The French version of The Perfume Lover just came out under the title Parfums, une histoire intime.I did my own translation. Or rather, I reclaimed the text in my mother tongue, which allowed me to tweak it a bit. But translation was part of the project from the outset. The book was first written in English because an English agent was the first to seek me out. But the mindset of the writing was French: a certain cultural relationship to sensuality and thought – never philosophy without the boudoir, or the boudoir without philosophy. Conversely, the narrative non-fiction genre was purely Anglo-Saxon – a gonzo style I picked up back when I was a rock critic in the punk era – and that’s what I’m smuggling into French. And of course, one could say the book is all about translation: putting perfume into words, turning the creative process of Séville à l’aube into a story, turning my story of Seville into scent.
This launch is a bit of a milestone for me, first because it’s happening on my own turf, then because the French version will be easier to read for most of the people featured in the book. Somehow, I feel freed from a process that started way back in 2009 when I was first approached by an agent. So at midnight on June 16th, I wrote a few notes for what I hope will be the next book… And I’m looking forward to writing more regularly for the blog.