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Rêvoir (The French List)

Rêvoir (The French List)

Current price: $21.00
Publication Date: October 6th, 2024
Seagull Books


A genre-defying account of confinement and its literary echoes through history.

As the pandemic sweeps through Paris in March 2020, the writer HC faces a choice: stay in Paris or flee to the countryside? The weight of historical responses bears down on her—those of her ancestors and Jewish writers during moments of persecution.

Still uncertain, she flees to the country at the last moment, with her cats and her daughter, with her diaries and notebooks. What will she do here? Write? What will she write about? Can she write about the experience of being confined? She will write about her cats; every day she will observe their lives and take notes about how they cope with being housebound, and later, in the spring, with the outdoors.

Thucydides, Defoe, Camus, Kafka—she will compare her experiences with those of others who have been confined by malady or persecution. She will write of her mother, who fled impending disaster on many occasions and always kept a suitcase ready.

She too will endure. The important thing is to have a good death, surrounded by those she loves, not locked down in a hospital.

About the Author

Hélène Cixous is professor emeritus of literature at the Université Paris VIII, where she founded and directed the Centre de recherches en études féminines. She is the author of more than seventy works of fiction, plays, and collections of critical essays; recent titles in English translation include Well-Kept Ruins, We Defy Augury, and Tomb(e). 

Beverley Bie Brahic is a Paris-based translator and author of four collections of poetry, including White Sheets. Her translations include works by Charles Baudelaire, Yves Bonnefoy, Hélène Cixous, and Francis Ponge.