What is Truchement?

I read in a Paul Valéry’s book about Hals (a painter) talking to Descartes (a philosopher) – he made his portrait, which is very famous.

Valéry writes :

J’ignore d’ailleurs si les deux hommes pouvaient s’entendre l’un l’autre sans truchement

I don’t know if the two men could understand each other without… truchement.


Ah ah! What’s that word?

Truchement can be : a mean of expression (for example two persons talking to each other with… drawings), a trick, or an intervention or a middle-man (maybe, simple, a translator).

I don’t know exactly why Hals and Descartes would need that. Maybe because of the language (one is French, the other one is Dutch – from Holland). I read a little and found that Hals didn’t agree with Descartes, who maybe said : “the imagination as inferior to the intellect”. I also know that Hals gave Descartes a certain appearance in his portrait, which makes people think…

I’ll find out, probably, but I loved to read the word Truchement – which French people know, I think, but don’t use daily…

I love the way that two strong personalities couldn’t really understand each other, or like each other, or get along, BUT feel the need to find a mean to have a conversation in spite of them, anyway…

Why would they need to get along? To work together? Common interests? To have fun with their antagonistic minds? How do these two guys will invent a way to have a conversation with a truchement and without climbing into disagreement?

How does is work in the Art of Diplomacy? What are the means between representatives of two enemy countries? What are the skills needed? Psychology? History? Slowness? Written words? Handshakes? Win/Win knacks?

OK, that was my Truchement overthinking…


Have a nice day!







One thought on “What is Truchement?

  1. Vigour of Film Lines November 2, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    Very interesting. I guess they could need “truchement” to comprehend each other, not because of language as Dutch or French, but their “meta-language”, one is a painter and the other a philosopher. Their paradigms and ways of perceiving and thinking are different to the extent they need a “middle man”. Otherwise they couldn’t speak at all. Why would they want it, is a great question. Maybe they met on a dinner party and were practically forced to converse.

    Liked by 1 person

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