July 25, 2021

Patrizia Valduga throughout a night of love

“Cent quatrains érotiques” (Cento quartine e altre storie d’amore), by Patrizia Valduga, translated from Italian by Paolo Bellomo and Camille Bloomfield, bilingual edition, Nous, 128 p., € 15.

Translated for the first time into French, at least in volume since many texts have been published in review over the years, Patrizia Valduga, born in 1953, is a prominent figure of the Italian poetic scene, much better publicized than ours. Many videos of his public readings are circulating; we always find her there dressed in black and sometimes provocative, on the edge of a sulphurous glamor, but above all you can hear her very particular diction, a throaty voice that likes to drag to chain the syllables in a light vibrato. precisely counted.

Because it is one of its peculiarities to mix an eroticism which does not balk at the trivial with a taste of the most classic for the fixed form and the rhyme, as evidenced by these One hundred erotic quatrains given in bilingual edition. All composed in Hendecasyllables, a major verse of the Italian tradition which has one syllable less than our Alexandrian, these quatrains most often cross rhyme as one would cross swords during a game, which the translators have chosen to respect. by opting, on the other hand, for the decasyllable: “I’m afraid of you: you are so beautiful! / Don’t drown me at night under your empire / until you have opened in my brain / the door that resists pleasure.” “

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In the same way that the bodies, often of one, sometimes of the other, can play shackles to better enjoy it, flirting with the masochism that leads to confession (“Here, here … are you playing the embarrassment? What a hypocrite! / I like you! my God ! what do you like! “), the stylistic constraint with courteous accents compresses the expression of desire. The lovers revive each other with gestures and provoke each other with words with willingly warlike accents: “Take your thoughts, send them to bed / listen to your senses instead, get ready; / it will be a fight between warriors: / led by your body and not by your head. »

At the beating heart of the exchange

The brevity of the quatrain makes it possible to restore their luster to worm-eaten words by common, mechanical use, in our world where it is no longer so much a question of lifting the censorship to say the bodies as of resisting the obligation to communicate in fashion. automatic. This is why the word itself, to say it, is at the beating heart of their exchange, when what is being said is being done, what is being done, of saying to itself: “Now you know: I need words. / You must learn to love me as I want. / It is my sick reason that prevails: / I beg you, speak! speak, name of God! “

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