Réparer les vivants

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Maylis de Kerangal est une femme de lettres fran aise, n e le 16 juin 1967 au Havre Elle passe son enfance au Havre, fille et petite fille de capitaine au long cours Elle tudie en classe pr paratoire au lyc e Jeanne d Arc de Rouen et ensuite Paris de 1985 1990 l histoire, la philosophie et l ethnologie Elle commence travailler chez Gallimard jeunesse une premi re fois de 1991 1996, ava

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 184 pages
  • Réparer les vivants
  • Maylis de Kerangal
  • English
  • 05 March 2017

10 thoughts on “Réparer les vivants

  1. says:

    Reports from the heartMend the Living is a gripping novel of stunning beauty, an audacious and highly original composition on the fragility of life One man s death is another man s breath As to the donation and transplantation of vital organs, this proverb, when interpreted literally, is a lapalissade In Dutch, there exists an expression with a similar significance, connecting death with bread instead of breath one man s death is another one s bread Perhaps it is less harshly formulated, but in the context of de Kerangal s novel this truism also illustrates that, inevitably, some people factually are earning their living with the death of others, and sometimes operate in the twilight between life and death From the moment Simon, a 20 year old, in limbo between life and death after a car accident, is transported to the intensive care ward of the hospital, the reader discerns a procession of characters, involved in a transplantation process, like the cogs in the machinery doctors, nurses, surgeons, coordinator, data base administrator, logistic staff Why would they go through the motions We have to think of the living, we have to think of the ones left behind , one of the characters reminds himself, referring to a line of dialogue that he photocopied from Chekhov s play Platonov, sticking on his office s door what shall we do Nicolas Bury the dead and mend the living hence the novel s title.Because action has to be taken swiftly in this matters the organs deteriorate quickly once a person is brain dead de Kerangal aptly draws the reader into the sense of urgency the whole transplantation process exhales, cogently depicting the haunting decision process, resulting in a breath taking pace, accelerated by a sensible use of punctuation Conscious that punctuation is the anatomy of language, the structure of meaning, and he visualizes the opening sentence, its musical line, and gauges the first syllable he will utter. De Kerangal metamorphoses the medical jargon, undertakings and processes into marvelous, lyrical, phrases, creating a sublime musical ambience out of technical details with her long, meandering, pulsating sentences an agile prose poem bewildering the senses Incredibly well researched and meticulously documented on the technical side, this novel is a tour de force, but it is the interaction of the medical professionals with the people concerned and the evocation of the impact of Simon s death on so many different lives that renders this novel so touching and powerful, without turning mawkish There is the waiting beneficiary, well aware receiving the organ and surviving means that someone else will have to die first There are Simon s parents, Marianne and Sean, incredulous, forced to take decisions quickly, uncertain if their son is really , incontrovertibly dead, while his beautiful body, aided by the machinery, is still so warm, alive, and intact How could they even envision it, Simon s death, when his complexion still flushes pink, and supple, when his nape still bathes in cool blue watercress and he is stretched out with his feet in the gladiolus. De Kerangal s sensory, empathic prose and cinematic style draws the reader into the most intimate moments of saying goodbye to the beloved son Sean places his forehead against that of a the young man stretched out, his skin is still warm and there it is, his smell, smell of wool and cotton, smell of the sea, and Sean probably begins to whisper words just for the two of them, words that no one else can hear and that we will never know, archaic babble from the Polynesian isles, or mana words that have crossed unaltered through all the layers of language, embers that glow red with a fire intact, this dense, slow matter, inexhaustible, this wisdom. The succinct chapter on Simon s girlfriend Juliette, still unaware of what happened to Simon, daydreaming on their love, constitutes one the most poignant fragments in the novel The day stretches out in Juliette s room and little by little the white labyrinth opens a passage to that September day, that first day, the matter of the air slowly taking form once they were finally walking side by side, as though invisible particles were coming together around them under the effect of sudden acceleration, their bodies sending a signal to each other once they d passed the high school gates, in the aphonic, archaic language that was already the language of desire. Through de Kerangal s labyrinthine but perfectly well balanced phrases, the reader follows the trajectory from the heart pulsing in young Simon s body to its implantation into the recipient s Although the fate of other vital organs is dealt with too, it is the heart, this lyrical muscle, this murderers den and residence abode of lofty feelings and the soul, that fulfills the pivotal role in this transplantation tale, enabling de Kerangal to pluck the strings of the organ s symbolic, allegorical, linguistic and affecting connotations, pondering simultaneously, and recurrently, on the impact and importance of language The young surgeon is amazed at the way the heart it is imprinted in language, at its recurrent presence precisely at this magic point of language, always situated at the exact intersection of the literal and the figurative, the muscle and the affect he takes great delight in metaphors and figures of speech in which is the analogy of life itself, an d he repeats ad infinitum that although it was the first to appear, the heart will also be the last to disappear. Once Simon s parents get off the screen, the emotive tension in the novel slightly weakens, but the ongoing sequences still offer a compelling insider s view into an unfamiliar world, in what is to the most of us an exceptional situation, mostly getting only vague inklings of thought, while it is business as usual for some medical professionals, demi godlike demiurgs which minds can easily switch from surgery to trivialities like a football match or the splendid sex they had the night before.I read the novel in a Dutch translation, and would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher Mac Lehose Press for providing me with a copy of the English translation by Jessica Moore , which allowed me to insert some quotes in English Update November 8th, 2016Today I found out that a film has been made out of Mend the Living In a long interview yesterday with its director Katell Quill v r and a review strongly praising the film itself today fragile and heart warming , my self declared quality newspaper doesn t even bother to mention Maylis de Kerangal s name About the book the film reviewer has nothing to say than that the narrative comes from a popular French novel , while his very own newspaper published a rave review on the book less than 2 years ago and the novel was longlisted for the Man Booker International 2016.

  2. says:

    TERRA INCOGNITA Mayliss de Kerangal viene definita da alcuni critici la migliore scrittrice francese degli ultimi anni non sono in grado di confermarlo, ma arrivato alla seconda lettura posso senz altro considerarmi un suo fan.Dal film omonimo diretto da Katell Quill v r nel 2016 Simon fa il surf di primo mattino Riparare i viventi come un piano sequenza che esplora emozioni, descritto con precisione e minuzia chirurgica.E, la chirurgia importante in questo romanzo, ne materia, motore e combustibile.La scrittura incalza, affascinante e sinuosa, come la macchina da presa di Birdman, scrittura sia realistica, non fosse altro che per la precisione dei dettagli tecnici e della terminologia medica, scrittura sia poetica, avanti e indietro nel tempo, dal passato, prossimo e remoto, al presente, anche a quello che sta per farsi presente futuro, con parole scelte per stimolare tutti i sensi.La stessa lingua adottata per incarnare il gesto scientifico innestata di parole scientifiche, di termini e procedure mediche, trapianto in letteratura di materia apparentemente incompatibile La precisione dei dettagli tecnici per me quasi una questione di etica letteraria E deve essere innanzitutto linguistica, motivo per cui cerco d impossessarmi di quei linguaggi tecnici e specialistici, i quali, bench apparentemente strani e misteriosi, devono essere reintrodotti nel linguaggio romanzesco.Simon in sala operatoria la storia di un trapianto un giovane di nome Simon muore in un incidente d auto e i suoi organi possono essere trapiantati i polmoni vanno in una direzione, il fegato verso un altro ospedale, i reni a un altro ancora.De Kerangal segue il cuore per quanto sia l arresto delle funzioni cerebrali a determinare il passaggio dalla vita alla morte, il cuore, la pompa idraulica del nostro corpo, nella cultura occidentale la sede dei sentimenti e dell a il muscolo della vita qui immaginato come una simbolica scatola nera dell individuo, in cui sono conservate sia la sua vita affettiva che le sue emozioni E allora via, dietro al cuore, una migrazione cardiaca che evoca i personaggi uno alla volta, facendoli nascere davanti agli occhi del lettore il giovane, genitori e sorella, la fidanzata, l infermiera, i medici incaricati degli espianti, la persona che ricever il dono , ognuno in modo diverso ma tutti legati a quel corpo.Il risultato un romanzo denso di emozioni e riflessioni, un libro sulla morte che si trasforma in un canto di vita e di speranza il dono degli organi un gesto di pregnante altruismo che non aspetta nulla in cambio, tanto pi significativo in una societ fortemente caratterizzata dall individuo pi che dalla collettivit.Mamma, pap e Simon.Tutto si svolge nell arco di 24 ore le lancette segnano la stessa ora all inizio e alla fine del romanzo, le 5 50 del mattino quando Simon sente la sveglia e lascia la fidanzata per unirsi agli amici surfisti, cavalca l onda alta un metro e mezzo e si trasforma in un onda che non arriva pi a riva E sono le 5 49 quando il cuore di Simon inizia a battere nel corpo di Claire Un giorno che sembra un attimo eterno de Kerangal seziona i secondi in frammenti di eternit.

  3. says:

    A horrible tragedy, a young man lies in a hospital declared brain dead This is a book that takes place in twenty four hours, from his declaration of death, his parents being told and the process started for the transplanting of his organs Stories are told about everyone involved in this devastating process, from the parent s grief, the doctor who declares him dead, the transplant co ordination, and everyone else involved in this process which means sorrow for some and new life for others.Translated novel, French in origin this is a best seller in that country The writing is at times straightforward, at others stream of consciousness The tone is matter of fact which keeps the reader at a distance Still it is a very interesting look at the organ donation process and one interesting fact, in France approval for donation is implied if the person did not declare themselves against it before death In the United States, permission must be granted before hand.Very different read, very informative.

  4. says:

    Maybe there is a scrapyard for organs somewhere, she thinks, removing her jewellery and her watch, some sort of garbage heap where hers will be dumped along with others, evacuated from the hospital through a back door in large trash bags she imagines a container for organic matter where it will be recycled, transformed into a paste, a flesh compost served by unimaginably cruel heirs of Atreus to their rivals, who enter the palace dining room with hearty appetites served as pancakes or steak tartare, or slop fed to dogs in huge dishes, or bait for bears and dolphins and maybe those dolphins will be transformed, after eating the substance, their rubbery skin covered with blonde hair like hers, maybe they will grow long velvety eyelashes If you re a fan of Ali Smith, if you re a fan of Virginia Woolf, you will love this book.

  5. says:

    Is it possible to fall in love with a book Probably yes, as it has just happened to me The symptoms are typical I keep thinking about it almost all the time I can t sleep I can t eat I can t concentrate Fortunately, I m having summer holidays at the moment, otherwise it would be really hard.I want to share my thoughts and impressions with you badly I really do The problem is I am at a complete loss for words I think it would be better if, instead of writing a review, I could show you a sort of electrocardiogram documenting what was happening to me when I was reading Maylis de Kerangal s novel Then you would know exactly when I wept When my heart was missing a beat When I was profoundly moved When I howled noiselessly When I felt totally mesmerized by Maylis de Kerangal s words Speaking of words, Marcel Proust was trying to find the lost time, while Maylis de Kerangal sets sail on other mission she searches for the language which can express the most tragic feelings you can imagine In my opinion the mission has been accomplished in an enthralling way Without any monumental words, any marble pathos, any cheap sentimentalism The beauty of the writing blends with enormous empathy and tact here I can t promise you will be as much enchanted as I have been You might find de Kerangal s style annoying I know that some readers do But if you love it as much as I do, be prepared for the inner conflict you will want this book to last forever and at the same time you won t be able to put it down At least that s what has been happening to me for the last few days.While I was reading The Heart , I was listening to Loreena McKennitt almost all the time I didn t pay much attention to the lyrics as I was focused on the novel Completely sucked by the novel, to be exact Suddenly I realized that the song I was listening to, probably for the twentieth time, was closely related to Maylis de Kerangal s book I mean Dante s Prayer Though we share this humble path, aloneHow fragile is the heartOh give these clay feet wings to flyTo touch the face of the starsBreathe life into this feeble heartLift this mortal veil of fearTake these crumbled hopes, etched with tearsWe ll rise above these earthly caresCast your eyes on the oceanCast your soul to the seaWhen the dark night seems endlessPlease remember mePlease remember me It was like a revelation The lyrics made me think of Simon and Maylis de Kerangal s novel It s a coincidence of course but shows you how infatuated I am.When if my ability to think logically comes back, I will discuss a few things I would love to tell you about The Heart.To be continued

  6. says:

    3.5 Stars.

    Oh My.what to say One minute I m glued to the pages and the next I m wondering why in the world the author is introducing yet another character.one with a story that went on and on and wasn t for me significant to the plot.for what purpose

    Anyway, overall I thought 75% of THE HEART to be extraordinary, informative and one dam fine read.the other 25% a bit tedious.

    IT ALL HAPPENS IN 24 HOURS beginning with some early morning surfing fun for three teens that turns deadly bringing shock, unbearable grief and sadness to family and friends of Simon Limbre.

    From there, THE HEART takes the reader on a journey of hard decision making.organ donation, and right into the realm of the operating theatre.interesting stuff here And Whew how does one ever repay such an infinite gift of life..

    After I turned the last page, my first thought was that I wanted . final thoughts from family and friends, thoughts from the donee, and of this author s writing, but then I remembered the title THE HEART and thought the ending perfect 3.5 Stars with a roundup to 4.0.

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed the basic story concerning all that is involved with organ donation the loss of loved deceased,telling family and getting permission, harvesting, transport,all the emotional upheaval of all these people and the myriad other issues involved in the process.There was also a varied cast of believable and often compelling characters Many reviewers thought the author wrote beautifully IMO, author took purple prose to the level of aubergine Majority of book was walls of text One sentence continues for I m not exaggerating two pages The sentence may have used beautiful language, as attested to by others, I just felt Oh no, not another ,muddled,sometimes lucid stream of verbiage I am the shallow reader that only has to know character sat in green chair not where the chair was made, who made it,what color it originally was, what muscles character used to sit what muscles he or she would use to rise, who sat in the chair in the past and who would sit there next..Especially since this chair has nothing to do with story nothing I am def in minority but the beauty of this kind of storytelling is not one I appreciate

  8. says:

    3 starsMy feelings were all over the place for The Heart or I guess as it s titled on the francophone side of the pond, R parer les vivants something about Heal the Living doesn t quite resonate in English Parts of Maylis de Kerangal s short, hyper stylistic, fictional take on the world of organ transplantation were just amazing other parts kerflop like an Emergency Organ Transport van s blown out Michelin When she sticks to the core subject the aftermath of teen surfer Simon Limbres all but fatal van collision, the resulting Kubler Ross Stages of Grief experienced by his loved ones, the hard choices to be made regarding Simon s comatose, vegetative body, the technical exigencies of organ transfer the book absolutely soars so much so that when I heard that there was a big screen adaptation soon to be released, I thought duh no brainer Palme d Or Yet other parts, particularly the back stories of all the people tangentially connected to Simon s plight especially though not limited to Thomas R mige, a nurse organ donation coordinator, whose back stories include singing opera and having a near fetish like fascination with North African goldfinches go nowhere Most of these back stories lend nothing to the story whatsoever, and only serve to muck up the works with style, sure, butno thank you Ms de Kerangal has a fascinating writing style, equal parts frenetic and locked in stasis Very unsettling, but effective I would ordinarily say the lack of quotation marks would be a terrible distraction, except that there s almost no dialog you really don t miss them Kudos to the translator, Sam Taylor, who I m sure really had his hands full trying to decipher this chaotic prose and make it sparkle and flow in English I m very curious how the soon to be released film adaptation is going to be received With just a little tweaking here and there, it just might work cinematically I wouldn t mind reading anything else from her that s been translated doesn t seem so at present, though Most promising sounding Dans les rapides, a 2007 fictional tribute to Blondie and Kate Bush Yum

  9. says:

    3.5 rounded up because the writing is just fantastic Despite quite a bit of buzz earlier this year and some positive reviews from trusted GR friends, I was skeptical of this book and almost took a pass It seemed like a simple Lifetime movie story Tragic accident, brain death, heart transplant I was expecting weepy maudlin prose It is not that at all It is a simple story but the prose is outstanding and the way the author makes you feel like you ARE the characters shows a real talent I will definitely look for other works in translation by this author.

  10. says:

    This novel is a great example of how simplicity can be transformed via some kind of alchemy known as great writing into high art I m reminded of Picasso s Bouquet of Peace The story of The Heart is so basic that I almost gave the novel a pass after reading the book jacket the plot is the stuff of straight to video movies and yet in Kerangal s hands it transforms itself into a story that is exquisitely particular and full of humanity I m in awe of her storytelling skills and I m grateful to her translator Sam Taylor for making this novel easily accessible for me.In addition to good writing and its deep sense of humaneness, yet another feature that makes The Heart work is its meticulous attention to medical detail Another work of great skill that I thought of while reading The Heart was Mrs Kelly s Monster, a nonfiction feature article written by Jon Franklin that won a Pulitzer in 1979, and that Franklin has graciously republished on his blog, here

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