‘Criminal Aesthetics’, an interview with Les Fugitives, on Suite for Barbara Loden and Eve out of Her Ruins.
- HOTEL, issue 1, 22 June 2016
‘Earlier this year, with little fanfare, a mysterious new publishing collective of editors, translators and designers called Les Fugitives published an extraordinary novel.’
- Bidisha, BBC Arts, 21 October 2015
Nothing is as consubstantial with literature and its modest mystery as the questions raised by a translation. J.L. Borges
Toute poésie est traduction. Toute traduction est supérieure à son original. Antoine Berman, L’épreuve de l’étranger
Perhaps because we will be publishing no more than two titles a year, our translators and editors are provided with optimal conditions in which to perfect their work, far from the usual commercial imperatives. Our books are critically acclaimed in France yet have nevertheless eluded the attention of more established publishers in the UK, ‘fallen between the cracks’. In the belief that short works of fiction or ‘near fiction’, to borrow from Dorothy, a publishing project, make for an ideal introduction to an author’s body of work we favour short books that sit comfortably between genres. Besides, the short book, being necessarily elliptic, possesses an allusive, poetic quality that leaves more to the imagination of the book’s unique creative partner: the reader. In this sense it is both lighter and more intense. As Meike Ziervogel aptly puts it, it is ‘the perfect form to sharpen and make use of our creative reading skills.’
We also favour storytelling that follows in the steps of the modernists’ efforts and their successors’: non-linear narratives, sometimes better described as textes (in French), when moving freely between genres. This said, the modernists did not invent ‘mongrel books‘, and neither did we.
Cinema has long infiltrated the world of literature and, partly inspired by our first title, we endeavour to build a collection that has either a distinct cinematic feel in the writing itself, if not a direct link with film history.
Travelling, wandering, deserting, running away… Les Fugitives are about stories of people who don’t fit in; stories raising old and new questions about gender and identity; stories about strangers, about almost-love, and about solidarity: today and in the second half of the last century.
Les Fugitives is inspired and informed by a growing number of benevolent authors, book-lovers, editors and translators; a kind of free-forming collective that is not always aware of itself! In their different and complementary ways, all act or have acted as a significant part of Les Fugitives. For counsel: Lanning Aldrich, Charles Boyle, Albert Dichy, Sophie Lewis, Max Porter, Angeline Rothermundt, and Meike Ziervogel; for help as interns: Daisy Bartlett, Laure Birckel, Sydney Diack, Jennifer Obidike, and Leyla Yilmaz; for artworks and graphic design: Keith Ashley, Laura Carlin, Dominic Lee, and Thomas Swann; for press & publicity: Gareth Evans, Anna Goodall, and Dominic Jaeckle; and for everything else: Cécile Lee.