This edition: March 2002 editionTweet
Original tape date: March 15, 2002.
Anyone who attended an American university in the past forty years and read modern French literature in translation probably owns a book published by Barney Rosset. His publishing house The Grove Press, which issued Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Marguerite Duras, among many others, was beyond question the leading advocate of avant-garde French writing in the United States in the 20th century. At a recent exhibit of his photographs the lively eighty year old talked with CANAPE about how a boy from Chicago became inspired by a French writer to explore China.
When exile becomes immigration it may trouble some but inspire others. Multitalented Haitian author Marie-Celie Agnant, who has lived in Montreal since 1970, falls squarely on the side of inspiration. Fluent in French, Kreol, English, and Spanish, she has published prose fiction, poetry, and numerous works for children. On a recent lecture tour in the United States she chatted enthusiastically with CANAPE about her role as a woman of color from the Caribbean who writes in French but lives in a continent dominated by English.
Frequently named as the leading talent of the new New Wave in France, Olivier Assayas is known for his handling of emotional nuance in an intimate setting. His new film Les Destinees delivers what his admirers expect but on a very different scale. A three hour epic tracing a Protestant French family through thirty years of early twentieth century European history, the film is being compared with The Magnificent Ambersons and The Leopard in its masterful weaving of the personal with the historical. The director talks with CANAPE about his vision of the past.
Some authors find a style and stay there. Others explore. Francois Dominique keeps company with the explorers. Trained as a scholar of law and political science, he creates fictional worlds that move sinuously across the frontiers of prose and poetry. On a recent lecture tour of the United States, he stopped to talk with CANAPE about the writer's craft in a rapidly changing world and about his work as a publisher and translator in France of American poetry.
A man in his car isolated from the world. In his new film Time Out director Laurent Cantet explores alienation in a postmodern corporate setting. The middle aged Vincent concocts more and more elaborate means of hiding his deliberate joblessness. The deception, alas, is as much of self as of others. The director talks to CANAPE about what his film says about who we are today.
What fascinated equally Jean Genet, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jacques Lacan? Answer: the true story of the notorious Papin Sisters, two chambermaids who, in 1933, brutally murdered their mistress and her daughter in Le Mans. Now this landmark case has been brought to the screen for a new generation to explore the social and psychological intricacies that drove two convent reared siblings to violent crime. The director of Murderous Maids Jean-Pierre Denis and star Sylvie Testud talk to CANAPE about a world both distant and relevant.
Marie-Celie Agnant Author
Olivier Assayas Film Director
Laurent Cantet Film Director
Jean-Pierre Denis Film Director
Barney Rosset Publisher
Sylvie Testud Actress