‘Blood Dark’ by Louis Guilloux

‘There is a revelatory sense reading Guilloux’s novel that one has found a key text linking the sparkling contempt of Flaubert to the tender resignation of Camus.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

Join Alice Kaplan (John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University), poet and translator Laura Marris, and literary critic Sam Sacks, as they discuss Louis Guilloux’s masterpiece, Blood Dark (Le Sang Noir) just published in the US with New York Review of Books. Set during World War I, this monumental philosophical novel about human despair inspired Albert Camus’ own writing and prefigured the greater existential movement.
In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French, came to Yale University in 2009 after many years on the faculty at Duke University, where she was the founding director of the Duke University Center for French and Francophone Studies and a professor of Romance Studies, Literature, and History. Her books include, Reproductions of Banality, a theoretical exploration of French fascism; Sources et citations dans ‘Bagatelles pour un massacre; a study of Céline’s anti-semitic pamphlets, The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach (winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critic’s Circle awards), The Interpreter (a recipient of the 2005 Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government). Alice Kaplan is probably best known for her 1993 memoir, French Lessons, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography/autobiography. Her literary translations include books by Roger Grenier (Piano Music for Four Hands, Another November, and The Difficulty of Being a Dog), Louis Guilloux (OK, Joe), and Evelyne Bloch-Dano (Madame Proust). Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, was published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press and the Editions Gallimard, as well as Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and The Life of A Literary Classic.

Laura Marris is a writer and translator with a BA from Yale and an MFA from Boston University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in No Tokens, Boston Review online, The Cortland Review, The Volta, Asymptote, The Common, Prelude, Washington Square Review, Meridian, DMQ Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. She is a MacDowell Colony fellow and a semi-finalist for the 2015 Boston Review/Discovery Prize. She lectures in Creative Writing at Boston University, where she worked on Robert Pinsky’s Massive Open Online Course The Art of Poetry. Her recent translation include Louis Guilloux’s novel Blood Dark (New York Review Books), Paol Keineg’s Triste Tristan and Other Poems (co-translated with Rosmarie Waldrop for Burning Deck Press), and The Safe House by Christophe Boltanski (University of Chicago Press). She lives in Providence.

Sam Sacks writes the Fiction Chronicle for the Wall Street Journal and is a founding editor at Open Letters Monthly.