Jean Bernard

The Day Time Stood Still Publication date : April 1, 1997

"Times runs out, irreparably. Sometimes and with modesty, we speak of time in the plural. Sign of the times, at times.A day, an hour, a minute, a second, a milli-second, time stops. Time cannot be immobile. It wouldn't be time anymore. It's timelessness, achronia. "May 24, 2006 is a Friday, and at eleven twenty-seven and thirty-four seconds, time stops ..." This is how the scientific fable imagined by Jean Bernard begins - a fable halfway between science fiction and philosophical tale. Time is suspended, but all persons are not equal before this brutal achronia, and the most diverse of destinies will be brought to cross paths. "The Mount Saint-Michel at low tide. The sea is far, very far away. Soon, the tide will rise very quickly, very high, covering everything. Period. For now, the sea is still far, very far away. A shrimp sleeping in a tidepool was waiting for high tide ; it will continue to do so. A sea gull, just getting ready to pluck a fish out of the rising waters, does not plunge. A tourist, come to admire the high tide, remains just a far-away spectator."Scientists and poets - those living or having lived in our times, and whose thoughts, fortunately, were not suspended -will direct their minds towards this previously unheard-of phenomenon. The moral of the story, which finally manages to deliver the reader from a most anguishing suspense, illustrates the meditations of a great scholar and man of culture upon the vanity of Man - who is no more than a creature of the universe and not its creator.