"There is no medicine that heals what happiness does not." GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ "May one never die, and may the body remember." Lisa
For my dear French speaking friends, please download the pdf file below with the original text by Mylene:
For the rest of us whose the first language is not French – please enjoy my humble effort to translate Mylene’s beautiful book to your language. Bare in mind French language always looses its flavor in translation so use your imagination when appropriate to understand better what the meaning is in the words she shared with us as well as the meaning between the lines.
Lisa on her bed is bored, sleepless, no friends. But worst of all, no one to tell her stories
stories: Grandmother is in the cemetery…
Lisa decides to leave. Life is not here! But Lisa does not want to leave alone.
“But why is it so hard?” she says to herself. “It is as if the loneliness in the space echoes in me… I feel so alone sometimes.”
Little Lisa knows that the tear that runs down her pale cheek is only a tiny drop in an ocean of sorrow, but she doesn’t want to cry any longer…It is already raining inside
One night, sitting on her bed, Lisa thinks of Grandma. She concentrates, concentrates until she becomes as red as a tomato… Who knows?… Maybe she will succeed in making her to come back. She is still concentrating, when suddenly a gust of wind forces the windows and rushes into the room, mixing curtains with flying papers, frames dancing on the wall.
IT IS THE UNEASINESS…
Yet, Lisa doesn’t seem to be surprised by this intruder. Only distracted perhaps. But she is tired
and dozes off. When, in the middle of the night, she is awakened by noises… under her bed. Like
scratching… She looks under the bed… Nothing… Scratching continues, someone is moaning. But doesn’t Lisa have no friends?! And no one could be under the bed!!!
SHE DISCOVERS A LITTLE BOY UNDER HER MATTRESS, ALL FLAT!
Now it is time, Lisa packs her bundle and they leave. They quickly cross the city and head to the cemetery to say goodbye to Grandma. They find themselves in front of a very, very big gate… Very, very closed also!
Neither Lisa nor her new friend feel threatened, they are not only threatened, they are not only both very small, but a small and flat Loup** too.
** Loup is a name but also means Wolf in translation. Mylene’s diseased older brother was named Jean-Loup. Loup is most likely an attempt to honor his memory.
As soon as it said – it done! Lisa and Loup approached the grave when suddenly THEY HEAR THE DEEP VOICE OF A MAN…
A voice that seems to address no one; yet the man sitting on a grave speaks, speaks, speaks again. Lisa does not hear well what he says, the wind makes spinning noises! Both of them observe him, but do not make any sound. The man speaks for twenty minutes at least, but Lisa and Loup are already far away.
“Grandma, I introduce you to my friend”, says the child. “I’m not alone anymore! Loup…Grandma…
Grandma… Loup. There, he is!”
And Loup bows, but not for respect (it’s just to read the engraved name!).
“Talking to a rock, what a funny idea!” thinks Loup a little too loudly.
“You come from a mattress…” retorts Lisa. ” As for me, my grandmother is there, one cannot ignore what the eyes do not see! “
“As for Me, I do not exist”, says Loup.
“But that’s not true at all! Life holds out its arms to us. Can ‘t you see…”
At the same time, the man who spoke for a long time decided that it was time to leave. It is late… A little stooped, as if weighed down by a sadness, he left this place without mirror, without life, without make-up.
“He carries with him a strange secret”, confides Lisa. Something that she knows, SINCE HER NOSE WAS ITCHING!
Lisa and Loup hasten to follow him, but at the distance as it was mentioned: He speaks… Oh, yes, I forget! He has a funny beard too). It is dark outside, but Loup is not afraid of that.
in the mattress, he knows… the light doesn’t come in. He might be worried about strange noises, the meows of neighborhood cats or even his own footsteps on the crunchy gravel.
But none of this matters much because: LOUP CAN’T HEAR.
The man walks for quite a long time. Undoubtfully, too much, too fast too: both are forced to run at the same time!
“What a worry”, says Lisa, “what a worry” … But the big one doesn’t hear. Finally, he stops in front of a pretty house and stays tall.
“Like Grandma’s legs”, thinks Lisa.
Windows everywhere, a red wooden door and the key has already opened the house. The man goes to bed. Lisa is also tired. They both sneak into the house which smells good of old books and candies. The empty room on the second floor seems perfect. Loup slips under the mattress…
He has to stay flat… he knows only that! Lisa curls up on the quilt and falls asleep like a kitten! But she wakes up with a light to make sure not surprise, making sure that Loup is well flattened under her back!
“I have a friend at last, and even if he doesn’t hear anything…Grandma, you see, I’ll take care of him,” she whispered.
One more thing was bothering Lisa and preventing her from going back to sleep. The man and his coat of sorrow… Something familiar…
“He too has his grandmother buried! And nobody to tell him fairy tales!”
But of course! That was the itchy nose! But, poor Lisa, bad news was going to reap her
as soon as dawn broke. THE MAN LEFT WITHOUT EVEN SAYING A WORD…
It was in the early morning that she realized it. She got up very early to shake his hand, but the room was empty and the bed without any wrinkles! And not the slightest sign of his night on the pillow.
Lisa is so disappointed!…
She had so much hopes to meet the stranger. It thought she heard a door slamming… But she dreamed of the wind chewing on the grass! “You must not chew with your mouth full! -she dreamed, “you make too much noise, I don’t hear the rain anymore – I can’t hear the rain!”
A sound sharp like teeth of the shark! And to crown it all, they made them slam between them…
Noise of teeth, noise of door, all that mixed in her sleep!
“SO, THIS IS HOW LIFE IS? SHE GIVES YOU A REPRIEVE AND THEN RESUMES WITHOUT RESPITE?
Lisa suffers. She would like to understand why the man didn’t give her time to tell him that she had just left Grandma, who is in the cemetery, that she was finally ready, since Loup was there, for the great adventure, for a lot of reading.
It won’t be this time; her nights will still have the taste of “why this-why me?”
IN THE HOUSE
Discover a place that you don’t know, of which we know nothing, even it’s “WHY THIS?”
has something of rough sometimes, or exhilarating, like faith, or even overwhelming, I think. Despite her disappointment Lisa decides to bounce back. There is no more room for sighs! “Don’t feel sorry for yourself”, Grandmother taught her who always – she had pride? (She was not even Corsican?) But what a temperament! Hard outside, soft inside! “A bit like a coffin!” remembers Lisa who only saw one for the first time: her grandmother’s coffin was with crumbs! “For the angels up there, for the little birds, or who knows? … Maybe for the crows?” she told herself… (Because she wasn’t quite sure of her future destination when she said these words).
“I’ll be an atheist!” replied Lisa, who didn’t like the idea of THE IDEA OF THE TOP NOR EVEN THE IDEA OF THE BOTTOM. In fact, it was the idea of the bottom that bothered her most.
Why go burn in hell if we have already been so hot here on earth?
And hot she had! She had lost her life at least three times already:
Removal of both tonsils…
The frame that fell in the hospital room (narrowly missing cutting her femoral artery!)
A game of hide and seek that almost ended badly: the plastic bag was way too tight and prevented her from hiding! And moreover, she was suffocating in it… and likely it was transparent, so it was discovered immediately!
(She could have died of shame here, it was very, very embarrassing!)
But back to the house…Lisa decides to familiarize herself with this this new world. She has all her senses in excitement: two eyes like peas, too small for their pupils that needed too much space.
She would like to know everything about the stranger and his habits. She can feel that the man was grieving. But why did he turn off the heaters? It is not yet a spring! What a strange impulse…
IN THE KITCHEN
In the chimney, which is enthroned in the kitchen, there is not a shadow of ambiguity: logs all are lined up. They suddenly burst into flames on contact with the children, releasing a heat, a disgusting perfume. (This is for the rhyme; it was too tempting…) But the author gets lost, so she starts again… “releasing a warmth, an COMFORTING fragrance.”
“It’s amazing! And it’s just like in the stories!” Lisa is astonished… “There must be a trick! Something not catholic… “she laughs while remembering Grandma who mumbled all the time. “Well… What do we do now?” she asked, “It’s morning and I’m hungry! Let’s see if there is a food in the the fridge…
BUT NOT EARTHWORMS! she said authoritatively, pulling Loup by the hand.
“What a worry!” she sighs (imitating the false annoyance of the adult). “What a worry! Look there in front of you, there’s some chocolate: hot, it’s good in milk, the round bread is fresh, and the butter is soft like Loup…” animated Lisa.
“I am not soft at all!” thinks Loup.
“We have to pull ourselves together now, and to understand why the man left. I’m the one who’s soft! I’m as soft as… as sage,” she says, pointing to the plant that is moping on the counter…
And bends her knees…
IN THE LIBRARY
Lisa goes then towards the library. She thinks she hears strange noises that resemble a dying man’s sound. How could such a “little girl” identify this particular sound? Few people recognize death, or even have encountered it!
Yet, Lisa was sure of it: SHE KNOWS THE EYES THAT SLEEP AND THAT OPEN IMMEDIATELY,
BUT SHE ALSO KNOWS THE SIGHS THAT END AT TOMB.
The library is imprisoned by a huge door which does not let a breath in. Lisa tries to open it, but a strong resistance opposes to her. Lisa pushes again… almost sprawling, when finally, in a last moan, it finally gives in, offering to the most skeptical picture of the most beautiful kind: A CEMETERY OF BOOKS, A MONUMENT OF WORDS.
And now no more itchy nose, only the autistic ticking of a stale clock. But Lisa is not afraid, she just can’t hear her heart…She runs out of breath looking for Loup, just in time to get him out!
(He’s just a little stuck between rice, chocolate, boxes of mashed potatoes and cornstarch. Everything has tumbled out of the cabinet crushing him!)
Fortunately, Loup is flat, so it’s fine! He comes unhurt, as we know, even from a thick mattress…
A few moments later, Loup and Lisa return to this mysterious place on tiptoe, fearing to disturb the SILENCE, their the SILENCE. They already observed a convincing change: a feeling of humidity in the room offered itself to replace a previous dryness. (A bit like the beast with a dry mouth.)
“The room was suffocating!” exclaims Lisa. “It was like me, when Grandma asked me to hold my breath to hear the flies… or maybe it was the Angels?) In any case, without confusing, it was about wings! And me, I suffocated so much”, she resumes, “that my head was empty, all my limbs numb and my blood of the ember…” But Lisa was not, obviously, any more at her ease…
THE SLOW AGONY OF THIS CONDEMNED ROOM, WOULD IT BE THE SADNESS OF THE MAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH IT?
Since it contains thousands of lives in its books, since it is filled with laughter, with the flow of thoughts, why did she die, she who was so alive? Everywhere hundreds of spider webs were making friezes on the ceiling but no more tenants, just a stuffed air… Yet, what masterful webs!
“You have to be crazy to abandon them! It is undeniable, a true “Artist” – the spider who weaves them… And that has no price! Loup, you see, I am sure of it! Certain!” confided Lisa, “there is a well-hidden secret in there… I have the feeling that living people, vowels and skies are inside the books, but they are afraid to live in them.”
At the very moment when Lisa pronounced these words, a book with ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND PAGES fell from it’s brothers… narrowly missing our little friend; WHAT A WORRY!
“The cover is the most expensive thing! Lisa, who wonders, herself, why she is thinking about this. (Probably because her grandma used to give her all the prizes: trips…cakes… even strokes… on the back!)
“One day you will see that it will serve you”, she repeated to the child who of course did not listen.
“I prefer your stories that make me stay up late”, she used to joke… AND ETERNAL GRANDMOTHER TO LAUGH WITH HER.
And God, she missed her grandma! Lisa had a slight jolt that came from the depths of her heart… But, with a little wave of her hand, she quickly chased away her sorrow! Finally, helped by Loup, after having calmed herself comfortably in an armchair, Lisa opens a book. (The blanket is heavier than she is. It was necessary to find a help!)
And to devour the contents… No sooner said than read!… And to swallow all the ingredients and without losing the slightest crumb! But the most surprising is to come, even more surprising to discover a small signature on the very last page: A LITTLE FLY’S PAW THAT SIGNALS A DROWNING… TALE written by Damien, dedicated to Allan.
“But… It is a story written by the man …Lisa shouts and almost falls out of the chair!
(She had just seen the photograph in the book). “And… And Allan… It must be someone she loved
so much that he capitalizes his first name to death!”” ??????????? “
“Yes, that’s also the name of someone who died !I know it, Grandma used to talk about him at night… GASPARD ALLAN POE? … Or something like that. He wrote fantastic short stories that are scary, and I love it!” she says all red because of adrenaline!
But Loup doesn’t hear and, whatever the case, he is still flat on his back: under the book, he has enraged!
“What a worry! I assure you, what a worry! ” Lisa gets impatient once again. “But who can be this Allan to the man with the beard?” she continues. “Perhaps a neighbor?” thinks Loup all bent. The answer did not wait, I quote: IN ITS MASTERFUL FALL, THE BOOK HAD DELIVERED A HANDWRITTEN LETTER, WRITTEN IN COLOR STYX
It began like this:
I cannot live anymore.
Neither the nights nor the days have blood now; my soul wanders in a place that bores and harms me. I will decapitate myself for letting it die, I’ll undress before God without saying a word… Oh, my Allan, my child. I have seen nothing worse than the effort I make to survive nothingness.
Forgive me for not writing anything more in song, but what’s the point of dropping ink on quicksand…
Lola, I am dead, I am drunk with the audacity to be always alive;
I will never again tell a story to my little child, I should have warned him that life pretends when it laughs to full teeth. I’m going to go far, further, and I beg to get lost on the way, I’m so tired tomorrow…
THE SILENCE… … was oozing again from its wounds, she was upset by this long reading which she was doing aloud. Lisa herself did not come out unscathed! A deep sigh raised her joy: the rales were rising once again! Again, and again and again louder…
BUT LISA DID NOT HEAR IT THAT WAY, SHE HAD TO OPEN THE DOOR AGAIN TO THE HORIZON!
A long time ago, she had seen a unique trick at the Chpuck Circus: a LILLIPUTIAN (a little Martian) who, with a high note, shattering rough crystal glasses. It was a striking memory, because she had decided to do the same when she got home! But it was without counting on mother nature!
Screaming is one thing; yelling is a game of roses!
But the NOTE that reads…… The little cold has got the best of her lungs!!! (Lisa couldn’t say the word “rag” for about a month). But to hell with it! It’s an emergency. Too bad, she decides to try again. A shrill cry, stripping the eardrum of the child, split the air, stirring up dust and then earth, and the soft books stood at attention! (Lisa has the voice of faith!)
Who would have believed that such a small bit of child could make the silence, this Giant? The author says: “She did it, BECAUSE SHE’S CONVINCED!”
And so the fight between “Death and Lisa” has ended Courage had undoubtedly defeated the mute beast. Loup was proud of his friend and would like to tell her so, but he remained silent, because Loup did not speak! Lisa knew that there was a well-hidden secret, and she was going to unmask the schemer on the spot!
“We must proceed as in mathematics! Loup skeptically: “You have to REASON! Reason as in… The ab ?? plus x ?? and… why bother!” said Lisa (who was already getting confused). “I sucked at school! Where everyone laughs…” (Besides, since Grandma had disappeared, no more mathematics that makes you neurasthenic). But the school of life…YES!
Lisa turns towards Loup, all shy. But Loup is not snide, because Loup does not hear…
Why does it matter…? Lisa, who thus had ears for four, startled: “1 times 4”
THE PIANO THAT WAS SLEEPING IN THE ENTRANCE SUDDENLY STARTED TO PLAY!
PIECES OF WAGNER, CHOPIN, MAHLER, HEAPS OF WOE THAT WEPT WITH DAMN AIRS.
That was all it took to distract Lisa from a rather embarrassing moment! Boldness was met and she didn’t know how to get out of it. By laughing? Yes!
And to suddenly say: “After all… math learned too late is like pasta with cockroaches,” the young lady is now laughing even harder. “If you wait too long, they are guizmo!!!”
” ??????????????’??????????????? “
“I know, Guizmo is not in all the dictionaries… ” she justifies herself to a Loup who pouts.
“But yes, Loup! Look! It is enough to think of the nose which would like to join the feet!” chokes Lisa, making the grimace, sets the tone for good: IT’S THE GRUMPY EXPRESSION !!
If breaking down laughing tells you something, it is Lisa who has understood the pose !!!!…
She started spinning on the floor… Just like an earthworm. But of a short-lived laugh, because she will miss air!
“Guizmo, it is not beautiful!” thinks Loup who laughs softly, the piano is silent now. The little one too. Only cold notes gather on the wooden floor, promised a very sad tomorrow: the young girls who have no more wings will all end up in the garbage can!
“Cleanliness above all!” said Grandmother when Lisa refused to wash behind her… ears!
“Everything must shine like the shepherd’s star.” No sooner said than done!
Broom and shovel make a beautiful ballet!!! The day passed thus; Lisa also passed from discoveries of long readings.
Outside, Loup and Lisa will not have seen that the snow had melted, leaving a soft down of grass and smiles on the faces of the passers-by. These last ones seemed lighter, more cheerful, finally rid of this powdery burden…
What a shame! Winter is so beautiful in its oversized coat, but “Man” obviously needs to feel more confident and more than anything he dreads the white ogre with soft fangs!
“WINTER BLOCKS THEIR STEPS AND THEY ARE AFRAID OF IT LIKE THE GLASS!” whispers Grandmother, who is at the cemetery… … leaving behind her a little “SEALED” coffin made of wood and the earth as hard as a rock… It would take ears of bats to distinguish the noise!
Of course, Lisa does not hear it. However, at this very moment, she took the linen handkerchief into her hand that her grandmother had given to her, one winter evening!
A wonderful gift, because it was intended to dry her two eyes!
“If your tears flow, you have to collect them to make a necklace,” said Grandma.
“But not crocodile tears, little girl! They’ll only become a necklace of marbles…” she warned.
“No, tears of drift, of sorrow, or tears of laughter… these are beads of life like beads of rain.
And your tears are useful! They flow to make oceans, to refresh the earth, to make the strength grow that lives under your bark,”
Yet Lisa has no memory of Grandmother’s sorrows? Perhaps she was a LEGENDARY GOD and didn’t have the same problems as us, the Men? Not the same torments, nor the same troubles! But, if she was a god, would she be among us, the living?
MORTALS HAVE A HEART THAT RUNS OUT.
THE GODS, THEY HAVE THE IMMENSE POWERS THAT THEY USE AS THEY PLEASE!!!
They are consequently indestructible and are barely fragile? Then it is impossible! Granny is a myth at home though. Grandma is a grandma like all grandmas, since she lies in the cemetery! Of course, she is… She was simply hiding when her tears came down! LISA DOES NOT DESPAIR DESPITE HER ABSENCE…
Loup is there and the place is bright! The sun is shining, with its golden stings, invading the house with a adored heat. The light caressed the windows, humbly inviting itself to deposit its kisses on the heated pane… (The two discreet lovers knew the limits of happiness, and in order not to waste time, already opened their hearts).
The day passed like that. One important thing was accomplished today: THE HOUSE OF MAN HAD BEEN TAMED BY OUR TWO NEW FRIENDS and soon it would come to life again!
“A NIGHT THAT IS NOT EXCITING, IT IS A NIGHT WASTED!”
Lisa is in a state of wakefulness, owl-eye-ing her neck, ready to bounce on any “jounces”. (That’s another a funny name for her!)
“Yet, it describes a GHOST IN A COUNTRY!” she said loudly, to annoy the sleeping Loup!
“A jounce in Morocco is a specter in Scotland. In the novels, they are all frightening because they are revenants!” she persists. (Finally, Loup wakes up!)
But Lisa is not afraid of ghosts, not even of with CHRYSANTHEM skulls, nor of the GARGOUILLES who scratch their scribbles, much less SQUEALERS that clack when they fart.
(NB.: The last two sentences are for children, but a swear word often makes parents happy!)
“It is not because they are dead that they do not have the right to make the wind! Since they want to come back, we must welcome them”, she adds while yawning. Loup, for his part, is not very keen on a rubdown with the afterlife!!!! He would prefer to abstain, to keep the eyes still, and to fall asleep flat. But Lisa does not hear it…
“STAND UP! STAND UP!” she shouts at the top of her lungs, “STAND UP! STAND UP!” Insomnia is looming over me! It is at this very moment that the incident occurs: a series of screams, a concerto of noises, a cascade, what shall I say, a tumbling books!… (Something suspicious is happening in the library.)
Lisa sensed it… since her nose was itching! In one leap, catching at once, Loup and sleeve, Lisa
drags her friend towards the place of avalanches, when suddenly she hears:
“TUMBLE DOWN THE STAIRS, HURRY UP IF YOU PLEASE! DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, WE ARE ALIVE! OPEN YOUR BLUEBERRIES AND MAKE A FRIENDSHIP… AND DRINK WITH US, YOU ARE DELIVERED!”
A rain of voices… (not of opera!) escapes from the living room and tickles Lisà’s ears. And they sing… And more and more, loud and louder, and faster and faster, until the little one, all out of breath, sprawls out, poor soul, in front of, in a row of onions, her new companions!
Loup, who was following closely, stumbled over his friend: but no great damage! Since Loup is all flat…
Lisa, fell on her stomach, discovers all trembling in the first place: feet… then moving legs, and finally the faces, of three friends in the bush:
A slender rabbit,
A shy spider
And a tapeworm.
Reviewed Sep 25, 2009
For older children …
What more can we say 6 years after the release of this book? A very pretty tale illustrated in the manner of the “Little Prince” with a lot of references to the texts of his songs … But, for me, it is also the most beautiful answer that she could give to all those and those who asked him the question: “Who are you?” In short, a coded autobiography. For all those who would like to read the best biography on Mylène, or who would simply like to get to know her, a good advice, listen to her songs, and read this beautiful book carefully … For 25 years, she has been providing us with information, it’s up to us to make good use of it.
a very beautiful tale!
Once again, Mylène Farmer surprises where we do not expect! What to say about this marvel! this story is superb! I am surprised by the majestic writing of Mylène Farmer! word games … a great artist in any field! In addition, she draws super well!!!!!! I love his drawings! this tale is too short! but if you want to dream a little, then this tale is for you! (it’s a tale intended for adults! gifts for the little ones, I do not recommend, it would be a little violent for them!) A for me? I love it!!!! Big thanks to Mylène Farmer!!!
a very beautiful work
We did not expect it, she did! This book is wonderful, devilishly well written and very well illustrated! Maybe a little too sad all the same … non-fans will miss a lot of things (puns and farmerian references …), but it remains a very good try! When is the master stroke?
I took a long time to buy it because not being a fan of Mylène I found the price exorbitant! Finally, it was my boyfriend who gave me a present and he took it!!! I never thought you could write a book like this! So much play on words, innuendo, and reference to his past that the book can be read in one go! Unfortunately, it is short, but the fun is there! I hope others will follow!!!
For children? ha good
the story deserves to be read but does not on the other hand deserve to be called a children’s tale indeed the story of death is omnipresent in this book. Always with the same sincerity thank you Mylene for making us dream … Dreaming reminds me of something …
This tale is so wonderful that we want more! It’s so hard to walk in the fantastic universe of Mylène Farmer! The least we can say is that she is not stingy with emotions even if we would have liked her to tell us about her book. Mylène, we love you, stay as you are!!!
Once again seduced by the sensitivity of Reine Farmer!
Serious but poetic at the same time, this is how we can describe this pretty philosophical tale that will appeal to all souls who love the freshness of life!!!
A superb book! Even though the story is a bit far-fetched, it is perfectly interesting and covers a lot of topics. Mylène’s style is sublime!! These short and punchy sentences. These magnificent “formulas”. Truly a book to read by all … Mylène continues to reveal her talents to us!
Majestic as usual!
I was simply amazed by the beauty of Mylène’s writing, we find clever nods to her life as an artist and to her friends. According to the publisher, she took care of everything down to the smallest details. Perfect to the tip of her pen!
First reading, first surprise I expected to have to take the aspirin tube, but no! Under nice sentences, stuffed with childish puns hides a real description of the journey that Mylène may have had … Second reading, reading between the lines and finally some clues …
I who am not a fan of the singer I was here seduced by the writer. A magnificent tale, written with a lot of humor and emotion. Mylène Farmer takes us with this book in her universe and the reader is in heaven by closing the last page. I am therefore opposed to readers who say that this book is only reserved for fans of Mylène because I affirm it, I read this book with a blank look on the singer.