marta-150x150by Marta Perego

About a month ago I went to Paris. Between the snow-clad Champs Elysees, a tour of the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Grand Palais, and awesome brasserie meals, I also met writer Emmanuel Carrère. I had just passionately read Limonov, the novel of his that is driving readers all over the world crazy, a biography about writer and political dissident Eduard Limonov, the founder and leader of the National Bolshevik Party.

cover limonov

I stayed at his house for a long saturday afternoon, drinking coffee and chatting. He lives in the tenth arrondissment, in a moderately elegant house. A middle-class neighborhood, but still discreet. A house filled with furnishing from the seventies, and white walls. We talked about many things: from Limonov, obviously, to his way of being a writer (read, if you haven’t yet: The Adversary, Other Lives But Mine, My Life As A Russian Novel).


But then, I just couldn’t help myself. Back home in Italy, I had to write him an email. Some sort of categorical imperative dictated by the most feminine curiosity. Such an interesting writer, so educated, so kind, so dandy destroy once (in his novels, up till 2005 it was all women everywhere, appearing, disappearing) and so in love with Hélène – his wife – now.

How do you win over someone like him? So, well, I just asked him. And here he is, writing as CHOOZEit’s special guest, about the three things about women that drive him crazy.

Carrère_BC_2012_1Photo courtesy of Basso Cannarsa

Regarding what attracts me in a woman, I would say :

1) that she is, at least a little, attracted in me. Although quite neurotic, i was spared this peculiar neurosis which consists in choosing impossible objects, which means falling in love with woman who are not at all interested in me. Basically, I love who loves me. It helps.

2) that she is not a liar. I am myself a very bad liar, if I lie even on the smallest thing it’s immediately written on my face, so being in love with someone who lies is an unbereable ordeal (I had this experience once, it drove me crazy, I hope it will never happen again)

3) Sorry for the third point, I know it sounds desperately macho and “berlusconesque”, but if I am sincere I must confess that a certain level of physical beauty is required. My top three : my wife, Hélène ; Monica Vitti ; and now, Marta Perego.