I hold many other books as Sophie's Choice (1979) from the work of William Styron (1925-2006). In the Face of darkness (1990) has been a huge success in its output. The author tells, in a style that is a scalpel, a severe depression. He recalls the sleepless nights, the absence of the self and the other, the pain, the desires of suicide, the impossibility of translating the bad words, the dark of the night. Philippe Sollers speaks about the Face of darkness, a story "beautiful and terrible" : "With precision and courage, the great novelist, that is William Styron argues here both for a better understanding of our next-damaged in horror, and against the taste of the nothingness that awaits us all. "William Styron has written a short story relentless. It analyzes how he fell into depression and how he overcame the depression. So clinical and cold, the american novelist tries to make us understand the "despair beyond despair" endured by those with a deep pain of living. He managed to make us internalize a part of a condition which escapes any description to be effective.
it All starts with a trip to Paris, in October 1985. William Styron goes there to receive the Award Mondial Cino Del Duca. A festive event has become a way of the cross. The writer suffers from memory gaps, confusion, inability to concentrate, disintegration. Around him, there is his rude behavior. Everything that should be a pleasure, an exhibition, a lunch, a recognition, turns into a annoyance. In society, it is necessary to offer a nice face and maintain a light conversation. Each word cost him. The writer points out that the first distinctive sign of depression is the self-loathing-even. He did not feel worthy to receive the Cino Del Duca prize. The passage of time the mull over no bulwark. William Styron takes consciousness to Paris, for the first time in his life, he could commit suicide to put an end to his despair. Back in the United States waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist.
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the Face of the disease, he immersed himself in many books, take medication, whose long term outcome is especially worsen the state of his health, goes to a noted psychiatrist whose sessions are without any effect. Neither the drugs nor the sessions with the psychiatrist don't manage to halt his fall into the depths of the pain. William Styron is an intellectual and a writer. But his weapons as usual, his culture and his writing, are of no help. He wants to yet understand why he is struck by depression at the age of sixty years. The sketches and explanations : it has permanently stopped drinking alcohol in June 1985 ; it ingests high doses of Halcion to get to sleep ; he lost his mother at the age of thirteen years ; he has been witness to the depression of his father ; he had just turned sixty years old ; it was more impetus to get to work. In reality, it will never know the real cause of the arrival of the depression. "The sense of loss, in all its manifestations, is the cornerstone of the depression – in regards to the evolution of the disease and, very likely, its origins. "The roots of evil are, according to him, in the depths of childhood.
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William Styron emphasizes the mysterious character of the depression. He speaks of a sickness inexpressible, elusive. He put his steps in those of a number of artists affected by the depression : Virginia Woolf, Camus, Hemingway, Primo Levi, Jack London, Sylvia Plath. The friend reproaches himself for his lack of true compassion when Romain Gary told him of her troubles. At the time, the depression was for him something disembodied, of the secondary wave. The words have remained words. Everything remained abstract. William Styron entered the hospital in December 1985. The hospital stay of nearly seven weeks is beneficial. "The real healers were the solitude and the time. "The author of the Confessions of Nat Turner has decided to make an account of his illness, and thus "violate" her privacy, to respond to those who comment that they have never suffered. In the Face of darkness is written against all moral judgment. This narrative coldly analytical is a deeply moving laid bare. The courage of writing there is a flow that is nervous. In a beautiful passage, the emergence of the Rhapsody for contralto, Brahms gives back to William Styron the possibility of a happy future. There has been a prior to the depression. What has been may be again.
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in the Face of darkness, chronicle of madness, William Styron, trad. Maurice Rambaud, Gallimard, 130 pages, 16,75 eur