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  Christine Angot, novelist from Montpellier - Pythia or not? ... dialogue: oui-oui a student, with Joseph, philagora's owl.  

Oui-oui:The other day, I was glancing through a catalogue when I chanced upon an article entitled Angot's Word in which this novelist was sharply answering someone who had called her the Pythia of the 4, rue de Madrid. My heart leapt into my mouth: I had to break the news to Philagora's Owl, who lives at the same address. 

I rushed there, ran up the stairs, passed the door of the Pythia and rang the Owl's bell, to be told that he was busy reading the last pages of Bruno Tessarech's book, Les grandes personnes

A moment later, he came in. We started talking.

Oui-oui:- there may be a Pythia living in your building! I showed him the article.
Joseph- (smiling) she could have taken it for a compliment. Granted, to be called a Sibyl would have been an insult for Sybils were "created" to compete with Delphi's Pythia in Apollo's temple. But don't forget a preliminary question: before wondering if Christine Angot is a Pythia, shouldn't you know what a Pythia is?

Oui-oui:- you told me: a priestess of Apollo.

Joseph- Apollo is the god of the spirit, of freedom as truth. He thus looks towards the past, the present and the future. The Pythia used to prophesy in an ambiguous way that only priests could decipher and interpret.

Oui-oui:- how could Christine Angot be compared to a Pythia?

Joseph- the Pythia was an old prophetess. Christine Angot has a youthful smile;
the Pythia used to repeat what the priests told her to say, Ms Angot's
prose is off the beaten track. Finally, the Pythia talked about the others,
whereas our writer uses her own perspective as a starting point, her
child's vision.

Oui-oui:- so she isn't a Pythia after all?

Joseph- and what if her style expressed the freedom of the spirit?

Oui-oui:- where is the spirit in those bold metaphors that connect in a flash of lightning birthgiving and camps where innocents were tortured and massacred?

Joseph- it seems to me that Christine Angot, like the Pythia, does not attempt to express natural reality, she does not hide anything, but more simply, she signifies, and each time, her style raises a whole world, as if one of these sensitive plants was talking.

Oui-oui:- Come on! You mean she reveals what reality would never yield? She would be speaking of what is not, but could be?

Joseph- in this respect, she does prophesy, since through the magic of style, she reveals a whole world of meanings, a possible world, a world of freedom in which saying exorcises an atrocious reality. Her style is what allows her to say what she wants.

Oui-oui:- whoever judges her is thus right without knowing why...

Joseph- even in the most entranched opinions, even in error, there is some truth, but it is not for him who judges to see it. This is why one should be careful not to hurl the same abuse that were used against artists like Antonin Artaud. But this is another story, an ancient one, against which our will is powerless...
Joseph Llapasset

Translation : C. Chastagner
Traduction Claude Chastagner , Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier France.

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