With his smile, his white eyebrows bushy, this inimitable accent of the South-West and its soaring tongue-in-cheek, dotted with brilliant, joyful, Michel Serres, disappeared on Saturday, knew how to capture the goodwill of the people. In the jargon of academia, this is called the Captatio benevolentiae .

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This poet, philosopher, professor at Stanford University, member of the French Academy, there was not. Each time we met, that this is the quai Conti, or in the land of the gironde department, we felt that he was sucked into a whirlwind of intelligence, good humor and admiration. Between two columns a radio, a tv show and an interview for a newspaper, he lavished the greatest number of this joyous relayed by his works stimulants of which he alone had the secret. Always dynamic, straight as a pine of the Landes, pressing the not as to speed up his reflection, this free Gascon knew before the meaning of the info helpful to listen to the world as it goes.

Better than anyone, Michel Serres knew from the noise of the news to listen to the heart beat of the French society. And he liked to vary the pleasures. As an academic, he understood the slowness of the snail of an institution, but also held to deal with subjects that were more frivolous, with the enthusiasm of a man in a hurry to convince. His goal has always been to stand on a median crest. Its model? Denis Diderot, a philosopher at once literary, erudite, but who refused the academic model.

His commitments have always celebrated the wedding of the sciences and the humanities. His direct style and his writing crystal clear, seemed to draw the “clear line” created by Hergé… that was one of his friends. He himself was accustomed to say that he was “more learned in communication theory and in the Castafiore emerald that in a hundred theoretical essays. I have learned more about the fetishism in The Ear broken e as in Freud, Marx or Auguste Comte”.

“Enchantment of childhood, youthful dreams, meditations for the mature age”

Michel Serres wrote a book on friendship that was born between him and the creator of Tintin ( Hergé’s my friend , published in 2000 by editions Moulinsart, and reissued since). Tintin just, Michel Serres was inexhaustible on this character of paper: “According to me, the hero looks like a hole in the page, analyzing it. It represents a void, an abstraction. Hergé explains this phenomenon quite well when he did cross to captain Haddock for the table of his ancestor, captain Francis de Haddocque in the Secret of the Unicorn . It should be noted how the plot of Tintin is a blur, so round. It looks like a ghost. In reality, everything in the world is Tintin. Passing his head through the hole of his face, each player incarnates in the adventure that tells the story Hergé. This, it really was a stroke of genius”.

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To the reading of texts written by Michel Serres on Hergé, between 1970 and 1994, from conferences or articles in philosophy, we felt truly drill the friendship between the two men. “We liked him a lot, entrusted to the Greenhouses at the turn of a phrase in the Figaro littéraire . My book wanted to make him a part of the treasures he has given to me: enchantment of childhood, youthful dreams, meditations for the middle-aged, and this beautiful friendship which I believe that, like his work, it will have no end.” Between the lines, there was also the story of a surprising encounter.

“It was in 1962, frequently told the story of the author of Small-thumbelina . I had just written an article about his new album the Castafiore emerald . He drank a lot, I think, and invited me to his home to discuss the matter.” Hergé was 55 years, Michel Serres, 32. The young man whose childhood had been enchanted by Tintin and his eldest had the “coup de foudre” for each other.

A first encounter incongruous

Greenhouses telling an anecdote that’s amazing about this first interview. Hardly was he entered in the living room of Hergé that he had discovered with horror”a revolver 6,35 shiny, obviously well looked after, tragic”. Stunned, the philosopher lost his ways, and sat down without noise. “In what a tragedy penetrated I?”asked he a few moments, before in a gesture liberating Hergé never unties the situation: the passage of the cat of the house, the designer seized the weapon and fired three shots short, three jets of water dishes that do not touched them, not even the clever beast. “Bad cowboy!”, concludes Hergé. And Michel Serres to add: “that Entered into Professor calculus, I found myself also sot as captain Haddock.” Surprising judgment for a former student of the naval School!

“My meeting with him resembled almost an episode apocrypha, from Tintin in America , told the Figaro littéraire . This allowed me also to spend the man’s work.” Because Greenhouses in the cried loudly and the whole of life, twenty-four of the adventures of Tintin formed for him an indivisible whole, a monad-breaking, in short a work.

Why was he so interested in Hergé? “Because Hergé is at the origin of an art nine, the comic strip, was there. I have always been fascinated by the beginnings of a new means of artistic expression. This looks like a jet of water from a fountain. Of course, after the outpouring primal, the flow grows, grows in a corolla, branches and occupies space. But what interests me is the source. For me, Hergé symbolizes this source. At home, each box is a table, built as a Veronese, like a Carpaccio.”

Michel Serres was also a beautiful gushing spring of knowledge and knowledge. Through his books, odds are that she never will be dried up not.