Rights sold to: China (Shangai 99), Germany (Aufbau), Italy (Barbes), Korea (Sodam & Taeil), Greece (Synapseis), Romania (Art), Russia (EKSMO), Spain (Atico de los libros), Taiwan (Rye Field)
“For a period of three months in the summer of 1957, following a car crash, I was prey to sufficiently bad pain to be given daily doses of a morphine substitute called ‘875’ (palfium). At the end of those three months I was sufficiently intoxicated to require a stay in a specialised clinic. It was a brief stay but while I was there I wrote this diary that I came across the other day.” Françoise Sagan
In this diary Françoise Sagan describes her suffering and her terror of decline. She watches herself, gauges herself, shares with us her thoughts, what she is reading, her overwhelming fear of death, of annihilation and loneliness.
Her friends do not forget her, though; the smell of grass in the garden fills her with happiness. Her memories of café life, of alcohol and cigarettes seem so far away that she gives us a sense that she will never go back to them.
Bernard Buffet knows exactly how to put the brutality of Sagan’s words into images. Every page is illustrated with sharp, violent drawings that reflect the unbearable pain of loss.
Lost for many years, Toxic is the founding work about the turn Françoise Sagan’s life took after her accident.
Aged nineteen, Françoise Sagan was propelled to glory with Bonjour Tristesse, which was followed by plays and several other novels. All of them successful.
She wrote her own obituary in the Dictionnaire des écrivains, compiled under the direction of Jérôme Garcin: “Appeared in 1954 with a slender novel, Bonjour Tristesse, which created a scandal worldwide. Her death, after a life and a body of work that were equally pleasant and botched, was a scandal only for herself.”
Dans ce texte inédit, Françoise Sagan raconte sa désintoxication. Sous la forme d’un journal, on sent qu’elle s’adresse encore à un lecteur potentiel. Elle y décrit sa souffrance et son angoisse de la déchéance. Elle s’observe, s’ausculte, nous fait partager ses pensées, ses lectures et sa peur immense de la mort, du vide, de la solitude.
Ses amis pourtant ne l’oublient pas et passent la voir, l’odeur de l’herbe dans le jardin la remplit de sérénité. Ses souvenirs de la vie des cafés, de l’alcool et des cigarettes lui semblent si lointains qu’elle nous donne le sentiment qu’elle n’y reviendra jamais.
Bernard Buffet a su parfaitement mettre en images la brutalité du texte de Sagan. Chaque page est illustrée de dessins, à l’encre de chine, aigus, violents qui sont le reflet de la douleur insurmontable du manque.