Green Paint and Genius Rage

Green Paint and Genius Rage: Notes on Translating Pierre Clémenti’s A Few Personal Messages. A presentation by Claire Foster.

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The memoir of French actor Pierre Clémenti, A Few Personal Messages (Quelques Messages Personnels), was published in France in 1973 and re-issued in 2005. Clémenti is perhaps best known for his role in Belle de Jour with Catherine Deneuve. In 1971 while in Rome he was arrested for drug possession and was imprisoned for 18 months while awaiting trial. He and many others were convinced that this was a bogus charge—and indeed, he was eventually released due to insufficient evidence.

In prison, Clémenti’s instruments of resistance were rooted in translations of various kinds, though none dealt in words. In this presentation, Claire Foster will explore three examples of self-translation that she translated in Clémenti. For him, these methods were silence, starvation, and painting. Clémenti died in 1999 at the age of 57.

Claire Foster Bio: Claire Foster is a literary translator from French. Born and raised in Ohio, she is now based in Toronto, where she also works as a bookseller. Her translation of Pierre Clémenti’s A Few Personal Messages was published in 2022 by Small Press, which coincided with a two-week retrospective of Clémenti’s career at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). A first version of this talk was presented at the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) 2022.

Here's the link to buy the book, available directly, and easily, from the publisher.

Photo © Wikipedia.

Start date/time
4/8/23 2:00 pm
End date/time
4/8/23 3:00 pm
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Free, and open to the public

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