The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Éric Suchère’s “Mystérieuse” (Translated by Sandra Doller)

MysterieusePDF (1)

21.

 

Street, sidewalks in straight lines, house, street lamp, long wall, house and leafless tree
in relief behind, night above, white stars on black: two figures, jackets in hand, walk in
the opposite direction of the two figures who walk into the space defined by the lines,
drops of sweat splash—announcement of an action, looking for an answer.

 

                                     Simple background, telephone wire in loops: the figure
                                     telephones, drops of sweat splash—questions about the
                                     celestial phenomenon as well as the warming.

 

                                                                                Simple background, telephone wire in
                                                                                loops: the figure telephones, drops of
                                                                                sweat splash—question without an
                                                                                answer.

This selection comes from Éric Suchère’s chapbook Mysterieuse, available from Anomalous Press. Purchase your copy here!

Éric Suchère is a poet, writer, art critic, and art historian. Based in Paris, he is the author of many books of conceptual prose and poetry and a major player in contemporary French letters. His works have been translated into English by Lisa Robertson and Carrie Noland.

Sandra Doller’s books are Oriflamme (Ah- sahta, 2005), Chora (Ahsahta, 2010), and Man Years (Subito, 2011). Newer proj- ects include a forthcoming prose chap- book from CutBank called Memory of the Prose Machine (2013), part of a longer book-length and performance piece. The founder & editrice of 1913, Doller lives in San Diego with man & dogs.

Emily Capettini is a fiction writer originally from Batavia, IL. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and her fiction has appeared in places like Noctua Review and Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her critical work can be found in Feminisms in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman: Essays on the Comics, Poetry and Prose (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2012) and is upcoming in Neil Gaiman in the Twenty-First Century(McFarland & Company, Inc., 2015). She currently lives in Maryland.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

A sort of theoretical ekphrasis, Éric Suchère’s Mystérieuse is an image-to- word “translation” of collaged pages from Hergé’s Tintin comic books, ren- dered in painstakingly conceptual de- tail: each frame of each comic—and even each stroke of each drawing inside each frame—are accounted for linguisti- cally, from Tintin’s unforgettable drops of sweat, to Snowy’s emoticon-esque reactions, to the broad stroke back- grounds of the comic squares. Following a trajectory of Hergé admirers from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to Steven Spielberg, Suchère’s text is an important contribution to the pop-art potential of representational language, contempo- rary conceptual writing, and word-image investigations.

This short selection is a brief extract from the longer 100+ page project; these pages draw their impetus one particular Tintin book, L’Étoile Mys- térieuse.

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