TRANSLATED BY CORY STOCKWELL
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Héloïse Press' Debut of the Year
"Ultramarine explores what it means to navigate a world unmoored from sense." Aaron Peck, TLS
"The burden of power, and how it might be exercised, is explored in Mariette Navarro’s beguiling fiction." The Irish Times
A poetic and mesmerizing novel, Ultramarine pushes us to the very edges of the narrative genre. Narrated in the first person by a female captain, the only woman amongst the crew of a transatlantic ship, Ultramarine reflects on the fears, strengths, and insecurities of female authority. In a ghostly, almost dream-like, atmosphere, the captain agrees to break one of her rules, letting the crew take a dip in the middle of the ocean. Something changes during that unprecedented swim; an uncertain atmosphere takes over their journey and the ship. A simple business trip turned into a true adventure.
Mariette Navarro (Lyon, 1980) studied modern literature and performing arts as well as dramaturgy. She writes for theatre and works as a dramaturg. Her published plays include Alors Carcasse (Cheyne, 2011 – Robert Walser Prize 2012), Nous les vagues followed by Célébrations (Quartett, 2011), Prodiges® (Quartett, 2012), Les feux de Poitrine (Quartett, 2015), Les Chemins contraires (Cheyne, 2016), Zone à étendre (Quartett, 2018), Les Hérétiques (Quartett, 2018) and Les désordres imaginaires ou La destruction du pays par le jeune président à la mode (Quartett, 2020). Ultramarine is her first novel.
Cory Stockwell is a Canadian writer and translator. His writing has appeared in The Common, Spartan, Cultural Politics, and elsewhere. Translations include books by Jean-Luc Nancy and Cynthia Fleury, and poems by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Juan de Dios García, and Simon Johannin. He lectures in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota.
Cory shares his experience of translating Ultramarine with us: 'Mariette is nothing if not a writerly writer, which is obviously a challenge for the translator: before I began, I was worried about whether I'd be up to the task. But when I got down to work, I found the process to be a real pleasure. I think this is because there is a very distinct voice running all the way through the text: it doesn't always speak in the same way, of course, but it's always there. It was when I began to hear it that the work started to flow. That, and the guidance I received from Mariette herself, have led, I hope, to a translation that replicates something of the power of the original.'