June 14, 2012

Danielle Collobert

Danielle Collobert [France}

Born in Rostrenen, Côtes-d'Amor on July 23, 1940, French poet and journalist Danielle Collobert lived out the war in her grandparents' house, since her mother, a teacher was forced to live in a nearby village. Both her mother and her aunt were part of the French Resitance.

     Collobert attended the university, but in 1961 abandoned her studies, joining the staff of Galerie Hautefeuilled in Paris. There she begin writing her work, Meurtre, and self-published Chants des Guerres (War Songs), years later destroying any remaining editions of the book.

     Collobert was involved in the National Liberation Front, involving herself in several missions in Algeria. After a self-imposed exile in Italy, she returned, collaborating with the magazine, Révolution Africaine.

     After the publishing house Les Éditions de Minuit rejected her book Meurte, noted author Raymond Queneau interceded on her behalf with the publisher Gallimard, which published the work in 1964.

     In 1968 she joined the Writers' Union, traveling to then Czechoslovakia during the Soviet backlash to "Prague Spring." From 1970 on she continued to travel, writing new works such as Survie (Survival), which was first translated into Italian before being published in France in 1978.

     Three months after its publication, Collobert committed suicide on her birthday in Paris. In the hotel room where she killed herself was found a small notebook which she was writing at the time. Notebooks, 1956-1978 was published in English, translated by Norma Cole, by Litmus Press in 2003.


Chants de guerres (Paris: Éditions P.-J. Oswald, 1961; reprinted by Éditions Calligrammes, 1999); Meutre (Paris: Gallimard, 1964); Des nuits sur les hauteurs (Paris: Éditions Denoel); Dire: I-II:+un-deux+ (Paris: Seghers/Laffont, 1972); Il donc (Paris: Laffont); Survie (Paris: Éditions Orange Export Ltd, 1978); Oeuvres I (Paris: P.O.L, 2004); Recherche; Oeuvres II (Paris: P.O.L, 2005).


It Then (trans by Norma Cole) (Oakland, California: O Books, 1989); Survival (trans. by Norma Cole) (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck)   

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