Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac: Translation by Hélène Cardona


Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, author of Plus loin qu’ailleurs (Éditions du Cygne, 2013), is published in numerous anthologies of short stories and poetry, including Petite anthologie de la jeune poésie française (Éditions Géhess, 2009), Le livre de la prière (Éditions de l’Inférieur, 2013), and Poètes français et marocains, Anthologie 2 (Éditions Polyglotte, 2014), in the literary journals Les Citadelles, Poésie Directe, Littérales, Polyglotte, Recours au Poème, Testament, in the magazines 3è Millénaire and L’Opinion indépendante, and contributed to Irak, la faute, by Alain Michel and Fabien Voyer (Éditions du Cerf, 2000). Gabriel graduated from Sciences Po and holds a Master’s degree (Fondements des Droits de l’Homme). After studying philosophy and Eastern poetry, he became fascinated with the history and ideas of the great religions and their poetic expression in particular, which took him to India six years later…



Hélène Cardona is a poet, linguist, literary translator and actress (Chocolat, X-Men: Days of Future Past). Her most recent book is Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013). She taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, translated for the Canadian Embassy and NEA, received a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne and fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. She’s widely published in numerous journals and anthologies, notably Washington Square, World Literature Today, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Warwick Review, The Dublin Review of Books, Recours au Poème, The Irish Literary Times, Periódico de Poesía, and Poetry International. She is on the Editorial Board of the international literary magazine Levure Littéraire and co-editor of Dublin Poetry Review.


Extrait de Plus loin qu’ailleurs

La lumière est ici, avec elle.

.  Elle se révèle à mon regard naturel-
lement, comme le printemps dévoile le
bleu du ciel ou l’or de votre peau. Elle
retire lentement fards, masques et
parures et m’offre la vision d’une elle-
même ensorcelée, d’une elle-même
ensorcelante : une elle-m’aime et moi

.  Jaillie à vif d’une flamme virginale, la
passion nous prend tout entiers dans son
souffle animal : les étincelles du soleil
parcourent nos corps au galop dans un
fracas d’océans.

.  Nous régnons en ce monde où l’être
aimé devient tout, l’unique visage de ce
qui n’a pas de visage, cet ailleurs sans
rivage qui soudain s’offre à nu : nous
régnons en serviteurs de la première
brûlure, livrés à la ferveur et à la
dictature de nos dix-huit ans.


Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere

The light is here, with her.

.  She reveals herself to my gaze
naturally, the way spring unveils the
blueness of sky or the gold of your skin.
She slowly removes makeup, masks
and ornaments, and gives me a vision
of herself bewitched, of herself
bewitching: she adores me and I
unlock her.

.  Sprung raw from a virginal flame,
passion takes us whole under its animal
breath: the sun sparks run through our
bodies galloping in a crash of oceans.

.  We reign in this world where the
beloved becomes everything, the only
face of what is faceless, this shoreless
elsewhere suddenly offering itself bare:
we reign as servants of the first
heartbreak given over to the fervor
and dictatorship of our eighteen years.



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