ISSN : 2266-6060

Best wishes

bestwishes

Paris, december 2013.

Happy new year! It is time for good resolutions. It is time for important decisions. One does not hesitate to plan the near future, one takes the risk to make public announcements. Such promises made in front of witnesses are generally addressed to oneself. By expressing wishes aloud, everyone commits oneself to make them come true. As any kind of magic formula, the simple fact to utter some words already transforms the speaker’s state and the environment in which s/he takes part. This is a peculiar performance, moments when saying something is simultaneously doing such a thing. What happens when the written formula is modified? Is it still valid and efficient? Do the wishes formulated for a “birthday” equal those expected for “Christmas”? As far as writing is considered, the deviation from any procedure is all the more visible as it leaves some traces. In this substitution, one can see the gesture of a joker or a skinflint. But, more subtly, the whole fragility of written objects is revealed: while the stock of available wishes cards is going down, one realizes that with a small arrangement one card may match any other. The malleability of writing does not necessarily stain the performance. Indeed, it strengthens the power of an inscription, as trivial as it might be. After all, there is no doubt that the little message written by your grandfather, on the other page next to this formula, is the one that counts for most.