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Guru of the month - Charles Pépin : Joy and Happiness

Published on 06/17/2016

Charles Pépin, 41, is a French philosopher and an author published in 20 countries. His just-released latest work Joy is a reminder that we have to actively seek it out (especially when it’s hidden).

Pépin on joy and happiness: “Happiness is long term, it’s a balanced and serene state of mind. Joy is crazy and impulsive, it’s a lively burst. It’s what we swipe from violence or the absurdity of the world. It isn’t happiness, but it’s not opposed to happiness. It’s actually like a promise: every second of joy is a reminder that happiness is a possibility”.

Pépin on attaining joy: “Joy is in the present. It’s a connected to the moment sense of here and now. It’s a tangible feeling of the sun caressing one’s face, intermingled bodies in love, and the world in which we concretely live. Nostalgia for the past and hope for what might be hinder us from enjoying life. Comparing things, attraction for the unattainable and fantasies often make us sad too…

Why we love the book: Because Charles Pépin audaciously revisits Albert Camus’s The Stranger in an easily read and enjoyable modern tale. An urban hero experiences love, money, family, pleasure and sadness and finds joy despite the obstacles within his existence.

Why we love Charles Pépin: Because this young author gives a public philosophy lecture, a modern approach to the existential questions we all go through, every Monday at 6PM in Paris at the MK2 Saint-Germain Des Prés. He has already written about all about how beauty gives us self-confidence and why we are attracted to it in When Beauty Saves Us (Quand la beauté nous sauve, Robert Laffont), his previous book published in 2013.

Charles Pépin, La Joie (Joy), Folio Book (Gallimard)

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