Meeting with Lionel Ruffel, academic, author and publisher for the launch of his latest book Trompe-la-mort, Verdier editions, with Sylvano Santini (UQAM) and Jean-Simon DesRochers (UdeM) as part of the “The Publishing Sphere” event 2019 “. Where will be discussed the narrative condition of humanity, an old printing house that turns into a cave then a museum, the university situation, a workshop of creative writing, bodies that gather and the material narrative and fictional that flows beyond the supports.

Imagine the end of the world, which is, as everyone knows, much simpler to conceive than the end of capitalism. Imagine the extinction of our species and you want to preserve and transmit the memory of this constellation of practices, forms, uses and objects that we ended up calling literature.

These were the rules of the game that I and my students and I have been playing in recent years. With them, I wanted to work the heart of our narrative condition. We had to find gestures that resonate with our situation and reinvent the world by populating stories. Three of them retained us: that of Scheherazade and Thousand and One Nights, that of the case known as Tarnac and L’Insurrection which comes, finally that of the Decameron.

Then the place where we had taken refuge to resist the decomposition of the university institution closed down. Only the images and the words that the occupants have braided remain on the walls. This space becomes a museum where we revisit, as in a dream, the three or four thousand years during which humans will have played only that: to deceive death by telling stories.

Lionel Ruffel teaches literature at Paris-VIII University. Trompe-la-mort is his third book published by Verdier.