Fondation des États-Unis | November 26 to April 23: Forum – Why do we read #3
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November 26 to April 23: Forum – Why do we read #3

Why do we read is an investigation on reading as experience. This investigation is carried out through the collection of stories from a diverse group of readers as well as a cycle of forums moderated by academics, artists, and writers on our ways of reading and being. Inspired by Lyn Hejinian’s concept of « the open text’, here the traditional hierarchy between the author and the reader breaks down and balances out. Each witness, each reader, each academic, artist and writer is a co-investigator is this community of experience. The FEU is delighted to host the opening of the third cycle of Why do we read ! This cycle is organized by Christopher Gellert, former resident of the Fondation des Etats-Unis and student of Université Paris Diderot in partnership with Bibliothèque des Grands Moulins – Université Paris Diderot, *DUUU radio and the FEU.

Free admission depending on available seats. Follow the Facebook page to get reminders!


The opening of this new edition will take place at the Fondation des Etats-Unis. All other events will take place at the Bibliothèque des Grand Moulins at Paris Diderot from 7pm to 9pm unless indicated otherwise.

« Reading the United States », Frédéric Forte
Tuesday November 26th at 7pm, at the library of the Fondation des Etats-Unis

We know well that translating from one language to another can arise to misunderstandings and treacherous transformations. But when we read foreign literature in translation, this (bad) reading also provokes uncertainties surrounding the social and cultural customs of the country in question, its landscape and the character of its inhabitants. In the company of Frédéric Forte (poet, member of Oulipo, and occasional translator of North-American poetry), we will discuss the illusions that he’s been subject to concerning the United States and American culture through his reading of its literature (and the fantasies that reading in translation can give rise to in general.) For F. Forte, the only real possibility to understand American poetry is to translate it. So, during this round table we will read North American writers in French and English in order to discuss problems associated with the translation of a foreign culture, even when we are intimately familiar with it. We will then proceed to a collective workshop and discussion around the slippage between American English and French and the links between these two literary worlds and literary imaginations.

For the following events, please refer to the descriptions of the French website.

« Read, collect », Franck Leibovici (poet) & Abigail Lang (English and American Studies lecturer at l’Université de Paris and translator), Tuesday January 28th 2020, from 7 to 9pm

« Read money? », Christophe Hanna (poet) & Pierre Zaoui (Philosophy professor at l’Université de Paris)
Thursday February 27th 2020, from 7 to 9pm

Marik Froidefond poet and professor at l’Université Paris Diderot) & Martin Rueff (poet and professor at l’Université de Genève)
Thursday March 19th 2020, from 7 to 9pm

« The art of seasoning texts », Sophie Rabau (author, lecturer at l’Université de Paris) & Laurent Calvié (philogist and director of the collection « Essais — Philologie »)
Thursday April 23rd 2020