Morning Lecture.

The last time Marthe Carrare heard Harfang speak, he had delivered a sparkling lecture… (He) concluded his speech by foreshadowing the end of cardiac transplants, suggesting they would soon become obsolete because the time had come to consider the virtues of artificial hearts, technological wonders invented and developed in a French laboratory…A murmur ran through the auditorium, waking up the drowsier students. Harfang’s audience was disconcerted by this conclusion, by the idea that a prosthetic heart could rob the organ of its symbolic power, and while most of the heads obediently bowed down toward the spiral notebooks held below them, concentrating as the hands took notes of Harfang’s words, a few shook from side to side, signaling sadness, or even vague dissent, while some slid hands inside jackets, behind ties, under shirts, touching bare skin so they could feel their hearts beating.

~ Maylis de Kerangal, The Heart: A Novel


%d bloggers like this: