words over and over, which made me feel like it was all just filling.
  • I counted a little bit on this book to answer to the questions I’ve asked myself about the world’s creation, to expose different points of view about it – though I found myself reading something quite abstract and really focused on religion and the hypothesis of God being at the origin of everything – which isn’t an opinion I share – but that’s more of a personal criteria.

« Les livres ne survivent pas grâce aux histoires qu’ils racontent. Ils survivent grâce à la façon dont elles sont racontées. La littérature est d’abord un style qui éveille l’imagination du lecteur. »

  • These were his words. Though, to be honest, despite the fact that the « story » didn’t please me that much, I didn’t find the writing style that amazing, or at least not as amazing as I would’ve expected from such a man.

I really don’t want to seem harsh or whatever, and this opinion doesn’t change anything about the opinion I have of this great little man – and I am happy I discovered his work and can finally discuss about it.

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