ISSN : 2266-6060

The bag, books and ideas


Paris, November 2014.

Thousands of books handily accessible. It was one of the strong arguments of the ebooks readers retailers. Ease of transport, abundance. When I saw your bag for the first time and I realized that it contained books, lots of books, I said in a laugh ah it’s your Kindle and in fact it is classy. You laughed too, that laugh that seized in a flash what in our lives is the most absurd, the most desperately funny. This bag filled with books you were going or about to read, reread, crystallizes much of the specific figure you were in the contemporary academic landscape. An intimate connoisseur of worlds that have emerged around practices and digital technologies – open source software, wikipedia, hackers – though in love of texts and their carnal contact. A certain idea of ​​scholarship: greedy, passionate, always curious.

This bag also illustrates what exchanging with you could create. The so different books that we could see on the top of the bag were all foreshadowings of future developments. As a trace of the ideas that seemed to pass through you, so electric, when we took the time to discuss. How many times have I nodded in response to my listening of your reactions on my statements (a point on an ongoing investigation, hypotheses to explore), starting by uttering what are you talking about? And always, I felt cofounded, after some moments, by the intelligence of your proposals, which had only one goal: opening possibilites. Nobody knows like you how to make connections, combine and re-combine ideas and worlds; help us to see the promises of improbable theoretical directions, while remaining completly humble.

Books, there had been others, hundreds of them. They were no longer in the bag, but you let them live. With each conversation became animated before our eyes the dialogue you keep on carrying with them, first in the form of fragments of aborted phrases, sometimes jerky laughs that showed the risk that any attempt represented, and finally, after a that’s it that’s it, a remark – just a few words – was shattering our too closed views, our too simple elaborations. In the same motion, it indicated the teeming paths you would invite us to follow; roads especially welcoming as we knew that by appointing you had taken them, and that by following them we shall often meet you. These exchanges were utmoste valuable. You’ll be sorely missed Nicolas.

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