Hopscotch Translation Series: Jean Frémon & Cole Swensen on "Now, Now Louison"

Please join us for the 6th installment of our HOPSCOTCH TRANSLATION SERIES
featuring JEAN FRÉMON
who will discuss his book NOW, NOW, LOUISON
with COLE SWENSEN—who translated it!


The extraordinary artist, the spider woman, the intellectual, the rebel, the sly enchantress, and the “good girl” sing together in this exuberant, lithe text beautifully translated by Cole Swensen.

This brilliant portrait of the renowned artist Louise Bourgeois (1911– 2010) shows a woman who was devoted to her art and whose life was also that of her century. The art world’s grande dame and its shameless old lady, spinning personal history into works of profound strangeness, speaks with her characteristic insolence and wit, through a most discreet, masterful writer. From her childhood in France to her exile and adult life in America, to her death, this phosphorescent novella describes Bourgeois’s inner life as only one artist regarding another can.

Included as an afterword is Frémon’s essay about his own “portrait writing” and how he came to know and work with Louise Bourgeois.

"Poet and curator Frémon gives voice to one of the outstanding artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois, in a written portrait that is as tender as it is catty and cantankerous. Strands of memory unfurl—from Bourgeois’ childhood in France to her self-imposed exile in the US—alongside her thoughts on beauty and the purpose of art."
Financial Times

"Taking as its lead both Bourgeois’s voice and creative practice, this is a book that eschews excessive biographical detail to convey something closer to life, 'a kind of portrait' captured through the combined artistry of writer and translator."

JEAN FRÉMON is a renowned French gallerist and writer and has written art-historical works on artists including Robert Ryman, Antoni Tàpies, and Robert Walser. He worked with Louise Bourgeois on her first European exhibition in 1985 at the Galerie Lelong, and on the last exhibition she organized herself, at the Maison de Balzac.

COLE SWENSEN is the author of seventeen collections of poetry, most recently On Walking On (Nightboat Books, 2017) and a volume of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise (U. of Michigan Press, 2011). A former Guggenheim Fellow and co-editor of the Norton anthology American Hybrid, she has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the S.F. State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series. She has translated over twenty books of French poetry, prose, and art criticism, including Jean Frémon's Island of the Dead, which won the PEN USA Award in translation.

And don't miss two great exhibitions of Louise Bourgeois' print works—
Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature 
Configuration: The Portrayal of Vegetation and Figuration in the Prints of Louise Bourgeois
—both at the UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS until March 8, 2019!

Event date: 
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Now, Now, Louison Cover Image
By Jean Fremon, Cole Swensen (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811228527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - March 26th, 2019