by Bonnie Pockley
“A Strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me but now I am almost ashamed of it’s complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.”
― Françoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse
Ah Franςoise Sagan. In the depth of a melancholy, awkward youth your words froze me. Spoke to me. Made me weep. It’s funny how I still remember that day. When $20 still counted for something and with $20 to spend, I poured over covers until I found and bought your little novella, Bonjour Trisstesse, which you wrote when you were 17!
Franςoise Sagan. You always make my last supper list. My, ‘Who would you invite to dinner given all choice through time and place?’ I have so many things I want to ask you and even more I want to tell you. In the closeness of those pages I found myself in the familiarity of your words and wanted to tell you that, face-to-face.
I still drink black coffee and lie in the sun.
Your book was my first love and you,
my first heroine.
Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse, the Otto Preminger film lauded by Truffaut and other stars of the French New Wave. Photograph: Allstar via here