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Jean Marie Lefévre, The White Thinking
Excerpts from J. M. Lefévre, La Pensée Blanche, 2000; Compiled and translated by Ellopos with an introduction by Nat Gerrs
AN INTRODUCTION to an introduction reminds me of Borges' infinite labyrinths. However, I'd like to do it because I love Borges! and because this is a book that we wouldn't easily expect from a modern writer - or anyone.
The White Thinking records a journey to the truth, belonging, thus, to a long tradition that starts, maybe, with Parmenides. Structured in the form of letters sent by the hero to his friend Paul, the book's literary style slides softly from a short story to a (symbolical) confession with the emphasis placed on the latter. The final invention of the author to have a third person publish those letters, combined with the overall initiation-character, where truth is only a weak synonym, or rather a shadow of sanctity, make this book somehow seem like an hagiography or rather the idea of a probable hagiography. History, philosophy and literature are united expressing man's wholeness.
The story roughly goes like this. Jean, a man "full of heart", wishes and tries to become a member to a society of illuminati so that he would finally give a meaning to his life. In the relevant talks great parts of the Western philosophical, religious and literary tradition are discussed or implied in a way that - combined with the other activities of the persons of the story - reveal almost everything as a sort of a "divine conspiracy" for the salvation of Jean's being, which is his real initiation to what he seeks, with love and death as the most obvious names of that initiation's way.
More by Nat Gerrs: Why Europe? * Gibson - MacRury, The Man Without a Face