He wrote that his reading was «the light of heaven,» «the deepest book there is.» Christian Bobin did not die. He just found his big book again, at the age of 71, on November 24, 2022.
«He was that discreet being you meet and never forget. This benevolent and deeply human man, whose pen knew how to sublimate every word, every emotion,» said the mayor of the small town where Bobin lived in central France.
Bobin was a writer. His words sprang from direct experience: «The most humble things invite us to an infinite feast – fruits like stones, herbs like stars – and to enjoy them, we must learn this direct touch of the spirit whose privilege painters have.» (Le huitième jour de la semaine). In the few interviews he gave, it becomes clear that even his spontaneous words became poetry that spring from this ‹direct touch of the spirit.›
Bobin was undoubtedly a heavenly pilgrim. He walked in Heaven by walking on Earth. One of his first books, ‹Le très-bas› (The Very Lowly), was dedicated to St. Francis. In ‹La plus que vive› (The More than Alive), he tells of his spiritual relationship with a deceased girlfriend. He dedicated a small text to the earthly life of Christ, ‹L’homme qui marche› (The Walking Man). Later it was the presence of Christ, which he described through a collection of aphorisms: ‹Le Christ aux coquelicots› (Christ with the poppies).
Bobin knew that the path to the spirit is a path of self-knowledge, that «the closer you get to the light, the more shadows you get to know» (‹La plus que vive›). He also knew that spirit and matter are not separate but that «the world of spirit is only the material world finally brought back into balance» (‹Le très-bas›).
Title image Christian Bobin as a guest on the TV programme “La Grande Librairie, Screenshot
Translation Monika Werner