Like Saint Eloi, in The louse and the spider… a title that says nothing to Generation Z, but which points to a famous carabins song for privileged retirees. Cavanna is not dead, because he still publishes! almost says a chorus of the song. This posthumous editorial turgidity, the famous Rital owes it to Virginie Vernay, the “little Virginia” who assisted her until the end in her works and her misfortunes. Especially when this other, whom he nicknamed “Miss Parkinson”, ate up his tremendous energy. With the discretion, intelligence and charm that conquered François Cavanna, Virginie has prepared a reissue of Stop-Die and an unpublished collection of the obituaries which Cavanna had devoted, in his successive journals, to enemies as well as to his friends.
The last one left will fuck all the widows all widows, Wombat, 2023. was the title of Reiser’s obituary in Skin Sin. Cavanna, not being the last to leave, did not type all the widows, nor Delfeil de Ton, who prefaces it, nor Willem, who signs the covers of the two books. Yes, there are survivors, more or less discreet, of the generation Skin Sinwho still think that direct humor – the “punch in the face” according to Cavanna – is a better weapon against stupidity than the political correctness of Americans and their colonized Europeans!
Stop-Die is a collection of Cavanna’s angry outbursts against death, that bullshit that forces you to give up the only thing you have – temporarily – in life: conscience. Something that makes you cum – not just widows! – and make plans. Smart people, they do lots of projects. They might even do more and more as their life experiences accumulate. But this slut from Crève dresses up as Miss Parkinson or something else, eats the neurons, breaks the necks of the femurs and leaves at best, in the end, “one hour of lucidity a day”, as they said of the dying Mitterrand.
From chronicle to chronicle, Hara Kiris a Charlie’s, the rital véner howls against this absurdity… and against these bastards of biologists, who spend their time on nonsense rather than fighting against the aging of DNA and cells! Well, at the time, I didn’t yet know enough about the great François to be able to argue about the elimination of the old and the updates of the young, which billions of years of natural selection seem to have retained. Surely we would have discussed it for hours! Perhaps at the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, in front of the cage of his friend Nénette, an orangutan on duty. As he did with our friend Pascal Tassy, distinguished paleontologist and harakirologist.
Notwithstanding these rants against funeral mills, Cavanna transforms the damning literary genre of obituaries into unlikely occasions to split the mouth! Like many others, he knew that extreme emotion is a state of total instability, which switches very quickly from a fit of tears to laughter. How many immortal cinema scenes take place in cemeteries or churches, in the midst of devastated crowds that an absurd detail destabilizes towards laughter! Same when we talk about a dear departed who made us laugh so much. And then, from this point of view, death is liberating: those who were sinister during their lifetime can become comical by ceasing to harm. Before, it was more difficult and often misunderstood to laugh about it, especially in bad company, as Desproges reminded us!
So between friends, like Fred or Reiser, we will find in The last survivor… by Cavanna improbable portraits of Eisenhower, Michael Jackson, bin Laden, a homeless man… and his favorite animals, cats or… orangutans. Like “King Toubo”, son of Nénette, who gave Virginie sweet kisses through the window!