Anyway, this experience was also inspiring in other ways. Having read only a few of Darrieusecq's books I decided on the day of the talk when I was sitting in the library that I would like to familiarise myself with a bit more of her writing. So I picked up her book Le Pays and began to read. The opening section of the book was a really evocative description of running and I felt compelled to note down some of the passage as it really captured some of the feelings that I experience when I run. Here are some extracts from the opening pages...
‘Peu à peu, en courant, je m’évaporais. Les coureurs le savant, au bout d’un moment on se détache de soi-même [...] Puis un moteur prenait ma place. Un souffle, quelque chose d’aveugle et d’obstiné, qui poussait et avançait pour moi. Les jambes prenaient le bon mouvement, le rythme, comme si le reste de ma vie n’avait été qu’une pause dans la course […] J’étais suspendue. Tout ce qui courait en moi me tenait debout, me portait. Je devenais j/e […] Vient un moment – les coureurs le savant – où on ne touche plus terre. On vole.' (Marie Darrieusecq, Le Pays (Paris: P.O.L, 2005), pp.10-14.
If you don't know Marie Darrieusecq's work I strongly urge you to have a read. Her writing is powerful, moving and widely available in translation so even if you don't read French you can discover her for yourself :)
Another burst of inspiration that came out of this talk was an amazing short film in French that Darrieusecq mentioned. It's called La Jetée and was made by Chris Marker in 1962. It can be watched here on youtube (with English subtitles):
It's such a beautiful and thought-provoking film which has haunted me a little bit since I watched it. May your mind also be blown by it's crazy ideas and beauty...