French Language

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Organizing Accidents: Charlotte Gainsbourg Interviewed by William J. Simmons
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The actress and singer contemplates family, language, and the nature of true artistry.

An Approach by Roger Lewinter
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In An Approach, the sentence gradually evolves: word choices change subtly; phrases are introduced, transposed, or deleted; punctuation shifts and changes form. Through these shifts and disruptions, the text begins to accede to a nonlinear logic, through which we can glimpse “the unspoken, which is its subject, between the words, through the words.”

Kate Briggs’s This Little Art by Carlos Fonseca
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Briggs delves into her experience translating Roland Barthes’s La Préparation du roman to offer us a poignant account of what this translation compulsion might be.

Sacred Folly: on Romain Gary’s The Kites and Promise at Dawn by J.W. McCormack
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A rediscovered novel and memoir depict a character we are lucky to have on the page. In life he would mortify us.

Kinshasa Sound: An Interview with Félicité’s Alain Gomis by Joseph Pomp
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“A film is always an attempt, nothing more, and that allows for a sort of dialogue.”

Mathieu Lindon’s Learning What Love Means by Andrew Durbin
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It is both a memoir of Lindon’s literary friendships and a treatise on survival, a tribute to the friends whose care and love, in Lindon’s words, saved his life, even as they were themselves lost.

Anne Garréta’s Not One Day by Youmna Chlala

If the experimental French writing group Oulipo were to be reborn today, would they return as performance artists? Anne Garréta’s 2002 Prix Médicis–winning novel, Not One Day, marks her as a literary acrobat suspended between those who hold on to the group’s relevance and those who have let it go in favor of conceptual art practices.

from Compass by Mathias Énard

I’d rather be in my bed, eyes in the dark, lying on my back, head resting on a soft pillow, than in the desert, even in the company of Félicien David, even in the company of Sarah.

Fast & Loose by Kyle Paoletta
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Earthquakes, rain of blood, and other fun things in Jean Echenoz’s We Three

You Don’t Know Jack by Ammiel Alcalay
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Doing justice to Jack Kerouac in Todd Tietchen’s The Unknown Kerouac and Jean-Christophe Cloutier’s La vie est d’hommage

Maylis de Kerangal by Jessica Moore

“The novel is a race, and I can see the finish line from the first sentence: it’s an intuition that magnetizes the entire text. The closer I get to the goal, the faster I want to go.”

Guillaume Apollinaire’s Zone: Selected Poems, translated by Ron Padgett by Dylan Furcall
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One of the joys of reading Zone is discovering the utter range of Padgett’s stylings as both translator and poet.

Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, Translated by Emma Ramadan by Tyler Curtis
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Though she wouldn’t join the Oulipo for another fourteen years, Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, is quintessentially Oulipian.

Bruno Dumont by Nicholas Elliott
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“Chiaroscuro levels of thought.”

Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne by Liza Béar
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The master filmmakers on blending the political and the personal in their new film.

Eugène Green by Nicholas Elliott
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American-born French director applies the paradox of the Baroque worldview to the composition of his films, and most recently, to La Sapienza. Nicholas Elliott probes Green’s interest in the tension between spirit and reason.

Mathieu Amalric by Liza Béar
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The Blue Room, Simenon, and non-linear narrative.

Etel Adnan by Lisa Robertson
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I took the morning TGV from Poitiers to Paris on January 15th to ask Etel Adnan a question. She was about to receive France’s highest cultural honor, the Ordre de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Her collected writings are imminent with Nightboat Books, and she has been the late star of Kassel. 

Alain Guiraudie by Nicholas Elliott
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Filmmaker Guiraudie on his upcoming feature Stranger by the Lake, a story of love pushed to extremes.

Portfolio by Seton Smith
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Seton Smith bestows a non-descript quality upon the houses that she photographs.

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