Is literature the new love coach?

La littérature est-elle le nouveau coach amoureux ?

“Take a book and everything will be better!” This could be the new prescription against sores of the soul and the heart. No more shrink sessions and unstoppable grief: could our romantic questions be answered between the lines?

According to a study published in 2016 in Social Science and Medicine, reading thirty minutes every day would increase life expectancy by about two years. Thinking about the future, yes. But now, does literature have an effect on us? Bibliotherapy, which one could literally define by “care via books” shows that reading can help us to get better.

If we are tempted to suggest that books heal, it is good to be vigilant about our vocabulary. “Literature will never replace drugs, introduces Michaël Uras, author of The great remedies for small ailments (Ed. Preludes). The words “work on oneself” seem more correct to me. “In his novel, Michaël Uras created the character of Alex, a librarian, who prescribes books for those he calls his patients, and not his clients. author has chosen to explore the subject through a fiction, it is because books are a refuge for him but also an obvious way to make us think or put our situation into perspective, especially thanks to the feeling of identification with characters.

“Faced with a difficult ordeal, we feel lonely when we think that no one can imagine what we are going through. However, feeling recognized and understood in their pain, anger or grief is the first step towards appeasement. “, writes Agnès Ledig in the preface to These books that can change your life, by Elodie Chaumette (Ed. First).

The heroine or the hero, through what he experiences, crosses, experiences and tells, develops in us a feeling of well-being. It becomes our mirror and suddenly we are a little less cold. The sorrow of love of one or the love quest of the other will echo in us and guide us towards a well-being through a series of reflections. “Zeno’s conscience, by Italo Svevo, is a very good remedy for heartache, says Michaël Uras. Zeno meets Giovanni Malfenti during his work. The latter has four daughters. Zeno falls in love with one of them, Adeline, but she refuses. He is sad, of course, but cannot be put down. He is going to ask each of the other Malfenti girls to marry him. In total, four marriage requests, three refusals and one yes! Augusta accepts. Zeno is the character who refuses heartache! “. One does not emerge from such a reading without having regained strength!

Finding love through literature

Sarah Sauquet, known for the application A text, one day, just published The first time Bérénice saw Aurélien, she found him frankly stupid, literary coaching to seduce in 7 steps (Ed. Eyrolles). As she testifies in the introduction to her work, she has always been lulled by the classics: “I have long believed that love, the true, would knock on my door as if by magic. Like an Emma Bovary dreaming at her window, I saw myself meeting Heathcliff, Solal or Aurélien, in a crowded lecture hall on a cafe terrace “. But from experience to experience, she realized that reading could be approached as a support for reflection, and not for perdition. Through his book, built in seven steps, we discover how to prepare physically and mentally for the encounter thanks A love of Swann by Marcel Proust or even Nice friend of Maupassant. We also learn to take the plunge with Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) or The Red and the Black (Stendhal).

Sarah Sauquet and Michaël Uras are unanimous: if there is indeed a book to devour to know the keys to seduction, it is Belle du Seigneur, by Albert Cohen. “Solal, charismatic character among all, rich and cynical, decides to seduce Ariane, a bourgeois who is bored in her marriage with a small civil servant of the League of Nations. He will explain to Ariane that he will seduce her and this, in eleven steps, eleven successive points. It’s cold, mathematical, but it works! Ariane will be seduced, “explains the author of The great remedies for small ailments.

But if reading undeniably helps to get to know each other better and brings us a lot of advice, it also has the power to clear our minds. “Let’s immerse ourselves in a book with a plot similar to what we are living in the hope of finding answers to our questions there, or conversely, we seek to escape and read books that we will make us forget our grief? “questions Sarah Sauquet. This question is for the reader to ask. Because everyone chooses their therapeutic destination.

Read to forget

“Faced with a world that seems to be going faster and faster, and sometimes badly, literature constitutes a pause, a means of withdrawing for a time from the world. When the end of a love story creates a painful, immeasurable emptiness , literature can fill this void, make absence more bearable, and avoid plunging headlong into the arms of one’s ex, or into a new story if we are not prepared for it … A book can constitute a veritable presence! “, continues Sarah Sauquet.

The journey through books is therefore another form of therapy. We can opt for a book that does not answer our issues. A good historical novel on the war 14 – 18 when we come to be dropped on Tinder, that’s how to disconnect. “Reading simply brings us this ability to marvel, as if listening to music that stirs us, or a sunset (…). This is enough to do a lot of good,” shares Agnès Ledig in These books that can change your life.

But says escape, also says long-term wellness. Disconnecting for a reading does not mean finding the world as we left it. “Reading allows us to extract ourselves, for a time, from reality. And, when we come back to it, we are necessarily changed, our perception of things, of reality, has evolved”, specifies Michaël Uras. Like what, we may lose our ex on a trip and so much the better.

The ordinance of ordinances
For great evils the great remedies, by Michaël Uras, (Ed. Préludes), 15.10 euros
The first time Bérénice saw Aurélien, she found him frankly stupid, by Sarah Sauquet, (Ed. Eyolles), 14.90 euros
These books that can change your life, by Elodie Chaumette, (Ed. First), 12.95 euros

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