Becks in Paris-Entry #11: dead or alive


A blog that “imagines Beckham’s internal monologue as he collides with the Parisian intellectual tradition.”

Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.

I kept on coming back to that catchy opening line. Of The Outsider, I mean. ‘Mum died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.’ The thing is, Meursault, it’s like he’s injured, and then he’s brought back too soon. Which is when everything goes pear-shaped. The gaffer should have given him longer to get himself straight.

Your Mum dying and all, that’s got to hurt. Maybe, if she hadn’t died, Meursault would never have shot the guy on the beach. And then he might not have been handed the red card.

Funny how I was reading about Mrs Meursault kicking the bucket, and then it’s Maggie’s turn. La Dame de Fer as they call her here. Madame T. She was like a mother to the nation. And now she’s dead. The Iron Lady… it’s like in Terminator 2 when Arnie lowers himself down into the vat of molten metal. But with the thumbs up right at the end. He knows it’s the right thing to do. It had to be that way. No one goes on for ever.

It made me think of the novel I was reading in China, La Condition humaine. The bit where all prisoners are lined up by the locomotive. In chains. The train isn’t going anywhere. But they are firing up the engine anyway. And what are they using for fuel? The prisoners! One by one they’re chucked in the boiler. Then puffed up out of the funnel. Painful. But I could see what the author was getting at – we’re all going that way, aren’t we? Nothing but smoke in the end. Malraux, Camus, Thatcher, Bobby Moore – all gone. As Sartre said – how did it go? – everything is voué à l’échec. Doomed.