L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, August 5, 2022

Le fiancé - three photographs by Hervé Guibert

Le fiancé II, 1982.
Le fiancé I, 1982.
Le fiancé, circa 1980.


Hervé Guibert (14 December 1955, Saint-Cloud - 27 December 1991, Clamart), French writer and photographer. The author of more than thirty novels and autobiographical studies, he played a considerable role in changing French public attitudes to HIV/AIDS. From a middle-class family, by 1978 he was working for Le Monde and had published his second book; he was not yet twenty-three. In 1984, he shared a best screenplay César with Patrice Chéreau for Chéreau's L'homme blessé. (Coincidentally, one of my favorite twisted and dark - very dark - French films.) Diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, two years later he publicly revealed his HIV status in a roman à clef entitled À l'ami qui ne m'a pas sauvé la vie ("To the friend who did not save my life".) Upon its publication, he immediately found himself the focus of media attention, featured in newspapers and appearing on television talk shows. He continued to publish, including two more books which also detailed the progression of his illness. But two years later, by then almost blind from CMV, he attempted to end his life with an overdose of sleeping pills, one day before his thirty-sixth birthday; he survived, but died two weeks later.

(Ironically, for a time in the 1980s, Guibert was a reader at the institute for the young blind in Paris, Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, an experience which informed his 1985 novel Des aveugles, published in English as Blindsight.)

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