The Incorrigible Optimists Club

The Incorrigible Optimists Club by Jean-Michel Guenassia Read Free Book Online

Book: The Incorrigible Optimists Club by Jean-Michel Guenassia Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jean-Michel Guenassia
arbitrary fashion that no loving relationship should last for more than a month or two, maximum three, except in ‘special cases’. I was brave enough to ask him to explain this to me.
    â€˜It depends on the girl. One day, you’ll understand. Never let it go on for more than three months. After that, you’ll be the one who gets fucked up.’
    He dumped his girlfriends for the sake of their future happiness.
    â€˜It’s unhealthy, don’t you see? We’re making a prison for ourselves.’
    Pierre was always surrounded by two or three girls who followed him and listened to him as though he were the messiah. It took me a while to realize that they were his exes. Perhaps they hoped that he would change his mind? They did not seem to be jealous of the newest girl who had no idea that her time was limited and that she would soon be joining them on the wrong side of the bench. To listen to him, love was bullshit, marriage an ignominy and children just a dirty trick. In China, a spectacular revolution was taking place that would shatter the way mankind behaved by abolishing the dictatorial laws of the market and destructivemale-female relationships. The elimination of feeling, the sweeping away of love had begun. We were going to be free of the secular tyranny of the couple. But even though he proclaimed the contrary, I believe he preferred women to revolution – and by a long way.
    He maintained that, given what a mess the species had made of things, virtually all of mankind should be forbidden to reproduce. He hoped that scientific and biological progress would put an end to the reproductive anarchy of the foolish masses. On this point, his theory was in the process of elaboration. He had found a name for it. It would be called ‘Saint-Justisme’ in homage to the revolutionary and to his celebrated ‘No freedom for the enemies of freedom’. According to his fevered explanations, our ills stemmed from democracy, from the idiotic multitude being given the right to vote. He wanted to replace the republic of the masses by that of the wise. Individual liberty must be suppressed and replaced with a collective order in which only the most competent and the best educated could decide society’s future. He was counting on the free time he would have in Algeria to write an important and seminal book on the subject. He would use the opportunity given him by national service to try to find an alternative solution to the physical elimination of opponents, though he felt it might be difficult to achieve his aims without becoming another Stalin.
    â€˜There may be other solutions to how to deal with the majority. But we won’t be able to avoid killing a whole load of them. To set an example.’
    Pierre’s collection of rock’n’roll albums was unique. He owned records of all the American singers, without a single exception. Priceless imports. He was generous and would lend them without any hesitation. He had an advantage over us. He understood the words of the songs. In our case, we loved the music and the beat. We picked up one or two words here and there, but the meanings were lost on us and we couldn’t care less. While we listened to the songs he translated the words for us. At times, we found it hard to believe him: ‘Are you sure he’s talking about blue suede shoes?’
    We were disappointed by the lyrics, and preferred for him not to translate them any longer. One day he talked to me about a new disc by Jerry Lee Lewis, his favourite singer. I went to his home to collect it and record it. I was expecting an attic room on the seventh floor without a lift, buthe lived in a huge apartment on quai des Grands-Augustins, with a view over Notre-Dame. His drawing room alone was the size of our flat, and there were labyrinthine corridors which he strode along with perfect ease. When I went into raptures about the furniture, he told me: ‘It’s not

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