How to find success in literature

A witty essay inviting most of all to avoid successful men and women…

Successology is the science of success. It has manuals (mostly translated from English), and the adjective “irrefutable”, however exaggerated it may seem, cannot detract from the performances – each more immodest than the other – given by their authors. . Therefore, of course, that is not true no one has ever attempted a serious and in-depth analysis of the best ways to achieve success ยป as we can read from the first lines of this new book by Lydie Salvayre, titled Successology unanswerable essay (Threshold, 2023). Unless we consider that seriousness has been lacking so far in this business… or, more likely, that the subject has not yet been treated with the humor it needs… which we can also ask.

At the same time, success is a serious matter, and if we can laugh at the advice we are given to achieve it (and we laugh a lot while reading this book), it is with hope (hidden ?) that it can still be we can find. a useful prescription there. It is the reading agreement, it seems to us, that the author makes here with his reader. We’ll see how it holds up.

Pictures of successful women and men

Every era has its own definition of success and ours is above all no holds barred, as shown by the very funny photo of the “bookstagramer influencer” who then opens the book. The next, “influential person” is less current and can be from any era. Anyway, the advice here is to learn how to behave with these characters, rather than wanting to emulate them, which is probably still beyond the reach of the reader.

The success of which we can credit the author of this essay with some skills that are clearly related to literature (Lydie Salsayre has written a dozen novels and won the Goncourt Prize in 2014 for her book did not cry). However, his advice is not related to the method of writing, which is necessary to open a book which is called The art of the novel example, but of course how to act, to continue in the same vein as the previous chapters, with different types of writers, from the confirmed writer to the stupid writer, passing through the defector or intervening writer , category where she falls, and the feminist writer, etc. And so, since it is here (strange?) almost only a question of that, how to avoid them or get rid of them.

Here, the novice writer, who probably sleeps with some readers, will undoubtedly be more useful to be invited to borrow the profile that best suits him in the gallery of these images…

Not wanting to embark on a career as a writer, the ordinary reader can always try to imagine for his part the various obstacles he may encounter in the career he pursues and the way to deal with them to limit them. their capacity for harm.

Rules for achieving success

The sequel finally approaches (!) the rules for achieving success in literature, which essentially consists in aligning oneself to the taste of the many, or the rules for achieving success in all fields, if where the most important thing is do not hesitate to put themselves. forward.

The art of dress, of behavior (in the next chapter we will discuss how to behave at a social cocktail) and the art of conversation are the subject of developments going in the same direction, with, for in this last section, a list of themes to deal with the interlocutors from the left, from the center and from the right, when these dominants are clearly established (because otherwise, it is necessary to be content with being more evasive).

According to the author, it is also necessary to learn to succeed in using good in the misfortune of others, in lies and evil. The book is certainly poured into criticizing success and the conditions necessary to obtain it, even if the reader does not yet see quite what its recovery is.

A chapter dedicated to the use that should be made of social networks completes the return of the reading agreement by explaining that “ it has become, now, somewhat superfluous to read “. At the risk of certain failure both the novice writer, who aims to learn something here despite everything, and the reader who is more interested in how to make success in his life.

These tips, the author explains again, will not save you from blows or injuries and you still have to learn to accept it and strengthen yourself.

Unless none of them suits you in the end and you decide to reject these principles, in favor of a higher concept of literature, as a writer or as a reader, which makes fun of the large number and is careful not to advance .

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