The Salt of Life Publication date : January 26, 2012
Françoise Héritier is an honorary professor at the Collège de France and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of such highly successful works as Masculin/féminin, Les Deux Soeurs et leur mère and De la violence.
“If you assume an average lifespan of 85 years, or 31,025 days, and if you sleep 8 hours a day, spend three and a half hours on shopping and meals; one hour and a half on hygiene and dealing with illnesses; three hours on household chores, children, transportation, various administrative tasks and home repairs; and assuming six-hour workdays, or 140 days’ work per month, over a period of 45 years, how much time is left for the activities which make up the salt of life? One hour and a half per day during our working lives, five and a half hours before and afterwards,” writes Françoise Héritier.
What exactly are those “pleasant things that our deepest self aspires to” and that we too often deprive ourselves of?
Françoise Héritier draws up her own list of those moments, of the memories that give life its flavour, making it richer and more interesting than we believed and that no one can ever take away from any of us.
• How to “make each episode of our lives a treasure of beauty and grace that will continue to grow of its own every day giving us strength and support”? The author of Masculin/féminin describes her version of this quest.
• A little book in the form of a game that readers will be able to play with their own memories, enabling them to discover and rediscover themselves. A most enjoyable book in the vein of Georges Perec’s Je me souviens and of Philippe Delerm’s Une petite gorgée de bière.