lundi 19 mai 2014

L'autre langue

Francesca Marciano est une écrivaine italienne qui écrit et publie des romans et nouvelles en Anglais.

Extrait d’un interview qu’elle a donné à Amazon pour la parution de son dernier recueil de nouvelles : The Other Language.

What is your experience with “other languages”? What, do you think, happens to you when you speak a language not your native one?

The book’s epigraph is from a Derek Walcott poem: “To change your language you must change your life.” Learning a new language is an act of transformation; it means delving into another logic, a new mental construct. We become different people when we speak another language, and that can be exciting, rejuvenating—but often frightening, a bit like walking in the dark. In some way by speaking a new language we commit an act of betrayal towards our mother tongue, our past identity. But we also sometimes can, in moving beyond our comfort zones, find a new kind of freedom, and I think a writer can find great freedom in a language that is not his or her own.

Why, as a native Italian speaker, do you write your novels in English?

I lived for many years in the States and then in Kenya, so and I have spent half of my adult life speaking English; it has never abandoned me, not even now that I’ve gone back to live in Italy. It has become my truest voice on the page; it allows me to express myself without the constraints and the inhibitions of my native language. I love how direct and concise English can be, compared with the richly convoluted, often ambiguous baroque of Italian. Plus, humor in English is somehow unbeatable.

Cette idée de changer de langue, ou du moins d’être capable de m’exprimer dans une autre langue aussi aisément (ou pas plus difficilement, au moins) que dans ma langue maternelle, fait partie de mes obsessions ; ce que Francesca Marciano exprime ici me rassure (je ne suis pas plus dingue qu’elle, après tout !) et m’enthousiasme.