Romain Gary

RIC-J: Who are we talking to today? Romain Gary, Roman Kacew, Émile Ajar, Fosco Sinibaldi, or Shatan Bogat?

RG: I am all of these, I am no one of these. I’m still searching who I am, and who I am not. Maybe another one, the last one?

RIC-J: Having experienced both, please enumerate a few similarities between war and writing? And then a few similarities between war and love?

RG: Writing is a war against blank paper, against lack of story, lack of idea. You fight to find back all elements of your memory. War and love are the same, you fight for sentiments, you fight against feelings. War and writing are the same: a bloody sacrifice.

RIC-J: Imagine there is no more wine or BSG in the whole world. Only two drinks remain: whisky sour and whisky + ginger ale. What do you choose (keep in mind that the whiskey is Irish!).

RG: Whisky sour, plus a drop of your blood taken from one of your wrists, looks like Kali’s blood that I found described in the darkest tantric treatise from Bangalore.

RIC-J: You are getting married. What do you wear?

RG: Linen vest, linen trousers, leather sandals, white Panama hat, RayBan. I’m dressed like for a funeral. The one of my liberty.
RIC-J: You are a famously jealous man. You once challenged Clint Eastwood to a duel for sleeping with your wife. Would you shoot the man who loves the woman you love?

RG: I would. And certainly should I shoot the woman I love for being loved by another one. But… be sure that I slept with many of Clint’s wives after that duel.

RIC-J: You’re on gunpoint – you have to choose between fish and sex, what do you choose? You will get killed if you’re not honest.

RG: Fish is not essential to my life.

RIC-J: Bonnie & Clyde or Simone & Sartre?

RG: Simone (naked in the bathroom) and Sartre (far away)

RIC-J: Do you believe in apples?

RG: No. I believe in two half apples.

RIC-J: What is that one thing that transformed your life?

RG: Writing permits you to live lives that you should not get without this liberty of your imagination. Writing is liberty. Writing is life.

RIC-J: Your favourite childhood memory.

RG: Killing a wounded bird and looking at its peaceful feeling during its last breath.

RIC-J: On your death note, you wrote that your suicide had no relation to Seberg’s suicide the previous year. Why did you lie? Why are men embarrassed of true love?

RG: I killed Seberg. And her ghost killed me. This is the truth, I did not lie. I loved her too much to lie about this.

RIC-J: If there is one place you could bomb, what would it be? What would you destroy? (You cannot answer: papaya fields!).

RG: My grave.

RIC-J: Between two Prix Goncourts, which is your favourite?

RG: Ha. I won three Goncourts, but you don’t know about one. This one is my favourite.
RIC-J: In the memory of a Sufi patient, please define life in two words.

RG: Blonde hair.

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