The scandalous French author Frederic Begbede and his book "Help, Forgive"

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The scandalous French author Frederic Begbede and his book "Help, Forgive"
The scandalous French author Frederic Begbede and his book "Help, Forgive"

Video: The scandalous French author Frederic Begbede and his book "Help, Forgive"

Video: The scandalous French author Frederic Begbede and his book "Help, Forgive"
Video: Michel Houellebecq: Rozšíření bitevního pole 2023, October

One of the last works of the cult French writer is published in Bulgarian Frédéric Begbede " Help, forgive".

The book tells the story of Octave, who retrains from an advertising man to a "headhunter" for a major cosmetics company. As cynical, as vulnerable, the hero confesses his love for the fragile Lena Doycheva to an Orthodox priest in the "Christ the Savior" church in Moscow. A challenging novel with a shocking outcome, imbued with impressions of Pushkin's homeland, but also of the state of unscrupulous oligarchs and fictitious democracy.

Aesthete, anarchist, poet, nihilist, author of "psychedelic" novels or conscientious


literary critic, Frederic Begbede needs no introduction. Six of his books have been translated in Bulgaria, two of which have had successful screen adaptations: "Love Lasts Three Years" and "BGN 9.99." It is interesting that Begbede began writing his last, "French Novel" (2009) in prison, and with it he won the "Ryonodo" literary award.

“Our life is on autopilot and it takes inhuman courage to change course,” claimed the infamous Frenchman.

"Help, Forgive" reinforces the belief that love requires precisely "inhuman courage".


The year I turned forty, I completely freaked out. Before that, like everyone else, I pretended to be normal. The real craziness comes when the social comedy ends. This happened after my second divorce. I had some money left and left the country. I had loved, I would love again, but I hoped to pass without love - that "ridiculous feeling accompanied by indecent movements," as Théophile Gauthier says. After all, I had given up all hard drugs, I didn't see why love should be an exception. For the first time since I was born I was living alone, and I hoped for a while to make the most of it. I probably resembled my unstructured era. I admit that it is disgusting to live without a backbone. I really don't know how the rest of the invertebrates are doing. I grew up in a split family before I split mine too. I had no homeland, no roots, attached to nothing but a forgotten childhood whose pictures sounded fake and a laptop with wireless internet that gave me the illusion of being connected to the rest of the world. The ultimate freedom for me was amnesia; nowadays it is a very common disease. I traveled without luggage and rented furnished apartments. Do you think it's ugly to live among furniture that you didn't choose? I do not agree. It's a real bummer to spend hours in the store vacillating between different types of chairs. I wasn't interested in cars either. Men who constantly compare their engine displacements and waste an awful lot of time listing different brands are just plain pathetic. I read paperbacks, underlining certain sentences with a pen before tossing both (the book and the pen) in the trash. I tried not to keep anything except in my head. I had the feeling that I was jammed with objects, but also with thoughts that seemed to take up even more space. My old TVs were stacked in boxes in a tin-roofed warehouse on the outskirts of Paris. I scribbled the past days in my notebook like a prisoner carving lines on the walls of his cell. Since I no longer read French newspapers, I learned the news weeks late. "Look, Eddie Barkley's dead!" For weeks I didn't go out, only connecting with the world through drug or sex sites. In 2005 I didn't eat anything. I believed that I had let go of the past the way a woman is let go: subtly, without seeing her face to face. I imagined myself a citizen of the world. I perceived Europe as an ancient landmark that could be explored without a guide, only with the help of a pocket jeep - a black box from which a stern female voice blared: "After 500 meters turn right." I wrote postcards that I didn't send. I piled them in a shoe box, along with those that were returned with the stamp: "Person no longer lives at the address listed." I wouldn't want to be sad, but one can't forget to order. I don't know why I'm telling you all this. Actually, I would like to tell you how I realized that sadness is necessary.

Even my profession was not serious: talent hunter - sounds pathetic. I was being paid to find the most beautiful girl in the world, and in Russia I had a huge choice. Sometimes I felt like a parasite, a smuggler, or a pimp; a vulture that feeds only on fresh flesh; captain Ahab, whose white whale is called Miryana, Luba, or Barbara. My professional future depended on a few measures, some chest girth, a thin waist or a naughty profile. At first glance I could distinguish the unruly nose, the sweet mouth, the protruding forehead, the silkworm hidden in a cocoon. I was looking for the exact proportion between the distance of the eyes and the length of the neck, the perfect contradiction between the shamelessness of the budding breast and the innocence of the fragile collarbone. Beauty is a mathematical equation: for example, the distance from the base of the nose to the chin should be the same as from the top of the forehead to the eyebrows. There were certain norms - such as the "golden number" (1, 61803399), which is the height of the Pyramid of Cheops divided by half of its base. If you divide your height by the distance from the ground to your navel, you should get the number in question, which also follows equal to the distance from the ground to your navel divided by the distance from your navel to the top of your head. Otherwise, you're not up for fucking.

My daily life was simple: sleeping late, getting up dizzy at two in the afternoon, castings and photo shoots, handing out business cards in the evening. My role model was Dominique Gallas, the famous Frenchman who in 1987 had discovered Claudia Schiffer in a disco in Dusseldorf. He had retired at 43 and I met him on the beach at Saint Barthélemy - a cool guy, rather well preserved for someone who hadn't slept in twenty years. Our profession as aesthetic recruiters is a difficult one - how many times had I believed I had found the rare pearl, the future star, the curves of the century, only to find, approaching, that the creature was withered, pimply, fat, that its chin was slanted, her calves are swelling, her hair is falling out, her bra is empty, and her knees are buckling in? Gallas often repeated the following sentence (Oscar Wilde, but in reverse): "Don't trust your first impression, it's always wrong." Claudia Schiffer looked like nothing when he saw her bouncing on some German dance floor. She was a tall Teutonic tall like thousands of others, with shoulders as square as her teeth. But he saw in her the potential of the new Bardot. Like Gia, the Georgian recruiter who found Natalia Vodianova in Nizhny Novgorod, or Tigran, the Armenian who oversees recruitment in Moscow, he had a sharp eye, an eye for things, and the necessary connections. You don't just become a pattern finder: you have to sniff out good offers, make contacts, and follow certain rules, the most important of which are the following six:

1. Don't sexually abuse girls (unless they want to).

2. Never ask for the phone of a girl who already has a contract with Gia or Tigran.

3. He always travels in a car with a driver and bodyguards.

4. Never talk to girls wearing sunglasses at night.

5. Don't touch cocaine.

6. And most of all, never fall in love.

Photogenicity is a real mystery. Some fantastic live girls in photo look like nothing. Then you better knock them out and no contract. The hottest girls don't catch the limelight, while some random chick with a round nose and sunken eyes can be lucrative if she has the gift of being loved by the camera. A question of bone system and individuality, of shadows on the cheeks, of a strong chin, of melancholy or primalness in the radiation. That's why I never go out without the good old polaroid. Digital devices smooth out unevenness, digital makes hair greasy. Corinne Day discovered Kate Moss for her first The Face session, coming across a snapshot taken by Sarah Ducasse of London agency Storm, who met Moss at the airport in New York. At that time, the little English girl was fourteen years old and dreamed of becoming a flight attendant. Now she earns 30 million pounds a year (and her agent takes 10% of everything, sometimes I dream about her at night!). I don't know if Kate Moss happens to travel on a passenger plane today.

In my job, I had to know what makes dudes tick. The girls who make women shop are the ones who turn their husbands on. And men at the beginning of the 21st century were excited by chastity. They all wanted integrity, probably because they found themselves disgusting. Men were already attracted only by children's physiques, as a result of which women pretended to be pink girls. I have never trusted men who appear in public with chicks - they are either St Tropez scammers or homosexuals in disguise. They fuck with them like motorists behind the wheel of their new sports coupe. In the days when the beautiful woman had become a trophy, some gatherings resembled dachshund contests - whoever brought the freshest animal won. Men compared their female companions' bodies, the color of their eyes, the scent of their hair and the length of their leashes.

– Look at my young fiancée with the light blue eyes.

– You just look at my porcelain doll with curled eyelashes.

– She is very old. Did you forget your glasses?

– Yours is like my grandmother, sorry, like my grandfather. Better nail her little sister.

– And your daughter's daughter must be cooler.

– (Laughter.) Good thing these ducks don't speak French!

– Run, kiss her cheek, wipe off some of the makeup with your beard, her baby complexion will shine.

– Shut up I'm falling in love.

– I can give you everything, but not her.

– I don't want b. u. ("second hand" in Russian slang).

Women also constantly judged each other, like prostitutes on the sidewalk.

– My breasts are bigger than yours!

– Yes, but mine are real!

They were weighing the bodies everywhere like at a market stall. Everyone wanted to be unique, but in reality, everyone wanted to look like the same magazine cover. And feelings were not included in the calculation in any way. People thought they were falling in love, when in fact they were submitting to yet another Hess campaign. We had entered an age of sexual indifference. Naturally, I have not known other times, which makes any comparison difficult, but I do not believe that human beings have ever been so envious. Ever since self-centeredness had become the leading ideology, people had gone completely mad. The advertising specialists who defined the world's fashion had a striking power unprecedented in history. The annual investment in advertising space would have eliminated world hunger tenfold, but it was considered more imperative to bring in new and new faces so that luxury brands could remain top of mind for the starving. The Karlsruhe philosopher Peter Sloterdijk called this system "desirism without limits." If the Condé Nast group had offered them, I think the vast majority of young desirists would accept to declare another war over one publication in the next issue of Vogue.

This was an era in which the only utopia was physical. The television series that best summed up the first decade of the 21st century was called "Slashes". Two Miami plastic surgeons used to explain this to their clients: "If we stop striving for perfection, we're better off dead." I know some of the dialogues in the series by heart. A girl with a shrill voice sings at the beginning: Make me beautiful. A perfect mind, a perfect face, a perfect life. My favorite episode: the third one, when a fat woman shoots herself in the mouth because Dr. McNamara refuses to give her liposuction. The fat woman's brain flashes the pictures of top models that she has hung in her room. A very moving scene indeed, with hemoglobin splashes on Elle McPherson's chest and a pan of the fat corpse sprawled out on the carpet like some white whale on South Beach. Next is a shot of the perfect blue Florida sky, symbolizing the absence of all unhappiness.

The human eye is naturally drawn to proper features, smooth skin and the surface of the lips. A correct nose facilitates human relationships. It is not by chance that breasts are called eyes – they attract the gaze and encourage communication. It is logical that the beautiful ones are better paid than the ugly ones because they bring more money. Apparently we have to inject ourselves with botulinum toxin to get a raise, add 50 grams to each breast via a periareolar incision to go up in the enterprise, redistribute fat in the cheeks and increase the jawline to go up on the social ladder. Try it yourself: you will see that you work more with young and beautiful beings, that you feel better with people who do not have bags under the eyes, that you more naturally submit to harmonious, smooth, ageless faces. Appearances don't just hide the truth, they rule.

I don't know if I have a heart, but I'm sure I have a beating body. I am not convinced that I deserve your Lord's forgiveness, but confession will undoubtedly help me no worse than psychoanalysis, and it will cost me less. Despite the constant flux, your huge, icon-laden church is the most luxurious couch. I discovered it at night, on a freezing cold night, when, driven by the pride of drunkenness, I decided to lay on my friends and walk home. "After 50 meters turn left" - my mechanic friend was telling me, hidden in my coat pocket. The blinding full moon was strung across your steeple like a client's whore. I stopped to admire the makeshift giant kiss cake by the frozen river. The shadows of the cranes drew squares on the snow - I was walking through some kind of crossword puzzle. Had not the moon caused a rush in my brain? I could not take my eyes off your massive cathedral, which reminded me of the dome of the Invalides, where Napoleon was buried after he refused to conquer your country. Despite Miss Jippies's pleas, I walked around the square until I froze to death (remember it was 39 degrees below zero?). When at last I timidly approached your sacred edifice, what was my surprise to see you come forth, Father Hierochromandrite, enveloped in a long, frost-covered mantle! You were only an assistant priest, a trainee priest with bad French, when I met you in the rue Darius, and I was a correspondent in Voissy. And now you are the head of the biggest church in Moscow! I didn't know you could get from Daryu Street to Moscow without going through Constantinople Square! You hadn't changed, but I had: because of my curly beard it took you a while to recognize me. Then you burst out laughing and we went to shelter in the hall before we agreed to this confession. Do you remember our revelry on "Daryu", in the Russian grocer, more than ten years ago? This happened in the 20th century when your Church was persecuted… What was the name of the pretty waitress who filled our glasses with cherry vodka… Olga? Ah, yes, Olga, you have a good memory… Admit that the little girl was quite attractive to you! One of the first blondes in my life. I remember her round hot breasts like buns out of the oven. He could orgasm only from the nipples without touching the bottom, it was enough to pinch them hard and he would pass out. Yes, Metropolitan, I had a little affair with her that shook the walls of the attic studio… She kissed like an Eskimo, rubbing her nose against mine. He loved you very much. You should have married her, because Orthodox priests are allowed to! Ah, are you still a bachelor? Haha, it's not a stupid pop! Sorry, I was joking. How glad I am to see you again, Father, after all these years! Nothing is accidental - we had a meeting. The night I vowed to meet again, I was going to freeze to death. Since then I've been like everyone else - wearing a ridiculous leather earmuff and a waterproof green anorak. Frost is a cure for dandyism.