Brief reviews of the “World of Books”: Joseph d’Anvers, Alain Cordier, Chris Kraus…

Two novels, two stories, three essays… Here are brief reviews of seven notable works in this twenty-first week of the year.

Novel. “An Ordinary Boy”, by Joseph of Antwerp

Nirvana, the flagship group of the grunge scene, was, for part of the world’s youth of the 1990s, a symbol. Since punk, there had not been a rock movement combining a look – ripped jeans, checkered shirts and long hair –, a state of mind, nihilistic and protesting, and a singular sound, voluntarily ” dirty “ and saturated with feedback. This sound is that of an era described by the musician and author Joseph d’Anvers, with all the more accuracy that he lived it. After The night will never come (La Tengo, 2010) and noticed Just a stray bullet (Rivages, 2020), his third novel, an ordinary boy, tells how the announcement of the death of the leader of the group, Kurt Cobain, on April 8, 1994, upsets the life of a band of high school students from the small middle class in the provinces, a few weeks before the baccalaureate exams. For these adolescents, the event, which coincides with the first choices for the future, marks the end of illusions. With a nervous pen, the author paints an almost documentary portrait of a generation, that of the last natives of Generation X, children of baby boomers and the “thirties glorious”, who experienced the economic crisis, the collapse of ideologies and mass unemployment. “How do we build ourselves when everything around us is falling apart? How much time do we have left to dance? »asks the narrator during the party following the baccalaureate exams, trying to retain the last moments of carelessness in an increasingly uncertain world. V. Fr.

“An ordinary boy”, by Joseph d’Anvers, Rivages, 220 p., €20, digital €15.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In 1989, Nirvana’s first concert in France was in Issy-les-Moulineaux

Philosophy. “For an end of human life”, by Alain Cordier and Roland Lallemand

One day, at home, surrounded by loved ones, without extreme pain… This is how most dream of their death. Most often, in fact, one dies alone, at night, in the hospital. Yet, as this book explains, palliative home care exists, and can change the situation. Combining the practical advice of an experienced general practitioner, Roland Lallemand, and the ethical and legal reflections of Alain Cordier, who was notably director general of the AP-HP, this unparalleled set should be of great service. He inaugurated, with Should we legalize medical aid in dying?, by François Blot, a new collection at Hermann, “Human Medicine”, directed by Gérard Reach, author, with the same publisher, of For human medicine (2022). R.-P. D.

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