"The screen, the slippers and the sofa, the universal ideal of the modern man"

“The screen, the slippers and the sofa, the universal ideal of the modern man”

Great Interview – In an exciting and funny new article, the philosopher and writer charts the archeology of an unexpected form of “Great Surrender”: the temptation to give up facing existence.

Le Figaro. – Your book begins with a picture of Oblomov, the hero of Goncharov’s novel … How is this character of Russian literature a symbol of our time?

Pascal Breckner. – Oblomov is a little boy from all over Saint Petersburg who suffers from a strange disease: he lives in bed. Getting up, doing his mail, going out, seeing friends, and even worse, seeing a woman cost him a lot. He cannot force himself to do this: after the slightest effort, he has to lie down and sleep. With this character that has become a classic in Russia, Goncharov highlights a characteristic of Russians that annoyed Lenin: passivity.

I read Oblomov During confinement and I had the feeling that this novel describes our situation: Like him, a man or a woman, after a moment of rebellion against sanitary rules, we slipped into this semi-vegetarian life with some contentment. Many of us have become like those prisoners who sigh …

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