I am reading The seventh function of language, which I recommend – it’s very funny and very clever, not boring at all in spite of the explanations on linguistics and semiotics here and there (they are usually inflicted to a very down-to-Earth police detective  by a PhD student he has coopted into helping him in the investigation on Roland Barthes’s death), and yesterday evening – ta dah! Who pops up all of a sudden? The Heliand, the Germanic version of Jesus Christ.

At a dinner party at Julia Kristeva’s flat, with Altusser, BHL (Bernard Henri Levy, but he is never called by his full name, only the initials) and a bunch of other highly educated guests, someone starts discussing Wimbledon and Kristeva’s husband bursts out:

Ah, Borg! The Messiah who came from the cold! When he falls on his knees on the grass at Wibledon, his arms like a cross, his blond hair (…), his beard…He is Jesus Christ on the grass… If Borg wins Wimbledon it is for the redemption of humankind, and because much of that  is needed, he wins every year.

(The translation is mine, from the Italian edition).

Risultati immagini

Of course I am aware that neither the author, Laurent Binet, nor the character may have had the Heliand in mind at all, yet, there he was.