On September 9 the Galleria Borghese is paying a tribute to the French intellectual and writer Pierre Guyotat (1940 – 2020) by dedicating 10 minutes of each visit to the reading via cable radio of several passages from his famous book Éden Éden Éden – translated into Italian for the first time by Valentina Parlato and Roberta Sferzi – on the anniversary of its publication exactly fifty years ago and in the year of the author’s death, last February 7.
Éden Éden Éden is the epic poem of a young writer, at the time thirty years old, which caused outrage, enchantment, bewilderment, and perhaps also repugnance, transforming French literature radically and affecting how literature was done globally. In spite of its defense by internationally prominent figures, including Pier Paolo Pasolini, the work was censored immediately.
Guyotat visited the Museum a number of times, finding in its rooms the powerful matter connected with humans and their epos – flesh and its sublimation, self-renewal throughout the centuries, and here with the absolute filter of beauty – that belongs to his entire oeuvre. In Rome, and in this Museum, Guyotat steeped himself in what is precious and intense, turning it into intimate experience that he transposed into words. With subtlety and splendor, the Galleria Borghese took part in his linguistic and literary revolution.
The event that the Galleria Borghese is dedicating to Guyotat is part of a project that can be called planetary. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of this mythical work, the Association Pierre Guyotat, desired by the author and headed by Donatien Grau, has organized readings from the book in fifty places connected with his personal and public life, both in France and abroad. Among the partners and institutions involved are Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Faust in Turin, Progetto in Lecce, Centre Pompidou Metz, Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre National de Strasbourg, Reina Sofia in Madrid, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, MUDAM in Luxembourg, Stony Island Bank in Chicago, Maison Africaine de la Poésie Internationale in Dakar, Cabinet in London, Xavier Hufkens in Bruxelles, Eventos del Libro in Medellin, MALBA in Buenos Aires, Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, and American University in Beirut. Each situation will be different; each place will create a different kind of event in the language of an existing translation (English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Japanese …), in the original French, or – as at the Galleria Borghese – inaugurating new translations.