Geneviève Robichaud works in various essay forms. Her interests broadly center on translation and the adjacency of ideas – their movements, stutters and paralogical qualities. Hito Steyerl and Nathanaël are visible influences on her work – especially the manner in which they construct a poetics of ideas, of correspondence. Geneviève’s essays have recently appeared in Mandalit, The Capilano Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and Lemon Hound where she also worked as an editor.
BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS, PROJECTS
PARCE QUE C'ÉTAIT ELLE, PARCE QUE C'ÉTAIT MOI
Each day I tell myself the story of my life, writes France Théoret in “Elegy for the Memory of Women”. I know that this sentence is made up of heaviness, desire and truth, ambiguity in regard to writing, she continues.
The closest I’ve come to writing about the question of “where I write from” was in an essay on self-translation where I posited that, being the translator of my own texts, the friction between both versions made the self available to the reader in a way that other kinds of translations did not. Now, even though I disagree with the statement (mostly because of its inexactitude...and perhaps also for what it presumes), I find myself constantly propelled to that place (space, opening, invitation?) where the friction between texts gives way to a seeing that is not visible. Tangible but untouchable, or is it the other way around?
As I write this, I can see the books on my library shelf. You can tell which ones are in French and which ones are in other languages. The French ones have a white spine. The books in other languages are all sorts of colours. There is no particular order to how the books are arranged. Beckett’s self-translations, for instance, are scattered here and there. Only Molloy seems to disappear. Its white and black spine making it impossible to classify: French or English?
I go to a poetry reading and listen to a poet from another city. She inhabits every word as though physical. (Why do I say as though. Perhaps they are. Physical.) I listen to how her person appears there in the shape of her words. There is melancholy. The heat of a country I’ve never visited. Late night debauchery. Trains. Cab rides. The tide coming in and out.