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HUANG Hong (Nanjing University)


Huang Hong, PhD, is professor at the School of Foreign Studies in Nanjing University. Her research interests include French literature and comparative literature. Translator and essayist, her publications include Lire et traduire (2010), La Petite musique de Marguerite Duras (2014), Une vie litt¨¦raire (2018), and Marguerite Duras: la chambre noire de l¡¯¨¦criture (2021). She has translated works by Antoine de Saint-Exup¨¦ry, Marguerite Duras, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Françoise Sagan, Ir¨¨ne N¨¦mirovsky, Patrick Modiano, Michel Tournier, and Philippe Forest. She is currently translating Ernaux¡¯s I Remain in Darkness, Where I Belong and The Dark Workshop.

Annie Ernaux, French author known for her lightly fictionalized memoirs, has a long writing career which includes 24 published books and a number of essays and short stories, including A Man¡¯s Place, A Woman¡¯s Story, Years and Shame. Her work has consistently focused on the theme of ¡°self¡± in her writing for nearly half a century. While different from traditional autobiography and self-fiction, her collective memory writing rooted in individual experience is marked by distinct feminine, social, and intertextual features. With the sharp and precise observations and the style of ¡°¨¦criture plate/¨¦criture blanche¡±, her ¡°auto-ethnography¡± and ¡°auto-socio-biography¡± expose and reflect on the ¡°symbolic violence¡± resulting from gender hierarchies, social differences, and class ¡°distinction¡±. Ernaux received the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature ¡°for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory¡±.


¡°My Writing Seeks Not to ¡®Represent Reality', but Pursue It¡±


As a reader and translator of Annie Ernaux¡¯s work, I spoke with her about her literary conception and style in an email interview. She uses literature to intervene in social reality and rejects fiction. ¡°Intervention¡± is an ethic of writing developed by Ernaux based on the existential experience of presence. It is also a powerful tool for writers to connect the private sphere and the public space. Her ¡°sharpness¡± is not only reflected in her writing on gender issues through her natural identity, or in the way she writes as a ¡°class defector¡± to bear witness to the typical environment of the underclass and the symbolic violence they encounter, but also in the way she produces a text based on autobiography that crosses boundaries in hybrid forms and styles. The ¡°auto-socio-biography¡± she invented is based on an ethnographic narrative model that transcends the individual dimension, while the ¡°plain writing¡± style she advocates creates an aesthetic discourse that is independent of pure literature, enriching with popular language the connotation of literature for our times.