I wish every Monday night could be as literary as this one was! Last Monday (May 23), I attended the event held at Readings Carlton, which was to be an interview of French author Marie Darrieussecq about her recently translated novel, Men.
(Pro tip: book events are well-accompanied by an early dumpling dinner).
I ended up there thanks to my boyfriend, who saw me get so excited by the event announcement in Readings Monthly that he said, “We should go!” The reason why I almost spit out my latte in eagerness was because I had translated the prologue/part of the first chapter for my French Translation class the year before. The fact that an *official* English translation had been released (in contrast to my “attempt”) made me simultaneously ecstatic and a little nervous.
This was actually my first ‘book event’ – living so far from the city and being usually such a shy person does not lend itself to being the city-night-life-type. But I had the BEST time hearing Marie speak and I will definitely be going out to a few more events if they catch my eye.
The novel, Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes originally, gains its title from a quote by Marguerite Duras, which translated by Penny Hueston becomes:
“We have to love men a lot. A lot, a lot. Love them a lot in order to love them. Otherwise it’s impossible; we couldn’t bear them.” —Marguerite Duras
It sounds a lot better in French!
Marie talked about gender, passion, race, even a bit about psychoanalysis, Freud and Judith Butler. She was an excellent speaker, and my favourite moments happened when she went into her little French slips (“Comment dit…? La pirogue? Canoe!”). She even signed my book, “Pour Alissa” (Alyssa, but I’ll take it).
On the train home, I read the beginning, the part I’d translated myself for uni (the first eleven pages). The experience of reading that particular section was incredible because I already felt so familiar with it. GUYS. I cannot wait to get through the rest of this book!