Pierre Guyotat on "Apostrophes"
On thursdays, the French daily Libération publishes a link to an audio-visual “fiche media” — today’s link goes to one installment of the most famous French literary TV show, Bernard Pivot’s “Apostrophes,” specifically the show of February 10, 1984. The guests are the usual array of trad novelists presenting their cuvée de l’année product, plus two more interesting writers: Dominique Rolin, the life-long lover of Philippe Sollers (they met when he was barely twenty & she in her late thirties), whose novel is a description of her eventual funeral & who speaks about her discovery — while writing the book — that the soul is all around the body, thus not inside. But by far the most fascinating is the last guest: Pierre Guyotat, the greatest living avant-garde French prosist, who had just published his narrative (not a novel, as he himself insists) “Le Livre” (of which he reads an extract — beautifully, beautifully) and a book of interviews. Totally worthwhile zapping forward to his moments, though interesting to watch the whole thing, swathed as it is in Robert Sabatier’s pipe smoke. And to see the fierce verbal duel between Rolin and a young Patrick Grainville. Here the permalink for the show. (It does take some time to load).