At the fair Non/fiction filmmaker, writer and winner of the Prix Goncourt Philippe Claudel presented his book “a Dog’s archipelago”
The meeting began with the obvious questions: “what is this book? Dog archipelago is a real place or not? Whether the story is based on true events?”.
— My book is about waves of migrants who cross the Mediterranean sea in search of a better life. I don’t think it is especially interesting to place the events of a work in a specific historical context or place. After all, when we read fairy tales about princesses, princes, castles — it seems that it is literally about us, and this castle is next to our house. The book describes just the image of a country closed itself on its own, without any specifics. This is done in order that the reader said, “It’s about us!”
— But there is a real “dog” of the Canary Islands — is not a specific reference to them?
— Yes, it really is a hint of them. There came the first immigrants at the beginning of the two thousandth and first encounter with the locals. But the name “dog” I gave my archipelago is not just. Dog — a guard dog, sitting in a booth and guarding their territory. This model behavior occurs in rich countries — for example, Donald trump wants to build a wall between America and Mexico. Of the country are closed on themselves and want to put a “dog” at each border.
— If to remember history, even in the middle of the twentieth century has seen a massive flow of migration from the Maghreb to France. For your country this situation is not new. Perhaps based on that experience, people want other solutions now? And what about the experience of the Second world war?
Yes, it is a complex problem. But not very correct to compare different eras. Since the late nineteenth century the history of France is the history of migrations. But then our country was developing at a fast pace, she needed workers, so foreign power helped local. But in the 70-ies of the last century, the country has entered a period of recession, therefore, it became difficult to support such a migration flow. Over the last twenty years, right-wing parties stand for the preservation of the French identity, to limit the presence of immigrants. This opinion finds support in Italy, Austria, England, almost across the European continent. But because immigrants come to us not from a good life — they are fleeing from famine, from war. Migrants who arrived in France in the late nineteenth century, wanted to integrate into our country so that their children have become French. I believe that if you want to live in another country, it is necessary to consider the traditions of the country in which you arrived, but not to forget their.
France is a small country, so we squeezed in one room.
Therefore, immigrants and local residents should not have to oppose each other, we must strive for harmony.
— Who are the heroes of “Dog of the archipelago” is closer to you and why?
— When writing a book, you could be each of the characters. At the time, I was an actor, so I’m interested to visit different skins. I used to be like my teacher-idealist. The Commissioner is a horrible person, but always says what he thinks. I feel sympathy for the priest who conducts the service in the empty Church and no longer believe in God, but loves bees. I’m interested to dissolve all of them to live those lives under power of attorney issued to the author.
— These characters were copied from relatives, friends? Someone from your environment out the characters yourself?
Of course, when I write, I wonder if there are people who inspired me. But I don’t write characters with real personalities — just take the details of the images. This may be the way you dress or speak.
After all, for a writer the entire world is a source of inspiration!
In the announcement of the book it was said that there is an allusion to a Russian novel. What?
— I read a lot of classics of Russian literature — Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Turgenev. Especially those of their works, where the psychological novel showed itself fully. The figure of the Commissioner in a sense was inspired by “the government Inspector” by Gogol. In General, allusions to Russian novels arise against my will. It was an allusion to a novel that you can think out for yourself.
You combined two genre — mystery and parable. Why?
I have done this once it is done, for example, this form was made in “Grey souls”. It is a tribute to my literary tastes, I have read a huge number of detectives, and the most interesting for me has always been an investigation, what kind of people are involved, their characters, and not who the killer is. Actually, I even think in the books the killer is always, because in life it is not always so. I remember after the publication of one of my detective, came a bunch of emails from readers asking to tell who is the murderer — there wasn’t entirely clear who it is.
But people prefer certainty to uncertainty.
Well, some readers would like confidence in only one thing — that the books which they bought on Non/fiction, will not disappoint them. The story of “Dog archipelago” Philippe Claudel in many students increased the confidence in the times that immediately after the meeting rushed to buy the publication.
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