I have read every book Edouard Louis wrote. His first book “En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule” was published in 2014 and flabbergasted me. Since then he wrote a total of six books. I struggled with “Historie de la violence”, perhaps because I read it in French and here the language felt “constructed” compared to the simple, straightforward writing he uses in his other books. “Dialogue sur l’art et la polique”, co-written by Ken Loach is not really a book but a printed version of the conversation between two artists in support of what we used to call the labour class.
The central theme of his books is his roots and how he is coping with this then and now. Growing up in the North of France, in a poor family he was destined to go and work in a factory. But he escaped. In multiple ways, as he not only left his social class behind; he also assumed his real me as a gay person, as a transformed Eddy. This theme is told from different angles. “En finir aves Eddy Bellegueule” (2014) tells the story from his point of vue. From his truth. In the subsequent books he focuses on his father “Qui a tué mon père” (2018) and his mother “Combats et metamorphoses d’une femme” (2021).
Now he published “Changer : méthode”, which is Louis zooming out and focusing on the change, on his own metamorphosis.
I have rated the book five stars on Goodreads. My average rating is three. The author deserves a five because it is just astonishing how he can take distance to describe the method to change. To describe how you transform from a poor kid looking at men to an established, gay intellectual. Exactly as the title says “Changer: méthode”. Personally I think that change comes from an inner source or driver, but that it needs external sponsors. The book very well describes how a school friend, Elena, supported him in understanding the basics of the upper class. How Ludovic onboarded him to Paris. And how Didier Eribon and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie made him into the intellectual he is today.
Je voudrais reformuler ce que j’essayais de te dire juste avant: par la rencontre avec Elena, je me suis attaché à un nouveau mode de vie, aux codes d’une nouvelle classe sociale et à tout ce qui était associé a cette classe, l’art, la littérature,n le cinéma, parce que tout ça me permettait de me venger de mon enfance, de me donner u pouvoir sur toi, sur mon passé, sur la pauvreté, et sur l’Insulte.
Cannot wait for his next book, and the angle he will be taking.