The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Éric Suchère’s “Mystérieuse” (Translated by Sandra Doller)

MysterieusePDF (1)


Observatory dome, vertical and horizontal curves, spiral staircase to
the telescope pointed at a                                 sky of white stars on black:
the figure climbs                                                                   up briskly, spiral of
movement,                                                                                       drops of sweat
splash—                                                                                                     intuition to
follow                                                                                                              quickly

Telescope, guardrail: the figure calls to the scholar figure, small splintered lines, pointing
his finger at something in the darkened lens—key to the mystery.

                                           Simple background: the animal figure
                                           hops in front of another animal suspended
                                           on its thread, drops of sweat
                                           splash—something coming.

                                           Simple background: the animal figure
                                           jumps at the suspended animal, spiral
                                           of movement, lines of speed scroll,
                                           drops of sweat splash—a funny fright.

O b s e r v a t o r y                                                                             dome, vertical
and           horizontal                                                                curves,         mobile
staircase    leading    to    a                                        large telescope, lens: the
scholar figure on the steps calls the figure to see—moment before
a discovery.


This selection comes from Éric Suchère’s chapbook Mysterieuse, available from Anomalous Press. Purchase your copy here!

Éric Suchère is a poet, writer, art critic, and art historian. Based in Paris, he is the author of many books of conceptual prose and poetry and a major player in contemporary French letters. His works have been translated into English by Lisa Robertson and Carrie Noland.

Sandra Doller’s books are Oriflamme (Ah- sahta, 2005), Chora (Ahsahta, 2010), and Man Years (Subito, 2011). Newer proj- ects include a forthcoming prose chap- book from CutBank called Memory of the Prose Machine (2013), part of a longer book-length and performance piece. The founder & editrice of 1913, Doller lives in San Diego with man & dogs.

Emily Capettini is a fiction writer originally from Batavia, IL. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and her fiction has appeared in places like Noctua Review and Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her critical work can be found in Feminisms in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman: Essays on the Comics, Poetry and Prose (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2012) and is upcoming in Neil Gaiman in the Twenty-First Century(McFarland & Company, Inc., 2015). She currently lives in Maryland.


A sort of theoretical ekphrasis, Éric Suchère’s Mystérieuse is an image-to- word “translation” of collaged pages from Hergé’s Tintin comic books, ren- dered in painstakingly conceptual de- tail: each frame of each comic—and even each stroke of each drawing inside each frame—are accounted for linguisti- cally, from Tintin’s unforgettable drops of sweat, to Snowy’s emoticon-esque reactions, to the broad stroke back- grounds of the comic squares. Following a trajectory of Hergé admirers from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to Steven Spielberg, Suchère’s text is an important contribution to the pop-art potential of representational language, contempo- rary conceptual writing, and word-image investigations.

This short selection is a brief extract from the longer 100+ page project; these pages draw their impetus one particular Tintin book, L’Étoile Mys- térieuse.

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