PHOTO: © DAI Heidelberg

Didier Eribon – Eine Arbeiterin. Leben, Alter und Sterben

In the organizer's words:

Didier Eribon had actually planned to travel to Fismes regularly from now on. But his mother died a few weeks after moving into a nursing home in the small town in Champagne. As in his autofictional essay Return to Reims, this turning point becomes the starting point for a journey into the past. Eribon reconstructs the biography of a woman determined by scarcity and constraints, who remained chained to a brutal husband and even had to be modest in her dreams. "My mother," he notes, "was unhappy all her life."

Didier Eribon's new book is highly political: he relentlessly exposes the extent to which politics, but also philosophy, and basically society as a whole, have long suppressed the scandalous situation of many old people. At the same time, he once again proves himself to be a great storyteller: using suggestive episodes and touching memories, he shows how important family and origins are for our identity. He buys a dialect dictionary so that he can once again hear his mother's voice. In this way, the sociologist unfolds a portrait of a lost world: the milieu of the French working class - with its concerns, its solidarity, its prejudices.

Didier Eribon, born in Reims in 1953, is a French sociologist, author and philosopher. His mother worked as a cleaner and his father was a factory worker. He remembers his hometown "as a city of insults", where he was belittled as a working-class child, but also because of his homosexuality. He succeeded in being admitted to study philosophy. Eribon worked as a journalist and published numerous books, including volumes of conversations and interviews with Claude Lévi-Strauss and Ernst Gombrich, as well as a highly regarded biography of Michel Foucault. His essay Return to Reims was received as a literary event and key text on the rise of right-wing populism.

A cooperation with the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturkreis (dfk) Heidelberg and feeLit. international literature festival Heidelberg.

This content has been machine translated.


DAI. Das Haus der Kultur Sofienstraße 12 69115 Heidelberg

Get the Rausgegangen App!

Be always up-to-date with the latest events in Heidelberg!