Philippe Delerm

Philippe Delerm

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in Auvers-sur-Oise, France
November 27, 1950



About this author

Philippe Delerm est né le 27 novembre 1950 à Auvers-sur-Oise. Ses parents étant instituteurs, il passe son enfance dans des «maisons d’école» : à Auvers, Louveciennes, Saint-Germain. Études de Lettres à la faculté de Nanterre, puis nommé professeur de lettres en Normandie. Il vit donc depuis 1975 à Beaumont-le-Roger (Eure), avec Martine, sa femme, également professeur de lettres et illustrateur-auteur d’albums pour enfants.

Average rating: 3.51 · 1,024 ratings · 86 reviews · 51 distinct works · Similar authors
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You arrive in the basement. Immediatly it catches you. Apples are here, lying on fruit trays, turned crates. You didn't think about it. You had no wish to be flooded by this melancholic wave. But you can't resist. Apple scent is a breaker. How could you manage without this childhood, bitter and sweet ?
Shrivelled fruits surely are delicious, from this feak dryness where candied taste seems to have wormed in each wrinkle. But you don't wish to eat them. Particularly don't turn into an identifiable taste this floating power of smell. Say that it smells good, strong? But not ..... It's beyond .... An inner scent, scent of a better oneself. Here is shut up school autumn, with purple ink we scratch paper with down strokes and thin strokes. Rain bangs against glasses, evening will be long ....
But apple perfume is more than past. You think about formerly because of fullness and intensity from a remembrance of salpetered cellar, dark attic. But it's to live here, stay here, stand up.
You have behind you high herbs and damp orchards. Ahead it's like a warm blow given in the shade. Scent got all browns, all reds with a bit of green acid. Scent distilled skin softness, its tiny roughness. Lips dried, we alreadyt know that this thirst is not to be slaked.
Nothing would happen if you bite the white flesh. You would need to become october, mud floor, moss of cellar, rain, expectation.
Apple scent is painful. It's from a stronger life, a slowness we deserve no more.”
Philippe Delerm

“About sexuality of English mice.

A warm perfume is growing little by little in the room. An orchard scent, a caramelized sugar scent. Mrs. MOUSE roasts apples in the chimney. The apple fruits smell grass of England and the pastry oven. On a thread drawn in the flames, the apples, from the buried autumn, turn a golden color and grind in tempting bubbles.
But I have the feeling that you already worry. Mrs. MOUSE in a Laura Ashley apron, pink and white stripes, with a big purple satin bow on her belt, Mrs. MOUSE is certainly not a free mouse? Certainly she cooks all day long lemon meringue tarts, puddings and cheese pies, in the kitchen of the burrow. She suffocates a bit in the sweet steams, looks with a sigh the patched socks trickling, hanging from the ceiling, between mint leaves and pomegranates. Surely Mrs. MOUSE just knows the inside, and all the evening flavours are just good for Mrs. MOUSE flabbiness.
You are totally wrong - we can forgive you – we don’t know enough that the life in the burrow is totally communal. To pick the blackberries, the purplish red elderberries, the beechnuts and the sloes Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE escape in turn, and glean in the bushes the winter gatherings. After, with frozen paws, intoxicated with cold wind, they come back in the burrow, and it’s a good time when the little door, rond little oak wood door brings a yellow ray in the blue of the evening. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE are from outside and from inside, in the most complete commonality of wealth and climate.
While Mrs. MOUSE prepares the hot wine, Mr. MOUSE takes care of the children. On the top of the bunk bed Thimoty is reading a cartoon, Mr. MOUSE helps Benjamin to put a fleece-lined pyjama, one in a very sweet milky blue for snow dreams.
That’s it … children are in bed ….
Mrs. MOUSE blazes the hot wine near the chimney, it smells lemon, cinnamon, big dry flames, a blue tempest. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE can wait and watch. They drink slowly, and then .... they will make love ….You didn’t know? It’s true, we need to guess it. Don’t expect me to tell you in details the mice love in patchwork duvets, the deep cherry wood bed. It’s just good enough not to speak about it. Because, to be able to speak about it, it would need all the perfumes, all the silent, all the talent and all the colors of the day. We already make love preparing the blackberries wine, the lemon meringue pie, we already make love going outside in the coldness to earn the wish of warmness and come back. We make love downstream of the day, as we take care of our patiences.
It’s a love very warm, very present and yet invisible, mice’s love in the duvets.
Imagine, dream a bit ….. Don’t speak too badly about English mice’s sexuality …..”
Philippe Delerm

“It could snow
We don’t take care. The end of November came without coldness, with haunting and limp rains, pretty much leaves still laying anywhere on the sidewalks. It comes a morning with another grey, compact, closed, air changes its texture. Under the pharmacy green cross the thermometer sticks, in red, two degrees. The number, a bit blurred thins down in the space. We didn’t expect it, but it grows, far inside us, the little sentence. It comes to the lips like a forgotten song: “It could snow …” We should not dare to mention it in loud voice, it is still so much autumn, all could finish in a stupid freezing sudden shower, in a fog of boredom. But the idea of a possible snow came back, it’s what matters. No downhill in a sledge-trash-bag, no snowman, no children shouting,no pictures of landscape metamorphosis. Largely best then all that, because the essential snow is inside the unformulated. Before. Something we didn’t know we knew. Before snow, before love, the same lack, the same dimmed grey which days’ triteness creates pretending to suffocate.
We shall cross somebody:
- This time it’s almost winter!
- Yes we start to be crestfallen!
Workers hang pieces of tinsel. We didn’t say too much. Especially do not frighten away the slight shade of the idea. The red thermometer went down, one degree. It could snow.”
Philippe Delerm, Ma grand-mère avait les mêmes: les dessous affriolants des petites phrases

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