Where new writing finds its voice


Claudia Herbreteau


In Un Certain Plume, poet Henri Michaux explores the internal world of man through his protagonist Plume’s attempts to excape from a series of devillish mishaps. The book is divided into thirteen short chapters in which Plume gets into a succession of comical, fantastical, even surrealist scrapes. The character’s name, which means ‘feather’ in French, is a clue to his essential flimsiness – he has no real depth, and is blown about by events with no more control over them than his namesake. I saw the book as an attempt at exorcism by the author, and I wanted to translate this aspect of the book, hence my choice of materials: indian ink, coloured inks and paintbrush. The aim was to keep my mark making fairly spontaneous by using my handwriting depicting my own form of exorcism. I chose to keep the excerpts in the original language so as not to spoil the meaning through the process of translation.