"Dad, what's a diary?"

One day, my son told me ... David Foenkinos, writer, evokes in his chronicles his role as father. Last novel published: The Souvenirs (Gallimard, 2011).

David Foenkinos

In the very beautiful film of Rémi Bezançon, The First Day of the rest of your life , the young heroine holds, as a teenager, a diary. A diary that his mother discovers and reads. When I saw this movie with my son, he asked me:

"What is a diary?"

It's true that at 9, we did not necessarily have familiar with the idea of ​​transcribing our memories, or confiding our doubts and sorrows to a blank page. I explained to him that it was a small notebook where we noted our thoughts or our secrets. He seemed interested in this possibility. Especially when I explained to him that the book could become inaccessible thanks to a padlock or a code. He could hide his thoughts there. There is an age when we understand that there is an intimate life, a truly autonomous world, that is to say ... without parents.

Until then, the life of the child is a kind of permanent interrogation: "Have you slept well?" "Have you eaten well?" "Did you have fun?" "What do you want to do later?" ... He approaches the dissected insect. We can then understand that the desire of the world to oneself is like a breath of oxygen.

The diary is this gate of freedom. The diary is the preliminary to the crisis of adolescence. My son began to note a few sentences on a small notebook he had to hide under his bed. This is the first mild act of ontological rebellion that consists of inscribing one's life, at one time, against that of one's parents.

To write one's intimacy is to put one's life under seal. We become an usher of our feelings. And the parents are excluded. From now on they will miss chapters to the novel that is any child. At first I asked, "So what did you write?" "Uh ... if I tell you, well it will not be a diary any more ..." "Well, I tried to trap him, but no, he understood the meaning of his approach.

Certainly some parents have trouble accepting it. They turn into psychopaths capable of anything to continue to be demiurge parents. Ah, the difficult learning of the independence of his children! Nothing more normal. To move from a world where we are all to a world where we are less is difficult. One can feel like a form of rejection, even if one knows that a good education is one that can be erased at a given moment. Moreover, it is not certain that the terrain of authority is always compatible with that of confidence.What I like in this idea of ​​the newspaper is self-expression. Someone who transforms his life into words, who expels his intimacy from himself, is rather healthy, right? Basically, I liked to tell myself that I was going to be removed from all part of his thoughts. It's like in love, finally; you must not know everything about each other; it is even better to keep a secret ground so as not to suffocate.

Leave Your Comment