The young literary star defied French elites and social taboos with his best-selling autobiographical novels that portray poverty made invisible in his country. He talks to DW about fiction and a forgotten underclass.
DW: Just like your first novel, “The End of Eddy,” your latest work is also strictly autobiographical. Why?
Edouard Louis: The world is currently saturated with fiction; it’s already structured by lies and fabrications. One of the reasons why people like Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are persecuted is because they have showed us that governments are lying to us.When the French government claims that we can’t welcome migrants, it’s a lie. Why don’t they just say, “We don’t want to welcome migrants,” instead? That would be the truth…”
ReadFull Story at: French author Edouard Louis: Why Macron will lead voters to the far right | Books | DW | 11.10.2017
AFTER DECADES as a major force in punk rock — dating back to her shows at CBGB’s and her 1975 LP Horses — Patti Smith has earned a considerable reputation as a literary figure as well. She has introduced books of poems by Blake and Rimbaud, published several volumes of her own verse and song lyrics, and won the National Book Award for Just Kids, her 2010 memoir about her crucial early years with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Smith’s new book is Devotion, a slim volume that is — at once — an ode to her favorite French writers, a short story or fable about a mysterious young ice skater, and a meditation on the creative process. (It is based on a speech Smith gave at Yale and is part of Yale University Press’s Why I Write series.)
Read full interview: All the Poets (Musicians on Writing): Patti Smith – Los Angeles Review of Books
On the southern edge of Paris, a five-thousand-square-foot basement houses the city’s lost possessions. The Bureau of Found Objects, as it is officially called, is more than two hundred years old, and one of the largest centralized lost and founds in Europe. Any item left behind on the Métro, in a museum, in an airport, or found on the street and dropped, unaddressed, into a mailbox makes its way here, around six or seven hundred items each day. Umbrellas, wallets, purses, and mittens line the shelves, along with less quotidian possessions: a wedding dress with matching shoes, a prosthetic leg, an urn filled with human remains. The bureau is an administrative department, run by the Police Prefecture and staffed by very French functionaries—and yet it’s also an improbable, poetic space where the entrenched French bureaucracy and the societal ideals of the country collide [ . . . ]
Read Full Story: The Peculiar Poetry of Paris’s Lost and Found | The New Yorker
Marcel Proust is famous for transforming an evocative sensory experience into literary brilliance: I am writing, of course, of the nibble of a madeleine that catalyzed his immortal stroll down memory lane in “Swann’s Way.”
The author also, apparently, could turn an unwanted sensory intrusion into fairly amusing epistolary material. Among an astonishing collection of French literary miscellanea that will shortly go up for auction in Paris — the archive, which currently belongs to prolific collector Jean Bonna, includes first editions of works by Samuel Beckett and Honoré de Balzac, as well as correspondence from Victor Hugo and Gustave Flaubert — is a letter from Proust to his landlord’s son in which he objects to a certain unwanted auditory phenomenon in his apartment [ . . . ]
More at Source: Proust Letter About Neighbor’s Sex Lives Up For Auction – The Forward