I have not been able to log on to blog for days now, but that’s okay — it only means that you’re going to get a BIG post on Monday, when I’m back home. If I’m back home. I’ll be leaving Charles de Gaulle soon, headed for DFW. It looks doubtful that I’ll be able to make my connecting flight to Baton Rouge before the hurricane hits. Oy.
Before I leave, I want to tell you something about the friends I have at Editions Artège, my publisher here in France. Above, an airport selfie as I prepared to go through security. Yrieix is a young Catholic writer in Paris who was the first enthusiast here of The Benedict Option, and who took the book to editor Hervé Beligne at Artège:
Hervé bought the proposal, and engaged Hubert Darbon (also above) to translate the book from English. It was published in France last month. Here is the French website for the book. If you’re in France, bookmark it, because it will be updated with information and future events related to the Ben Op in France.
Now, if this crew had merely been professional, it would have been a great thing. But they went far, far beyond professionalism to help me and my book. I have never been treated with such kindness in my line of work. These people weren’t just colleagues. They became friends — indeed, the kind of friends you have for life. They made me feel like a member of the family. We all worked hard this past week — you don’t see pictured here Nick Thibault, who was my translator at all the conferences and interviews, nor do you see Audrey, Estelle’s intern, who was a good companion — but for me, none of it felt like work. It felt like a kind of happy pilgrimage in the company of dear friends. No kidding, it was one of the best experiences of my career, and I was surprised by how emotional I felt inside when I had to tell these good people au revoir. Publishing is supposed to be a cutthroat business, but Team Artège made this experience not only fun, but something I will remember for the rest of my life. We met as co-workers, but we departed as lifelong friends. Of this I’m certain. What a gift they gave to me — or rather, that God gave to me in them.
I also want to thank my friend James Brown from Schiller International University for all he did to promote the book while in France, and my pal Fred Gion, the longtime Paris bureau chief for this blog and the High Priest of the cult of “A Confederacy of Dunces” in France, for his help as well.
If the French version of The Benedict Option becomes a hit in France, you will have the people you see on this blog post to thank. They are the best. Really, the very best.