Aged 88, DA has led an amazing life. She was involved in the French resistance and is the author of 40 or so books as well as a kabbalist. We are meeting this erudite lady in her hometown of Damville.
A meeting with DA can’t fail to move you. When talking to this 88-year old with her lively demeanor and precise style recounting her engaging story one has the sentiment of being a pupil before one’s guru or even one’s prophet!
Very quickly however one realizes that these impressions are misleading. Irrespective of the fact that her body of work largely explores mystical and esoteric themes of coincidence and chance, in her presence it is clear that one is confronting a rational expert rather than a guru attempting to impose her view.
An expert in irrational knowledge
Her array of expertise? Life and all the signs it sends us: coincidences, similarities… All the little details that we largely fail to notice or ignore.
What is her secret? “I am passionately interested in everything that happens around me rather like a detective. My advice to everyone is “listen to your heart”.
Growing in a world with very few references
DA real name MLL was born 7. May 1922 in Cuers, in the Provence region of France. She still retains a slight provençal accent and an even more acute perception of life.
Coming from a humble background in a close knit catholic community she developed an independence from early on in her quest for knowledge and self-determination.
An excellent student she received a scholarship to study in Nice.
Her past as a member of the French Resistance
However it was not at school that she developed her character.
MLL was aged 17 when war broke out. She joined the Resistance in Grenoble and whilst there assumed the pseudonym of DA. She met her future husband Dr Genon Catalot with whom she had two children before divorcing in 1958.
In 1945 aged 23, she published a collection of short stories on the Resistance. In the early 1950’s DA published six novels including Le Maitre-Jour.
Meeting Don Quixote
As a young girl, DA was always surrounded by books. An avid reader, she felt at one with an author for the very first time when she read Don Quixote. “When a book provides a path to your soul, that book becomes a guide.”
After her divorce in 1958 she met Italian film maker Roberto Rossellini who invited her to Italy whilst completing her research on DQ.
Then in 1960, during the Franco era, she settled in Carboneras, Almeria Province in Spain.
DA the Kabbalist
She wrote several detailed accounts of Cervantes’ books. In 1966 she published ‘Don Quixote Prophet of Israel’ published by Robert Laffont in which she asserts that that the novel is derived from the Kabbal.
Taking root in the esoteric traditions of Judaism the Kabbal can be defined as a set of metaphysical theories on God. Etymologically ‘kabbal’ means ‘reception’ and can be interpreted as ‘the wisdom of receiving’.
It is from this tradition that DA refined the essence of her world view – or rather the tools with which she analyses – just like a scientist – the world around her, despite being discredited by the media for using Hebrew terms to explain the world we live in.
In Damville and “Don Quixote’s windmills’
In 1989 she published ‘The hidden face of the brain’ in which she blended esoteric traditions with scientific theories and offered a description of the brain. In total DA has published some 40 books.
Today she lives in Damville, Normandy, just a few hundred meters away from five wind generators whose arms remind her of DQ’windmills.
Very often she receives letters from readers that have been moved by her writing. But since 2008 and a violent bout of shingles that left her paralyzed in the right arm she can no longer write.
However she has not given up on her ‘mission to spread’. She has simply changed her medium and now makes movies to ‘connect to minds’.
DA is not the guru of a sect despite using notions of mysticism. She is rather the spokesperson of a type of knowledge: esoteric yes but worked, elaborated, built from an intense thirst for knowledge, a deep desire to interpret the world around us. In all that DA is a thinker.