Souffrance – Poème

Perdu dans les profondeurs de ta tristesse
La plus sombre,
Tu contemples ton âme.

Bercé par le rythme de tes pensées,
Tu laisses couler les larmes.
Larmes de joie et de chagrin.

Tu aperçois alors la Mort qui approche,
Sa cape qui danse dans le vent.

Tu la laisses venir,
Plus près encore.

“Viens à moi”, tu chuchotes.
“Enveloppe moi”, tu implores.

Mais l’Ange te dépasse,

Et tu restes seul.



Adapté du poème Anonymous Inspiration


The MoMa in Paris

Until the beginning of March, the Louis Vitton Foundation (Bois de Boulogne) has opened its doors to two hundred masterpieces from American Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). I was very lucky to visit the exhibition and (re)discover so many brilliant artists. This article is just a random guy talking about art he liked.

Constructing / Deconstructing art

What I love about modern artists is that they tend to interact with the audience. Two artists in particular have made me question the notion of changing art in this exhibition. Felix Gonzales-Torres created sculptures made of sweets, asking the public to help themselves with one. With only 85 unique structures offered to the MoMa (the artist died in 1996), there will be a point when its oeuvre, Untitled (USA Today) will cease to exist. If I remember well, it was metaphorical for his illness which would kill him eventually. With that piece, visitors were part of the deconstruction of art.

Another artist who interacted with the public was Slovakian Roman Ondák who, contrarily to Gonzales-Torres, used the people to construct his piece. Measuring the Universe consists of measuring the visitors and writing their first names and the dates they came.

I participated in the second one, as I was happy to be part of a Modern work, but I didn’t take a sweet, as I felt guilty (ridiculously).



As you might have seen on my blog, I love the art of photography, and it is the only visual art I have tried. The exhibition offered a look at different artists, and proposed as well anonymous works. The aim was to show the evolution of the art, from daguerreotypes to digital photos, and explore its different uses. I cannot unfortunately talk about all of the artists, but I can present three I liked : Walker Evans, Man Ray and Jeff Wall.

Walker Evans is famous for his photojournalism during the Great Depression. His work was first presented in the MoMa in 1938, before the Department of Photography was created.

I knew the name “Man Ray” but could not associate it with any work. And then, I recognized one : Anatomies, because it was used for the cover of a Cigarette after Sex album. I do love black and white photos, especially when they tend to be abstract. I can only advise to search for Stieglitz’s art if you like them too.

Finally, Jeff Wall. After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue was definitely the work I prefered in the entire museum. Created in 1999-2000, it depicts a scene from Ellison’s novel, in which the narrator steals electricity to light his thousand bulbs. It is a huge photo on a light box, which catches the eye from far away. The picture is a representation of loneliness (we can all rely), but most importantly of the condition of black people in the America of the 1950s.


I could carry on for hours on the dozens of artists I have liked in the museum (Picasso, Frida Khalo, Hopper, Signac, and so many more).

A part of the exhibition was dedicated to the history of the MoMa, with a collection of books, pamphlets, photos and videos about the evolution of the museum. I very much liked to learn more about the people who created it and those who contributed to its expansion. Thanks to them, we have the chance to admire the best works ever made since the 1880s, and although I talked a lot about famous people, I was lucky to get to know contemporary artists I didn’t know.

Retrouvez-moi sur Scribay !

Je publie rarement (pas assez) en français sur ce blog. Il me sert surtout à partager des pensées et des photos, et à m’entraîner à développer mon lexique et ma syntaxe en anglais.

J’ai récemment commencé à écrire une histoire en français sur la plateforme Scribay. Vous pouvez m’y suivre sous le nom Mathieu Malher (facile, c’est comme le blog). J’y relève aussi des défis et j’aime lire les oeuvres des autres personnes inscrites. Donc si vous êtes sur le site, je me ferai une joie de vous lire !

Voici un résumé de ma première histoire (en cours), en espérant que cela vous donne envie d’y jeter un oeil :

Un homme erre dans les rues de Paris, à la recherche de ‘La Boutique du Sommeil’. Ezra Bird travaille sans relâche pour relancer l’affaire familiale. La rencontre entre les deux hommes mènera Ezra dans une quête de vérités.”

Pour l’instant, la première partie est en ligne (6 chapitres) et ne prend pas beaucoup de temps à lire. Il me semble qu’en cliquant ICI, vous aurez accès au texte (même sans inscription).

N’hésitez pas à commenter ! Toute remarque est bonne à prendre.




TV Show Review #1 – Dark (no spoiler)

Being on a rest cure at home, I spend my time reading (hence my book reviews), writing and most importantly I’d say, watching series. Netflix has been helping me a lot in my convalescence. So I decided to write a short review of a few series I’m watching, hoping it will make you want to have a watch.

I’m starting with Dark, a German TV Show I binge watched this week. When reading the plot, I was afraid it would be too similar to Stranger Things but it isn’t! Of course there are common themes to both shows but it does not seem like you are watching the same series.

Dark was created by Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese. It is pretty new and only has 1 season at the moment, but I read somewhere that a second one was planned. I say “YES PLEASE!”

Imagine you live in a quiet German city in which everybody seems to know everybody. One day, a teenager disappears, and then, another. Well, the series deals with the fate of four families, three generations, with a lot of secrets (not fun otherwise…), whose lives are thrown by the disappearance of the boys. No need to say more.

I loved many things about this series, and even though I am not sure I understood every aspect of the story, I am excited for what will be next. The series is a mix of different genres, and I think the music is one of the best parts : it really thrilled me.

Just the opening credits are amazingly done and bring even more mystery to the entire series. In many aspects, I believe that directors work harder on opening titles nowadays. The first time I was actually impressed by the credits of a TV Show was with Dexter. Later when I watched Penny Dreadful, which I assure is a MUST-SEE show, I started paying more attention to the quality of the opening titles. Of course, I cannot talk about this without advising to watch the opening credits of the series American Horror Story.

Okay, so I do not know whether this review is useful, but I want to make sure I do not spoil anything, as the plot is amazing. Season 4 of Black Mirror is out now, and the first two episodes have already blown my mind. I’m pretty sure it will be my next review.

The Anonymous Inspiration

And again it happened
Drowned in the depths of my sorrows,
The darkest,
I contemplated my soul.

Lulled by the music of my thoughts
I let them fall, tears
Tears of sadness, tears of bliss.

And Death noticed them and came,
Her cloak dancing with the wind
And there was nothing else I could do
But wait.

Wait for the Angel,
The Angel of Death.

Book Review #2 – Farewell Waltz, by Milan Kundera

I have read many of Kundera’s works and it was difficult to choose one of his novels for a first review, so I decided to just pick the one I just finished reading : Farewell Waltz (La Valse aux Adieux in French – I read it in French 😉 )

The first Kundera I read was Slowness, and I remember that at the end of the book, I thought that the title was well-chosen. I had read the book very quickly, focusing on the plot rather than on Kundera’s prose. I later read in the introduction of one of his works that it was a remarkable characteristic of a Kundera novel to be read fast.

Anyways, Slowness aroused my curiosity and I started looking at some of the author’s other works. I fell in love with every title of his books, and later with every story. Let’s have a deeper look into Farewell Waltz now.

“I am not in favor of imposing happiness on people. Everyone has a right to his bad wine, to his stupidity, and to his dirty fingernails.”


The story takes place during 5 days. 5 single days that will change the lives of the characters. Klima, a famous trumpeter, receives a phone call and learns that a mistress he had for one night is now pregnant. Although certain that he is not the father, he goes to meet her in order to convince her to have an abortion (which at the time in Prague was not as easy). The spa where his mistress works as a nurse will then become the stage of a dark comedy, in which a handful of characters will meet.


As I said before, when I read Slowness, I focused on the plot. However, with Farewell Waltz, I knew a bit more about the author to look at his writing. Some stories can be read for the sake of the plot but I feel that with Kundera, there is more than the events themselves.  In many of his books, he manages to offer character developments without expanding on physical and mental descriptions. He focuses on the essential, and every given detail is a detail that will help you understand the characters and their relationships.

What I love more about Kundera is the narrative. Most of the time (if not all of the time?), the narrator seems to be an observer of the scenes, a shadow, maybe one of the readers. I remember that in one of his works, the narrator stops the story in the middle of the book, and asks the reader whether they thought about the same plot but with a different point of view. And for one chapter, the “observer” spies on a secondary character and then goes back to the main plot. In Farewell Waltz, the omniscient narrator helps us understand the thoughts of the different people, and allows us to enter each character’s life and past.

I saw this novel as a play, with a very dark humoured director pulling the strings of eight puppets, a play in which all characters play a role for five days. It also has some characteristics of the thriller genre and at the end of the novel, I was really excited to have a resolution.

As I’m just starting on this journey of book reviewing, I do not know how to continue and/or end this article. I hope the little information I gave about the book and the author makes you want to read it.

What I can say is that I am very easily influenced and when I like an artist, I want to learn more about their country. Kundera managed to make me like Czech Republic before I even went there, and when I did, I kept thanking him for writing as he does because his country is amazing, and I maybe would not have been there if I had not read his work.

I am currently reading A Moveable Feast (Paris est une fête), by Ernest Hemingway and I will next be writing about this book and the Lost Generation in general (which I love love love).


Book review #1 – The Vernon Subutex Trilogy

I first discovered the crude language of Virginie Despentes on some TV Talk Show. I knew nothing about her, except that she was a writer and filmmaker, and that I had been advised before to check her work out. So I kept watching the interview, slowly but deeply falling in love with her words. By the end of the show, I knew that I would love her prose and I decided to give it a try. That was about two years ago!

The second experience I had with Despentes was in a bookshop. I usually spend a lot of time wandering among the different sections, looking at book covers, reading back covers, and trying to decide what books to buy. This process can take hours. So I was in that bookshop, looking for a gift for a friend and after what seemed like decades, I was attracted to a yellow cover (a gut feeling of some sort). This was when I discovered Apocalypse Bébé. I knew that it would be the perfect gift for my friend or, at least, I trusted the idea I had of Despentes from the interview. I also knew that it was time I read something from Despentes.

Among the many books she wrote, I chose Vernon Subutex (VS) for two reasons : I liked the name and the book cover (Grasset Editions). I had had a similar experience with Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower so I decided to buy the first VS.


I have felt an incredible amount of different emotions during my readings. Some books I have finished with the mouth wide open, overwhelmed with shock and excitement. Yet, I had never had goosebumps before reaching the end of Subutex.

So, what’s the story about anyways? The book follows the adventures of its eponymous hero Vernon, a middle-aged Parisian man, ex-record shop owner, who finds himself homeless and travels through the streets of Paris, crashing at friends and basically just surviving. No need to tell you more…

In the story, Despentes explores many themes which show some of 20th and 21st centuries’ lifestyles in the worlds of prostitution, trading and most importantly, music (among others). Subutex constantly moves from places to places and by doing so, discovers a lot about human nature. Spirituality and religion play an important part in the series, especially from the second work.

Despentes’ prose really helps the reader relate to the different characters. Our ideas and believes are continuously challenged as we encounter new characters. Every chapter is written with a first-person narrator and every character (many outcasts) has a right to tell the story of the life of Vernon Subutex. I was referring earlier to the crudeness of Despentes’ language. Well, what I love about this series is that it seems that the author really worked on each character’s way of speaking.

I absolutely love stories which are told with a stream of consciousness voice, and Vernon Subutex is a great example of this style of prose. Thanks to this process, we learn so much about the characters’ visions of the world, they speak with no hypocrisy and we have an exceptionally realistic portrait of 21st-century Paris.

This is my first book review and I am afraid to say too much about the story or the book. I do believe that everyone should read these books, in French if possible, as it is a great social and spiritual journey. I will end this with a quote from the first book which I really liked.

“La vie se joue souvent en deux manches : dans un premier temps, elle t’endort en te faisant croire que tu gères, et sur la deuxième partie, quand elle te voit détendu et désarmé, elle repasse les plats et te défonce.”


NB : next review will be on the work of Kundera

The Start of Summer Sunsets

When you live by the sea, you get a chance to enjoy amazing sunsets, especially during summer. Every night brings you new colours, and new feelings. I have always felt that the contemplation of sunsets was the best remedy to the small troubles of life.

The following pictures will show you the evolution of colours on a beautiful, yet cold, summer night.

If you’d like to see more pictures on a weekly basis, you can follow me on Instagram.

Hopefully, the weather will improve soon and I’ll be able to go on more expeditions.

1/ 10 pm, blurry sunset

2/ 11 pm, north of France, with a 30-second exposure

3/ 11 pm, friends celebrating summer