Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Translation - Chris Marker (The Impossible Book) (2016)

Maroussia Vossen (left) & Djaleng from Paleodia (right)
Still from Pattes de deux, 2010 (Vimeo)

For my latest (seemingly) random act of translation, I humbly present you with my 2020 quarantine project: an English translation of Maroussia Vossen's lovely memoir Chris Marker (The Impossible Book). Marker is, of course, the enigmatic filmmaker and media polymath best known for his twin masterworks, La Jetée (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). Vossen (pictured above), a dancer and choreographer, is his adopted daughter. This slim edition from 2016, published by Éditions Le Tripode, is an unprecedentedly intimate look at the relationship the two shared from her birth to his death.

The French language book, which I greatly enjoyed reading and translating, can and should be purchased here. A first-time author, Vossen proves to be a deft guide to Marker's idiosyncratic world. More than a catalogue of obscure factoids (what he ate for breakfast every day, what his family life was like) or an inside look at his films (which she consciously avoids considering at length), hers is a personal story built from rich, diffuse connections, the same sorts of connections Marker illuminated across his varied body of work.

French speakers can watch an interview with Ms. Vossen here in which she discusses the book. English readers can click the cover image below to download a PDF of my translation. It was made in a piecemeal fashion in between work and parental duties, and, due to my excitement to post it, only edited lightly. Feedback is certainly welcome, but please be kind!

More importantly, enjoy!