ISSN : 2266-6060

The ghost writer

Lécrivain

There he is, before my home, sitting on a bench on the boulevard. I had not seen him; in my office I was writing in my den full of books, papers and computers; while fetching a book from another bookcase in my room, looking out the window, I saw him without understanding what he was doing there. By observing a few moments, I realized: he was writing.

He had installed a small improvised secretary, using a chair probably found in the garbage around. He had put a white sheet on it and began to write. He began to write, as the public writer did two centuries ago, at the same place more or less. The scribe of the eighteenth century used to help the Parisians to get along in the nascent bureaucracy. Sometimes, he used to put black on white supplications for the King, from men and women of the streets. But what about the writer of the Boulevard ? Was he writing a letter to the President of the Republic in order to say all the trouble he found in the world as it is organized today? Was he protesting, as the demonstrators which would invade the Boulevard the day after? Or was he like this other person that I used to meet some years, twice a week in a park south of Paris? This other writer used to fill hundreds of pages for hours, writing the great book of our misery.

I watched a long time the man of the boulevard, he raised his head, scored a few words, without paying attention to the bus that was passing within inches of him, without seeing passersby, as if writing was forming a shell that protects against the hardness of life, as if he was a ghost writer, an invisible writer of what we are.