Sylvain Tesson has just published a book of texts and drawings around death. Neither macabre nor sordid, rather an ode to life.

Sylvain Tesson

An ode to life

Since the age of 20, Sylvain Tesson, the author of The Snow Panther, has been afflicted with a kind of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which pushes him to draw… hanged people, suicides. They stay as much in the forests, as at the edges of the roads or in huts. In all, there are 250 sketches collected, introduced by a text. Far from being a criticism of suicide, Sylvain Tesson awakens our reflection on our relationship to death, and to life ! For him, dying is inevitable and “if we were immortal, it would be very boring”. A curious and original approach, which encourages us to consider his reflection on our inevitable end.

Sylvain Tesson

A caustic critic of society

Through his biting sketches, the writer offers a very caustic critique of society. “Life is very short, everything passes, everything flows, everything flows. Perhaps Man, anguished by this idea, wants to forget that he is mortal. He would like to last and he forgets that his life is a shadow that passes like a dream,” says Sylvain Tesson. One thing is certain, death spared him. He draws it the better to ward it off. What better way to love life. Sylvain Tesson looks back on the experience which largely changed his vision of death – if he does not fall from a horse, he falls from the roof. From a dramatic experience, he draws some philosophical thoughts on this constant fear of death : if you think about it too much, you no longer live. Never thinking about it, you get caught by surprise. “I don’t like death. But I know what I owe him. Without it, life would be synonymous with boredom. Death forbids us to take life lightly. This is not its least merit. That’s why I’ve been drawing people who have been hanged and committed suicide for thirty years. To remind myself that at the end of the road, there will not be the possibility of putting a part back in the machine. explains Sylvain Tesson about his book.

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