Jean-Claude Carrière

Fragility Publication date : April 13, 2006

“I picked a word — fragility — and I let it take me where it would. It acted as a blind man’s stick, or as a key. I discovered that the word ‘fragility’ allowed me to enter into several areas of behaviour — into limited and even hidden sectors. I tried applying it to power, to history, to our endangered planet, to religions, to the age-old struggle between knowledge and ignorance, and to contemporary terrorism.
“Along the way, I met several ancestors who had travelled on the same path before me, Shakespeare and Dostoïevski, of course, but also Corneille, Chateaubriand and Balzac. I’ve maintained close relations with most of them. They taught me what I doubtless already knew, that a character can only move us, or move others, when we discover what Shakespeare calls its ‘glassy essence’, and which we call ‘vulnerability’. Far from being a declaration of weakness, our fragility is the motor of all forms of expression, of emotion and, often, of beauty.
“Here and there, I’ve given accounts of moments in my life when this feeling of fragility took on a particular flavour. These brief moments are only the preliminary sketches of the immense mural that we have all dreamt of writing or of painting, and that we satisfy ourselves with living,” writes Jean-Claude Carrière.

Combining personal, philosophical and religious meditation, Jean-Claude Carrière distils the essence of wisdom.
With an unparalleled dramatic talent, he succeeds in bringing to life those moments of existence when our fragility reveals who we really are.

The author of many best-selling books, Jean-Claude Carrière is also a well-known playwright and screenwriter, with numerous film and television credits to his name (he has worked with Tati, Buñuel, Godard, Peter Brook and Oshima, among others). He is a specialist on India and Buddhism.