Our latest French night took place last Thursday, the 11th of October, at The Cornelia Street Cafe
We had the pleasure to see very faithfull friends who came to support us one more time.
This French night was dedicated to French women writers and as we went on we realised how linked were the texts we chose.
We began by Isabelle Milkoff's short story called La Tour Eiffel/The Eiffel Tower. Driving through Paris to take her father back home, the narrator becomes aware that he cannot recall neighborhoods he knew by heart as they pass by. Even the Eiffel Tower, always present in their life, doesn't ring a bell.
This short story was published in Montreal, review XYZ, Summer 2008. See the text in posts below.
It was read both by the author, Isabelle Milkoff, and the translator, Tom Radigan
We continued with excerpts of Sacrée Marie, a novel written by a very young writer, Astrid Eliard, her third novel. She focuses on Marie, a young women married to Cornélius, a physician who makes his own medicine. They live in a very small village in the middle of France in an isolated house where Cornélius will see patients and where Marie feels alone. In the midst of loneliness, she gives birth to their first child and hopes her life will at last really begin.
Emmanuelle Ertel read the first excerpt in French,
and Allison Charette read her own translation
for a very serious and concentrated audience
The last excerpts were taken from Corps/Bodies, by Fabienne Jacob. It is her third novel. The reader finds herself in the mind of a woman who works in a spa. In the excerpts we chose, she comments the bodies of her clients, a butcher's wife body and Adéle's body, an old woman who asks to be touched. The narrator then remembers her mother's body before and then when she died. She thinks of the loneliness of aging when contact from others disappears. Life and sensuality shrink as the body itself.
Emmanuelle Ertel's MA students read the translation they wrote in her class during this fall.
while Nathalie Bryant, , a French actress in New York and a frequent reader at Cornelia, waited for her turn.
Nathalie read the chapter about the mother.
We could feel how strong this book is, both from the translation
by Emmanuelle's students and in the original French.
A very pleased audience is eager to come back for other French nights to hear French contemporary literature, to discuss the texts with friends, and to have fun.
We are happy that our audience is happy.
Hope to see you all again soon.