“I am not a silent reader: I exclaim, I question, I scribble and say loudly, sometimes I growl: I speak: however, there is always a frustration: these spontaneous movements of the body have to echoe the mournful silence of the place where I am (I always read in silence… how else can you hear those voices that invite you to live?). How can you reply to the text?”
Coming from a small piece of land in the middle of the Indian Ocean which combines African, Arabic, Chinese, French and Tamil cultures, the artist from Reunion Island, Stéphane Hoarau, chooses in literary references of any kind to fashion a book to the image of this multicultural island: Reunion Island.
Le Voleur, Analyse I (aka The Thief, Analysis I)”, title of his first essay, is at the image of this island that has built its identity by stealing/borrowing from these cultures whether it is the way they cook, dance or talk.
Here, the writer develops its 45 stories on two pages:
– On the left side, he copied a snippet of text (as typed) from works of famous writers (Jean-Marie G. Le Clézio, Alioune Diop, Cervantès, Hegel, Ovide or Strindberg) or writings more anonymous (dictionaries, textbooks or cookbooks);
– On the right page, he translates this passage in Creole (handwritten form with deletions) or his artistic interpretation in a drawing.
For those so fortunate to read and understand Creole, it is then very interesting to browse through these two facets of the work of the writer, where the confrontation between these differents writings and the culture of La Reunion requires Stéphane Hoarau to adapt these extracts to the cultural imagination of the island, in search of equivalents and to translate them artistically in this regard.
Known for his academic and artistic work, Stéphane Hoarau from Reunion Island is now an author to follow.