I was born by chance on March 10th, 1920, actually at the
gate of a maternity home, which was closed due to strike. At that time my mother was pregnant from the works of Paul Claudel
(since those days I cannot bear him at all), in fact
in her thirteenth month, and could not wait for the concordat. A pious priest who passed by chance, picked me up
and immediately put me down: I was quite ugly indeed (since that time I am having my aspergillum phobia). Fortunately a
hungry she-wolf, who had just given birth to Pierre Herve (so I am at his age, which tallies completely with
Einstein's relative simultaneousness theories), took me under her wings, and gave me something to drink. I became strong
and wise, but still remained so ugly, although a thick but also inhomogenous hair magnificence graced me. Actually my head
looked like the head of Nike of Samothrake.
I came to the Ècole Centrale at the age of seven, and three years later, in 1942, I finally left, feeling totally insecure
by the hydrodynamics of Monsieur Bergeron's lessons. At that time I could not imagine that twelve years later, in 1946 ...
but let us wait and see.
In 1938 I approached the study of the BON BON TRUMPET, and I started playing like Armstrong, but I gave up soon,
since I did not want to make him out of work. Because of racial prejudices I would have ecclipsed him with the bang-secure
dewy colour of my skin. In 1941, exactly on April 18, I met the famous Claude Abadie, at present Director of the Compagnie
de Suez and an outstanding member of the synarchy and clarinet players. He took me under his thumb and due to our fruitful
collaboration, the Orchestra Claude Abadie won several international awards in 1945; despite of the attendance of the unwelcomed
who was a shameless opium smoker and opportunity killer (who predicts to be a true servant of justice).
All of the sudden my appearance changed and I started to look like Boris Vian; hence my name. Without going into further details,
it shall be mentioned briefly, that I've spent sometimes in my life three and a half years at the Association Francaise de Normalisation
which has been destructed by a fire in the meantime, which Jacques Lemarchand hid carefully in square brackets. Raymond Queneau met me
at fishing, what I don't do, and suggested, completely rapt by my drive, a test gallopp. Which I immediately followed. What is left,
belongs to contemporary history.
Barefooted I am 1 metre eightysix centimetres tall, I weigh enough, and in particular I appreciate the works by Alfred Jarry, SCREWING and
my much-beloved wife; not to forget, but afterwards: the New-Orleans-music, Duke Ellington, Lana
Turner, Ann Sheridan, the symphonies for
double-bell and petrol-car orchestra of the commander W. Spotlight, oil paintings, which I am pursuing with rare luck, the moustache
of my much-honoured Jean Rostand, the girls of the university jazz-club (especially a blonde in her green dress ... but let us
leave that), the Two-Beat (this is no sexual allusion) and Mother Chaput, I hate Paul Claudel (I've said it before, but I just simply like
to say it and that's why I've never read anything by him), the >Great Meaulnes<, Alain (not my brother, who is a completely crazy guy),
Péguy, the jazz violin, like the French used to play it, the works of imagination, lies, and small-sized stuff, >Iwan the Terrible<,
Leonard Feather, Edgard
Jackson, the >Dictator<, Dumont
Monsignore Suhard, the Pope, Barbotin, whom I like.
What I don't like are flat breasts (with woman), ENDIVE SALAD and shit, except when it's well-prepared. I'm looking for a five-room-appartement with all
mod. cons. I have lived a happy life, but it would fill me with pleasure to start from scratch again.
*I'm exaggerating. Actually he is all the same to me.
BORIS VIAN, 20.6.1946
translated by Bert Preiss, 30.1.2003