This 27th April, a workshop took place at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour to celebrate Paul Fournel and I had the pleasure to present there for the first time the complete version of my interview of Fournel.
The title chosen by the organizers, Mmes Bérengère Moricheau-Airaud and Vanessa Loubet-Poëtte, was particularly appropriate: « Paul Fournel, goûteur de formes”, as Fournel has just published a booked inspired by his love of good food Le Bel Appétit.
The event was on the occasion of the literary award Prix Heptaméron, of which Paul Fournel was this year the president.
The workshop gave me the opportunity to present the Translation, Transcription project to a new public and make new acquaintances. I was delighted to meet the writer and translator Eliana Vicari, a member of OpLePo (Italia), who gave the opening presentation.
In the interview, of which you can see an extract here, Paul Fournel raises important topics. He talks in particular about the close links the Oulipo members always maintained with the English-speaking world. There have always been British and American writers at the Ouvroir, and the French members have always shared a common interest for the English language (Queneau and Roubaud, to give just two quick examples).
Paul Fournel makes also important remarks on the problems arisen by the translation into English of La liseuse – Dear Reader was just being published in the UK at the time of the interview-, and he speaks about what materiality of writing means to him.
All this was extremely useful for my own artistic work. The presentation of the interview also gave me the occasion to show to Paul Fournel the series of works inspired by Dear Reader I created for the project exhibition at UCL. He had never seen them before!
I will finish this post on a very personal note: Pau is very dear to me as it’s the town where I spent my childhood and my teen years. At the time, I visited the University regularly and it was a real pleasure to go back to the “Faculté des Lettres” building, as it was known then, quite an outstanding example of beautiful modern architecture due to André GREZY.