French writer Justine Sampling was the guest of RTL INFO with You in order to present his book entitled “Son son”. This is an imaginary diary of the mother of French actor Antonin Artaud, who died in 1948. The poet’s mother tried to get out of the various mental hospitals where he was sent, locked up and one suffered from electroshock.
Justine Lévy explained why she chose this subject for her new book. The woman of letters, also a mother, wanted to put herself in the place of this mother who has spent her life trying to save her son, but also to understand his genius and his madness.
Have you put all that is shameful about you as a mother in this book?
Well done. That’s it.
You managed to put yourself how to her place?
In fact, I read a lot of Antonin Artaud’s biographies and there was a moment that overwhelmed me. It is this famous moment when she comes to see him with a basket of food. She made up herself, she made herself flirtatious, she is happy to come to see her son then he does not recognize her and he says to her “You are a demon lady“and he chases her away.
And she comes back anyway the next day and when she doesn’t have the right to come and see him, because he rejects her, she watches him go through a half-open door. It upset me and I wondered how I would react if I was in his shoes if my son or daughter rejected me. The person we love the most in the world.
This is how it started. I said to myself, I’m going to try to put myself in the shoes of this not very famous woman. We don’t really know who she is.