Jean-Paul Clébert’s house

Three sketches of Oppède-le-Vieux and book

Reading ‘Vivre en Provence’ by Jean-Paul Clébert (1926-2011), the Jack Kerouac of French literature. I may assume that, according to his description, I’ve drawn his house in Oppède-le-Vieux several times. In another rather bizarre coincidence, I wrote a text on the façade as if to say: this was the house of a writer. Instinct?

Most people will think of Peter Mayle when referring to life in Provence. I would rather recommend Clébert. Not as romantic as Pagnol, no tung-in-cheek anecdotes as Mayle, but the real stuff in a beautiful but sometimes harsh environment. Unfortunately less known and hard to find in translation, but for me, Clébert is right up there with Giono and Bosco.

In my project involving the stone quarry of Oppède and the olive oil mill Saint Augustin, the principles of Clébert are a guide. I so discovered that the Situationist movement (Guy Debord) based their theory of the ‘dérive’ on his writing. (More on that later.)

In the picture: my sketches from 2012-2013 with a 1977 edition of the book.

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