« Night as day is light », by François Huguenin: through the darkness


Night as day is light

by Francois Huguenin

Venison, 170 p., €18

How can Julien Green (1900-1998) be a model? Torn between the inexhaustible attraction for the flesh and the no less profound aspiration to a spiritual life, the Catholic writer is a model of wounded humanity. Or rather a fellow traveler. This is what François Huguenin, historian of ideas, confesses in an intimate, moving book.

“I was a stranger to myself, or rather, there was another character in me who sometimes took over and who was incomprehensible to me. » The author found himself scarred by childhood wounds and a terrible conflict with an intransigent, xenophobic and fanatical father. We had to free ourselves from reminiscences: “Green revealed to me the violence of the feelings which camped in me and of which I understood nothing. »

Should we be afraid of shadows?

This is what unites the author to the academician: this dark force which can inhabit the heart of man who becomes his own enemy. « What we must try to discern is the passage of God in the life of a man », explains François Huguenin. Dissecting the masterful work, he seeks the shadow of Green through the novels, but also in hisFull logpublished from 2019 to 2021 (three volumes, coll. Bouquins, Robert Laffont). These unpublished pages revealed “the almost unbearable tension between the aspirations of the body and those of the soul, between nature and grace”.

This is the nodal point around which the work of the American was built. And this is the axis of François Huguenin’s spiritual quest. Should we be afraid of shadows? “The vocation of the novelist is to plunge into the depths of the soul and to say what he has seen. He is a clairvoyant. » From literature to faith, there is only one step that the author takes one morning: “God has removed my enemies, he has come to carry with me this burden that has crushed my heart for years. » Watchman, how’s your night?


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