“Small Lives: Translating Pierre Michon” by Elizabeth Deshays

“Small Lives: Translating Pierre Michon”
by Elizabeth Deshays
published in Cahier de l’Herne, 2017
translated from French to English by Jody Gladding

We met every week for French lessons which, because of our friendship, took the form of extended, intimate conversations. The expression of these confidences proved to be sharpened, paradoxically, by the fact that we were exchanging them in French, a “foreign” language for us both; we wanted to convey our thoughts as precisely as possible, which demanded much more conscious attention to the language than if we were conversing in our shared mother tongue, English.