On the occasion of the publication of Burqa de chair (“Flesh Burqa”) by Nelly Arcan, the Canadian Cultural Centre, in collaboration with Éditions du Seuil, is pleased to invite you to a reading with Bertrand Visage, author and publisher, and the actress Anny Romand, who will read excerpts from Burqa de chair.
From her first novel, Putain (Whore), published in 2001, Nelly Arcan explored with flamboyant lyricism a few obsessional themes, inseparable from her life: the worldwide tyranny of appearances, the impossibility of an innocent relationship with oneself, the vertiginous cult of youth and its reverse, the death wish that – beneath the surface – drives modern societies. After the scandal and emotion, these are the last elements of an oeuvre as dazzling as it was brief.
“Le jugement du monde entier, reflété par son visage défait, s’était rabattu, ce soir-là, dans son décolleté. C’était comme si, au creux de ses seins corsetés, s’était logée la plus vieille histoire des femmes, celle de l’examen de leur corps, celle donc de leur honte.” – Excerpt from Burqa de chair
(“That evening, the judgement of the entire world, reflected in her haggard face, fell upon her cleavage. It was as though, in the hollow of her corseted breasts, the oldest story of women had lodged itself, that of the examination of their bodies and thus of their shame.”)
Nelly Arcan, whose real name was Isabelle Fortier, was born in Quebec, near the US border. Her move from the Eastern Townships to the big city when she was about came as quite a shock to her. She enrolled in university and became an escort girl. In 2001, 80,000 copies of Putain were sold in France. The author’s complex personality was fascinating and disturbing. Her two following novels, Folle (2004) and À ciel ouvert (2007), only increased the uneasiness and prolonged the success. She committed suicide in Montreal on September 24, 2009.
Réservation au 01 44 43 24 91
This event is dedicated to Françoise Blaise and Robert Desbiens.