Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran

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“On 28 March 1960, my mother gave birth to twins, Eric and Emmanuel. According to the astrologists she consulted, one was destined to become a writer, the other a musician. Unfortunately, a few days later, on the journey from the maternity clinic to the house, one of the two babies suffocated in its cradle. No one knew which one…
For that reason, the surviving baby was named Eric-Emmanuel. He was never sure what his vocation was, and he still wonders about it to this day. Music? Literature? Did he choose the wrong one? Did he adopt the other child’s destiny?”

That story is pure fantasy, of course, but it does express a truth: the writer I became is filled with nostalgia for the musician I left behind. While I can spend a day without writing or reading – a rare occurrence –, I never let it end without listening to music. “Listening” means emptying my mind, so that music can take over. I’m in constant dialogue with music and it is the art I place above all others. I look for it in my sentences; I offer it my sentences during a song or an opera, and I write books so that music can be listened to more attentively.

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt


Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt