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Interview with Éric Giraud
In this interview, Giraud discusses cipM’s “Import/Export” poetry exchange, which has brought international poets, mostly from the Maghreb and the Middle East, to Marseille to be translated by French poets, and then sends those poets to the international poets’ home countries to be translated by them there. Giraud began translating American poets while he was also beginning to write and publish his own poems. He describes his translations of poets including Gertrude Stein, Etel Adnan, Charles Reznikoff, Raymond Federman, and Stacy Doris, as well as a recent translation of an interview of Pier Paolo Pasolini by Jonas Mekas, and an ongoing translation of letters exchanged between Charles Olson, William Carlos Williams, and Robert Duncan. He notes that translation taught him the “the rhythm of the process of writing.” Above all, Giraud emphasizes the importance of taking the time to enjoy the process of translation. He also discusses how his concurrent practice of translating art criticism and draws comparisons between the work of contemporary artists and contemporary poets.This interview was recorded at cipM on 5 July 2013. The interview takes place in English, except from 22:02-27:23, in which Giraud describes and reads, in French, an excerpt from his translation of Etel Adnan’s In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country; translated as Au Cœur du cœur d’un autre pays (Beirut: Tamyras, 2010). Ambient sounds may be heard throughout the interview, including motorcycles and ambulance sirens passing on the street outside, as well as a cellphone beeping.
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