Christmas: L’Incorrect’s gift ideas

(by Romaric Sangars)

THE HEART DOES NOT GIVE UPGregory Bouiller, flammarion, 904 pages, €26

The Christmas holidays and the long winter evenings will offer you the ideal circumstances to dive into this remarkable, unconventional cobblestone, which earned Grégoire Bouiller to be defended as their own Goncourt by the critics of the excellent magazine Defector, and who was also the “absolute darling” of Didier Decoin, the president of the jury of the famous literary prize. It could also have been ours, so dazzling is its mad inventiveness in deploying in all directions the author’s obsession with a sordid news item from the 80s (a sixty-something former model starves himself to death in Paris and records his agony). A disconcerting, monstrous, tragic and sometimes funny book, unparalleled in recent literature.

THE FORTRESS (AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1953-1973)Richard Millet, The Provincials, 304 pages, €24

Richard Millet at the height of his art, evoking his childhood, his birth to literature, music and sensuality, his father’s cruel intransigence, his autistic confinement and the different places – Corrèze, Lebanon and Paris – which will constitute his vision of the world and his sensitivity by contrasts and combination of various memories. This story, which the writer presents as his last book, given the boycott he has suffered since the affair that bore his name ten years ago, is staged in a sublime twilight atmosphere and sometimes reaches, in addition to bits of stylistic bravery, heartbreaking degrees of sincerity. The confession of an outlawed giant.

THE TIME OF THE WOLVESOlivier Maulin, Borderline, 330 p., 15€

As a mature writer and in full possession of his faculties, Olivier Maulin summarizes the different themes of his work: association of the weak and the enlightened, rebellious reaction, permanent satire, caustic dialogues, and then drunkenness, re-enchantment and a return to divine harmonies beyond the mystical orgy, but he does so by also exploiting all his registers: farce, thriller, pamphlet, legend, with a new and sovereign position of uninhibited storyteller, and in a radicalized and accelerated version of his literature . A sure way to warm yourself without electricity and to dream, in the triumphant night of materialistic modernity, of total restorations.

THE PARTY OF EDGAR WINGERPatrice Jean, Gallimard, 246 p., 20€

This novel by Patrice Jean earned him the Prix des Hussards this year, and it was a well-deserved honor, like the one that would consist of putting it in the spotlight in your library or offering it to your little Rimbaud nephew. We are immersed in the diary of Romain, an activist of the PR, the Revolutionary Party, who sent him to Nice to find Edgar Winger, a far-left theorist whose return the party is demanding in order to be able to assert a consistent progressive ideological direction. in the face of new challenges. But the testimony of the former mastermind will sabotage the disciple’s progressive illusions from within. A formidable retort of literature against ideology, of remarkable audacity in construction and implacable power in purpose.

THE APPEARANCESJean-Jacques Schuhl, Gallimard, 96 p., 12€

Cult and rare writer (six books in fifty years), Jean-Jacques Schuhl, gave us this year this self-portrait in trompe-l’oeil and a new little masterpiece more loaded with illuminations than all the big French cities during the ‘Advent. The project, with the obvious objective – to paint oneself – immediately unfolds in a sumptuous vertigo. You »such is the personality of the year elected by the magazine Time in the age of social networks, a suggestion from across the Atlantic that the writer, in the introduction to his book, chooses to take seriously, but the reflection of oneself according to Schuhl is a mirror door where everything is reflected before pivot and open into the shadow. Between Breton, Huysmans, Lynch and Burroughs, this little faceted book that Schuhl has polished shines with extraordinary virtuosity, mad elegance and poetic bursts so numerous that they seem to come from a stroboscope.

Read also : The Incorrect Christmas


SAINT MICHELCollective, The Deer, 256 p., €49

Directed by Giorgio Otranto and Sandro Chierici, this magnificent book brings together the contributions of some twenty specialists around the figure of the most famous of angels, Michael, the sanctuaries dedicated to him from the Atlantic to the Urals, pilgrimages, the devotions, the iconography, the fantastic places that the angel himself designated for his worship. Superbly illustrated, this book-monument brings together the scattered treasures, both aesthetic, natural and spiritual, that the prince of the celestial militia aroused. Great intercessor and supreme defender, the miraculous geography that he established on earth largely marks out Europe as a spiritual reality, as the editors of the book remind us in their preface. Strange irony when one thinks that Brussels, where apostate Europe is falling apart, is, like France or the Vatican, under the patronage of the archangel… A book to be placed under the Christmas tree before placing the year 2023 under its sign and to be inspired by its light: a pedagogy of the divine heights. Xiaomi Sangars

OUR KINGS OF FRANCEFrank FerrandPerrin, 296 pages, €27

Anniversary of the arrival in our lower world of the King of Heaven, December 25 also marks, with the baptism of Clovis in the year 496, the birth of our beautiful Catholic monarchy, the very one which, decked out with the marvelous title of daughter eldest of the Church, made France shine as it will never shine again. So what better occasion than Christmas to immerse yourself in the fabulous history of the kings of France, and pay homage to the most important fortnight of them, through portraits removed and told by the inimitable Franck Ferrand (and his two co-authors , Pierre-Louis Lensel and Anne-Louise Sautreuil), all served by superb iconography. Far from all insipidity, they do not shirk the polemical charges – emphatic praise of the too forgotten Charles V, severe criticism of François I, reminder of the merits of Henri III and Louis XV – because basically, it is nothing better than to tear ourselves apart on the balance sheets of our kings. Whether we agree or not, this elegant book therefore has its place under your Christmas tree, to remind us of what was, and to keep alive in some hearts still, the monarchical luster. And that’s good: if you offer a subscription The Wrongwe send it to you as a gift ! Remi Carlu

Read also : Olivier Maulin, the return of the king

(by Rémi Lelian)

HARVEST AND SOWING, Alexandre Grothendieck, Gallimard, 2 vol., €29.50

Published by Gallimard in January 2022, these two volumes of mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck’s journal provide the perfect opportunity to offer a gift with a strong “cultural prestige” value. The diary of a brilliant mathematician who ended up as a hermit, half mystical half militant of radical ecology, it necessarily imposes. More seriously, in this polymorphic, paranoid, fascinating, and obscure text, Grothendieck meditates, among other things, on the future of science to which he blames its excesses.

POLITICS OR THE ART OF DESIGN ENEMY, Julien Freud, New bookstore, 344 p., €19.90

Essential philosopher, unfortunately set aside by the academic establishment, a book by Freund is to participate in disseminating an intelligence as rigorous as it is subtle, and therefore to give contemporary political philosophy its letters of nobility. These few texts and interviews also provide a good general introduction to Julien Freund.

PASCAL AND THE CHRISTIAN PROPOSAL, Pierre ManentGrasset, 432 pages, €24

Because Pierre Manent is perhaps one of our greatest living French philosophers and Pascal is one of the greatest French philosophers. Because 2023 will mark four hundred years since the birth of Pascal, because you have to read Pascal and you have to read Pierre Manent. Because it’s Christmas.

Read also : [Idées] Pierre Manent: betting is worth a mass

(by Marc Obregon)

METROPOLISFritz Langcollector’s box, Potemkin, €99

Potemkin is certainly the publisher who best understood the added value of DVDs. This box dedicated to the immortal Metropolis by Fritz Lang is a must-have for all cinephiles: in addition to its period poster and its elegant packaging which makes it almost an art object, it includes a 250-page book which looks back on the genesis of this essential film , absolute masterpiece which has not aged a bit and remains without doubt the best SF film ever made (yes, ahead of 2001I assume).


Aesthete friends, you probably already know that gothic cinema is fortunately not limited to the digital mush of the highly overrated Tim Burton. To convince you, nothing beats this luxurious box set which brings together all the adaptations of Edgar Poe by the unstoppable Roger Corman, an excellent craftsman typical of 1970s bis cinema and who gave the accursed poet of Baltimore some of his best skeins, one of which Fall of House Usher baroque and colorful.


This is one of the major rediscoveries of this year: Kinuyo Tanaka, star actress of the golden age of Japanese cinema and muse of Mizoguchi, also made six feature films in the 1950s. simple demarcations of his masters, his films take a very personal look at Japanese society at the time, sometimes acerbic, always brilliant. And show a demanding cinematographic grammar, served by a sublime artistic direction: see the end of the moon has risen or the poisonous atmospheres of Women’s Night. A piece of forgotten heritage that urgently needs to be rediscovered.

THE EMPIRE OF THE SUNSteven SpielbergWarner Bros, €49.99 (FNAC special edition)

It’s an unloved film from the greatest living director, and yet it’s stunningly beautiful. A blu-ray edition planned for Christmas will finally allow us to take the measure of Spielberg’s visual genius. By adapting here the memoirs of the British writer James Graham Ballard, who spent part of his childhood in a Japanese prison camp, Spielberg summons his own memories and produces a pure mental, fantastical film, a pure film of staging where the figure of the aviator meets that of the filmmaker. The result is a kind of Cinema Paradiso against a backdrop of terminal warfare and steely twilights. Elementary, exciting, overwhelming.


Finally, and because it was necessary to include a recent film so as not to risk too much to pass for an old idiot (how is it too late?), We advise latecomers to rush on the best film of 2022: The Souvenir, tremendous introspection by a British director on her life, her art, her time. And whose second part, conceived as a dizzying mise en abyme, is quite simply a lesson in cinema.

Christmas: L’Incorrect’s gift ideas – L’Incorrect