Vintage Anomaly 122: Katie Shireen Assef’s translation of Claire Legendre’s “The Muse,” DB 24
As always, the recent publication of another fabulous issue of our journal reminds us how many great issues appeared before it, paving the way for newer, more modern, and yet more creative works. The last issue of Drunken Boat as such, the 24th issue (Winter 2016–2017) has a wealth of interesting genres to choose from including Comics, Eclipse-related pieces, and Himalayan Arts. Our chosen piece today was published in the unique “Women & Non-Binary Noir” folio dedicated to crime/noir fiction by women around the world and was originally written in French by Claire Legendre, then translated to English by Katie Shireen Assef. Check out an excerpt below, then scroll down for the link to the full story.
“How I met Deborah Creutz, I don’t remember. I know one night I said to her, like Chabrol to Emmanuelle Béart, that she had the face of an angel and the body of a whore. It was true, it was horrible what she did to me. I bought her a drink, I asked her to pose for me. She was not enthusiastic. She ended up following me anyway, she let me touch her hand. Her fingertips were soft and cool. When I tried to caress her neck, she turned her head sharply and her cheek brushed my palm. Stubborn and intractable, she despised me, she seduced me. She was beautiful and outspoken and proud and affected.”
Katie Shireen Assef is a writer and translator of French living in Los Angeles. She is currently translating the novels of French writer and multimedia artist Valérie Mréjen.
Claire Legendre was born in 1979 in Nice. Her first novel, Making-of, appeared when she was eighteen. She has since published nine works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently Le Nénuphar et l’araignée, an investigative memoir about hypochondria. She teaches writing and comparative literature at the University of Montreal. You can read more about her and her work on her University of Montreal professor page.