In the Environs of a Film

By Danielle Collobert

Translated by Nathanaël


Litmus Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover photo by Germaine Krull
Design by Mark Addison Smith
Drama, Hybrid Forms, Poetry, Translation
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2019
In Print

In the Environs of a Film collects together three previously untranslated works by Danielle Collobert, the author of Murder and It Then. The works here, selected by the translator, see slowly, are scorings of scattered voices, and take the form of a scenario—”Research”—a radio play—”Polyphony”—and a poem—”That of Words.”

Danielle Collobert
Born in Rostrenen in 1940, Danielle Collobert left Bretagne for Paris at the age of eighteen where she worked in an art gallery and self-published her first poems in a book entitled Chants des guerres Read More
Nathanaël is the author of more than thirty books written in English or in French, and published in the United States, Québec and France. Notable works include Hatred of Translation (2019), D’un geste décidé (2018), L’heure limicole (2016), and ... Read More

This is a writer who has left all security behind and is inching her way along a frazzled tightrope suspended over the most desolate abyss imaginable. Think of Samuel Beckett’s “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

—John Taylor, “Reading Danielle Collobert”


Praise for Danielle Collobert

Danielle Collobert was one of the strongest, yet also one of the most subtle—and the most marginalized—poetic voices to emerge from post-WW2 France. 

— Cole Swensen

In the language of film there are often extraordinary divergences between English and French, which prove at times to be irreconcilable. If this tendency toward discrepancy is true of translation as a rule, it reveals itself to be particularly true in the case of this work in translation. Danielle Collobert’s Recherche, rendered as Research… makes salient such divergences, through the implied camera movement panning over the evacuated faces of A and B and the marked distances especially that define the space of their bodies, in proximity and in remove, as though the text were annotating a form of recusal that is implicit in the spaces of desire to which their mortiferous movements owe everything; an intimacy of anticipated death, and seizure, from which the camera extracts movements of degradation through violent stillness.

— Nathanaël, PhiloSOPHIA

By Danielle Collobert
Translated by Nathanaël
It Then
By Danielle Collobert
Translated by Norma Cole
Agatha & Savannah Bay
By Marguerite Duras
Translated by Howard Limoli

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