A Conversation on Literature and the Climate Crisis with French writer Pierre Ducrozet, the author of Le grand vertige, in discussion with Göran Blix (in English).
This conversation on the climate crisis will take its cue from Pierre Ducrozet’s recent eco-thriller—Le grand vertige (2020)—a global road novel, absurdist adventure story, speculative fiction about the paths and pitfalls on the road to change, generational portrait, and dizzying tableau of a burning planet betrayed by its short-sighted leaders. In this novel, we follow a colorful cast of youthful characters (by turns comic, heroic, absurd, and inspiring), who set out on a global odyssey to look for solutions and identify new ways to inhabit our bodies and planet to avert the coming crisis. Are they on the right track? Do their actions help trigger any meaningful change? How far is it legitimate to go? And how should writing itself best try to address this dilemma? With Pierre, we will discuss how modern literature, especially Le grand vertige, looks for new ways to confront the climate crisis and incites readers to reflect. We will also have occasion to ask Pierre about his collaboration with director Cyril Dion (Demain; Animal) on the forthcoming film version of the novel.
Born in 1982, Pierre Ducrozet is the author of six novels, including three published by Grasset: Requiem pour Lola rouge (2010, Prix de la Vocation 2011), La vie qu’on voulait (2013), and the much-lauded Eroica (2015), based around the life of the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. L’invention des corps, a thriller about enhanced bodies and hackers published in autumn 2017 by Actes Sud, won the Prix de Flore. Le grand vertige, an adventure fiction about climate change, won the Prix Mottart de l’Académie française in 2020. Variations de Paul (Actes Sud, 2022) is a journey into a century of music.
He is also a translator and teaches creative writing at the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre in Brussels. He has lived in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid, and is now living in Barcelona.
The discussion centered on Ducrozet’s recent climate adventure novel, Le grand vertige (2020), soon to be made into a feature film by Cyril Dion. In the course of his visit to Princeton, Pierre Ducrozet also met and spoke with students enrolled in Prof. Blix’s seminar, ‘Modern French Ecology’ (FRE 420)."