As promised, here is the second clip from the interviews I made last winter in Paris.
I met Frédéric Forte as he had been working on the English edition of his collection of poems Opéras-Minute, published under the title Minute-Operas this January in the States. It’s after the publication of this book in France in 2005, that Frédéric was elected a member of the Oulipo.
In this extract, Frédéric discusses his methods of writing and his particular approach to the materiality of the text. He has a lot to say on that subject and you’ll see how challenging and exciting his use of Word can be! His experiments with simple Word functions like “forms” and “lines” create very graphic poems. The materiality of the text might seem an obscure concept to many and what I find extremely interesting is that his poems make it visible.
He also talks about the specific problems he, and his team of translators, encountered when translating his poems into English. This time it was not so much the exact words or their order on the page that they had to be careful about, but the length and the volume of each poem that they had to replicate.
If you want to know more about the English translation, for the release of Minute-Operas Jacket2 published a very original review, written in the style of Frédéric’s poems, that you can read here: http://jacket2.org/reviews/objects-motion
Jacket2 is an online multimedia magazine focussing on modern and contemporary poetry and based in Philadelphia. I was very happy when their team contacted me and asked for illustrating their article with my portrait of Frédéric I published in the blog last April. Blogs really create unexpected exchanges and encounters!
Many thanks to Tim Mathews for his help with the English version of Frédéric’s interview.