Letter to Jean-Jacques,
I have, my dear, taken quarters opposite the Panthéon
A year’s sabbatical in your company
It has the luxury of my former homes
I appreciate the service, the comfort of a good bed.
Escaping from the tomb is a good moment
To start a revolution in these crazy times.
Surprising the tourists, I appear at midnight
But, now a ghost, I frighten people.
They come to see the mysterious man like they would some sort of play
With or without my sheet, it’s at night that I come out.
Some recognise me, whisper my name
It flatters my ego, I have to admit.
They freeze my face by taking a “photo”
A single click suffices, how amazing!
What an opportunity for me, he who has returned,
To see myself in the mirror, 319 years old!
But that is definitely not the most fascinating thing,
The language has changed a lot, astonishingly
In English, I return to my old career
I “spam” I “surf”, I “tweet” for all my “followers”
No more long letters – I write this “e-mail”
More surprised each day by these extraordinary marvels
Despite our disagreements, I would so like to share
All this entertainment and wonderful treasures
Come join me here. I am registered under a false name
Ask for Monsieur Candide at reception
Let us eat together and bury the hatchet
We both believe in ideas, those pillars of the nation
A gulf divided us, but was it so deep?
What if, over time, we realised we were both right?
My friend! Even if our age was full of splendid illumination
Let us not become too nostalgic or bitter
This new age is brighter than ours, believe me!
It will inspire us to write a few verses
Let us sing together an ode to this new era
We have to thank R …, we have to thank V…
Text by Estelle Lagarde for PHPA 2013
Hotel du Pantheon
— Read more