Finally translated the debut of Inès Cagnati, daughter of expatriates
9 months ago
The foreigner's solitude is not something that can be resolved with a passport. When Inès Cagnati's parents, Venetian immigrants who went to cultivate a stony slice of Aquitaine after the First World War, decided to have her naturalized French, for her it was "a tragedy", a brutal subtraction of both identities. “I was nothing anymore,” she would later explain to an interviewer desperately trying to get a smile or at least some vanity out of her on a TV show in the 1989, the year of his last book, a collection of short stories entitled Les Pipistrelles in which he returns to those decidedly ungrateful lands and to that childhood which is already in itself a condition of estrangement from the world. “My father says that the French are foreigners who live at home, while the others are foreigners who have come from elsewhere, from very far away, and when they speak they are understood even less”, he writes and explains when he has already received many awards – great awards, great publishers – for his works in French. But nothing, identity is resistant to bureaucracy, "I'm a naturalized Frenchman, it's very different," she replies, and those years of exclusion and contempt still weigh on us, without resentment, but with the incontrovertible force of what happened, and left a trace. "We were dirty and badly dressed, we didn't speak French." A diversity that did not go unnoticed, on the contrary: “At school teachers and pupils beat me because I was different. I suffered and was ashamed. Guilty of being poor. Guilty of being something else".
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