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This 100-page book is Michel Onfray’s most intimate work to date
After falling victim to a stroke in January 2018, the philosopher kept a journal during the weeks that followed. He relates the conditions in which his illness was finally diagnosed, after the “failures” of several doctors. He evokes his time in the hospital, his plunge into a world like “hell...
After falling victim to a stroke in January 2018, the philosopher kept a journal during the weeks that followed. He relates the conditions in which his illness was finally diagnosed, after the “failures” of several doctors. He evokes his time in the hospital, his plunge into a world like “hell or limbo,” and the reactions of his friends, both true and fake, when they learned of his illness, allowing him a clear and unavoidable realization about the truth of human relationships. In a second part, title “An Anatomy Lesson,” Michel Onfray returns to his other brushes with death—like the heart attack that struck when he was just twenty-seven—and the losses of loved ones like his wife, Marie-Claude, whom he stood by during her seventeen years battling cancer, and his father. “We call that loss,” he writes. “It is also melancholy.” After his partner’s passing, the author, confronted with “the weight of grief, of suffering,” reveals how his own body was ruined from an excess of food and drugs, solicited without restraint by his incessant intellectual activity… until the day in January 2018 when he was struck down once more before narrowly being saved.
This book, like the crucial episode it relates, marks for Michel Onfray a rite of passage between two periods of his life as he resolves to now mourn the loss of his melancholy.