French Literature

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Textures of Personhood: Lisa Robertson Interviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue
The Baudelaire Fractal1

The writer on her new novel, why style is political, and the kinds of subjectivity we experience.

Textures of Personhood: Lisa Robertson Interviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue
The Baudelaire Fractal1

The writer on her new novel, why style is political, and the kinds of subjectivity we experience.

Their Own Pantheon: Sean Bonney Interviewed by Jeffrey Grunthaner
Sean Bonney7

The late poet on his artistic influences, leftist politics, and reading to anarcho-punks.

The Unnamable Inspires Me: Anne Serre Interviewed by Mary South
The Fool by Anne Serre

On writing for the sound of it, scandalous joy, and the seriousness of scatterbrained expression.

The Fragility of Marguerite Duras by Julia Bosson
Duras Shadow

On her new collection of nonfiction, Me & Other Writings.

Uncommon Translations: Emma Ramadan Interviewed by Kyle Paoletta
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On translating avant garde and genderless literature.

Something Like Hope: On Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex 2 by Rebecca Rukeyser
French Park

An eerily at peace coterie.

Two Things at Once: On Harry Mathews’ The Solitary Twin by J.W. McCormack
Harry Mathews Banner

The pleasures of literary play in the writer’s final novel.

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.”

Moby Dick in Hollywood—Orson Welles by Pierre Senges

Finally back in the fold of Hollywood—one imagines him advancing mistrustfully, mistrustfully looking up at the high and useless palm trees (an immoderation which serves no purpose: the palm trees “planted on both sides of the expressway in order to purge an already pure sky”).

Sacred Folly: on Romain Gary’s The Kites and Promise at Dawn by J.W. McCormack
Romain Gary Banner

A rediscovered novel and memoir depict a character we are lucky to have on the page. In life he would mortify us.

Writing Anti-Stories: an Interview with Roberta Allen by John Zinsser
Catskills Postcard

“When we really like a book, it’s often because its rhythm is similar to our own—to our heartbeat, our breathing, the way we walk. I think that’s what draws us to certain writers and not to others even though we know they are great.”

Mathieu Lindon’s Learning What Love Means by Andrew Durbin
Herve Guibert 01

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.

New York Diary by Édouard Louis
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The French writer Édouard Louis recorded his days in New York, around the time of the American release of his novel The End of Eddy. The following entries originally appeared in French in the June 6, 2017, edition of Les Inrockuptibles.

The Blue Note: on Noémi Lefebvre’s Blue Self-Portrait by Amanda DeMarco
254990833 08172017 Nicole Lefebvre Blue Note 01

Female intelligence and female obsession, in the air

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.

Arrogant Class Renegade by Daniel Lefferts
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Sexual awakening amid poverty and violence in Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy

Fast & Loose by Kyle Paoletta
Jean Echenoz 01

Earthquakes, rain of blood, and other fun things in Jean Echenoz’s We Three

Roger Lewinter’s Story of Love in Solitude and The Attraction of Things by K. Thomas Kahn
229831657 01122017 Roger Lewinter Bomb 01

These two slim volumes, which are somehow stories, memoirs, meditations, diaries, and novels all in one, operate as much at the level of the sentence as that of the story. 

Laia Jufresa by Valeria Luiselli
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The author’s first novel is set in Mexico City, but its themes of violence, grief, and solitude are truly global.

Abdellah Taïa by Georgia Phillips-Amos
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“I’m not influenced by literature. I find everything I need in the reality of life, in my place within that reality.”

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