A Delight in Words
Françoise Héritier is an honorary professor at the Collège de France and at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of numerous works
published by Editions Odile Jacob, including Une pensée en mouvement, Masculin/Féminin, De la violence and, recently the publishing phenomenon
Le Sel de la vie (still on the bestseller lists!) translated in more than 10 languages.
‘I’ll take my chances on a whim again. But the whim I’m plunging into is perhaps more serious than would appear at first sight. Its roots lie in the astonishments of childhood, when the discovery of words in the spoken language resembled the discovery of jams and sweets and had the same taste of reality.
‘Playing with words I recreate the pleasure of Babel, like a child who does not want to have to choose between her desire to understand exactly what is happening and
being said around her and the constant pull of the esoteric wonders to which she alone gives meaning. I enjoyed carrying out this investigation on the reasons why I
delight in words, a delight that is, I believe, widely shared. I hope that many of you, readers, will continue to play the game of secret definitions, or that you will add
other commonplaces to my list, as you marvel on the paths of invention.’ F.H.