giovedì 22 giugno 2017


Extracts from a unique daylong interview by a team of five doctors 

Extraits d’une interview unique, d'une journée complète, par une équipe de cinq médecins. 
Estratti di un'intervista unica, in un'intera giornata, da parte di un'equipe di medici

19) “My real temptation, which I had already written about at the age of 16, was to end up homeless. […] I am not far from considering the homeless state as an ideal. It’s obvious the true homeless man is a more complete human being than us.” 
20) “The homeless man is a man who lives without any concessions and can live in truthfulness to himself.”
21) “I longed for orderliness, for a certain solidarity, and basically hung onto that all my life. Each of the many houses I lived in were well structured and solid in order to keep me from getting the hell out of there. […] Each time I settled in a place, I told myself I was going to create a bohemian house, a completely loose one, that gives a sense of total freedom, but I regularly recreated the exact same protective circle.”
22) “All the houses I transformed, like the one we’re in today, were all at once a protection. [Many descriptors follow] A masking, façade, alibi, safeguard & defense.”
23) “I think it [orderliness] is a defense mechanism for me.”
24) “That discipline to get up before six o’clock, I kept all my life. Now, I don’t believe it was necessarily out of a love for getting up early at all, but simply because it represented a discipline. The days that I don’t get up early, I have a feeling of guilt, I no longer have a feeling of equilibrium, and I sometimes have to call in my doctor.” 
25) “I began to read medical journals simply as a hobby and definitely did not take them into account to create my characters.” 
26) “But the time a gravely ill member of my family [Denise] had been hospitalized, I threw out my journals and cancelled my subscriptions. I no longer opened a single medical book. I didn’t want to try and make a diagnosis myself. I do still continue to read The Medical Letter, for it’s very condensed and I can read it in a few minutes.” 
27) “Maigret had to have two or three years of medical training, for he needed at least a bit of a medical mind. Maigret was, for me, a mender of destinies. He was equivalent to the guys passing on the street who repair chairs or crockery.” 
28) “He [the doctor] should be a mender of destinies. For me, he is more important than the confessor because a confessor is more dangerous than salutary on account of dogma, for if one judges men according to dogma, one is not able to help them.” 
29) “I didn’t want a doctor on one hand and a confessor on the other. I took the view the doctor [meaning Maigret] should be doctor and confessor at the same time.” 
30) The medical panel concluded: “It’s thanks to you […] that we have been able to demystify the criminal personality. Better than a psychiatric treatise, that no living experience could ever have shown […] that is what permits us to say that the character of the doctor, in your work, is Maigret.” 
31) “For us who consider you as Doctor Maigret, we think your work is a psychotherapeutic success. You’ve helped people tolerate their existence and even what’s upcoming.” 
32) One psychiatrist added: “I was convinced I had met an obsessive-compulsive.” 

David P Simmons 

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