For this project, I am filming a series of interviews about materiality of writing and translation with specialists of the history of Art, writers, translators and artists.
Pigeaud’s brilliant analysis perfectly explains that the meaning of the letter (melancholy) is obvious to the reader who doesn’t need to properly READ it and understand every word of it. I was struck by the proximity of Pigeaud’s view to my own artistic research and deeply touch by the beauty of Théroigne’s letter, and especially by the effects produced by the transparency and/or opacity of the ink.
This letter was written by Théroigne, one of the main héroïnes of the French Revolution, in 1801, when she had been suffering mental illness for several years and confined at the Salpétrière Hospital.
I will be soon posting the interview with the help of UCL Communications department.
You can find a review by Maïté Bouyssy of the book presenting Théroigne’s letter in the Annales de la revolution Française here: http : //ahrf.revues.org/6643