Alice Rivaz
José Corti
11 x 17 cm
Page count
Publication date
Comptez vos jours

A delicate hint of roots, of an extraordinary life, a burning confession of suffering through it all, Comptez vos jours (Count your days) opens with melodious rhythmic phrases, a veritable chant expressing life and what forms its essence.

The combined blood of farmers and vintners, clockmakers, evangelists, and schoolteachers, flows in my veins. Their bones and names have merged in the relentless underground drift of small rural cemeteries between Lake Geneva and the Jura, and the flavour of their lives crumbled like dried mud in the very places where my future body was secretly being prepared. Some came from France, during the great Huguenot transhumance. The others never knew soil or sky that was not from here.

(Chapter I)

In the backwash of the narrative deployed through long passages in Comptez vos jours (Count your days), recurring topics entwine and conflate, notably those of ageing, loneliness, and separation. A poignant text owing to its humility and sincerity, which also evokes the suffering and profound “détresse” (distress) of Edmond-Henri Crisinel and his Alectone.