Sunday, August 13, 2006

White Spirit

Last week was White Spirit week over at the LBC. I wrote up my thoughts on the author Paule Constant’s connections to Conrad here but more interesting –really thrilling to me—are her answers to my questions, which you can find here.

Even in an electronic age, it seems very cool to be able to ask a question of a French novelist—one whose stature, I’ve since learned, is quite great—and get a reply within the week. The process was not simple—it was positively old world. Dan Wickett heard from the translator Betsy Wing that she’d be willing to play along. Dan asked us if we had questions for Constant. He passed those questions on to Betsy who sent them to Constant. Wing then translated Constant’s replies into English, sent them to Dan & he posted them over at the LBC. Fascinating.

The punch-line: she’s never been able to finish a book by Conrad.


Patty said...

Hi Anne,
I was interested in your review of White Spirit and the ensuing Q & A via Constant's translator.
I thought you might be interested to know about Marita Golden's book,
Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's Journey through the Color Complex (Doubleday,2004). It's a topic that comes up often among my African-American students at VCU, one which makes its way into their research papers in the sophmore-level writing class, and one, as you noted, that is often "taboo" in their greater world.
I look forward to reading "White Spirit."

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tip, Patty. I'll check it out: the title is intriguing. Constant's answer is so elegant and thoughtful.