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Arts & Societies - Marielle Macé

Marielle Macé teaches literature at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where she is a thesis advisor. She is also a Guest Professor at New York University. Macé is on the staff of the reviews Critique (Minuit) and Po&sie (Belin). Her work bears on the genre of the essay, the literary memoire, and uses of literature, as well as on a renewal of thinking about style, enlarged from the domain of art to the adequate description and evaluation of life forms in their intractable plurality. Her books take literature to be an ally in an effort to understand our forms of common life and the conflicting values that clash there. Among her publications are: Le Temps de l’essai (Belin, 2006), Façons de lire, manières d’être (Gallimard, 2011), Styles. Critique de nos formes de vie (Gallimard, 2016), “Nous” (Critique, 841-842 [2017]), Sidérer, considérer. Migrants en France, 2017 (Verdier, 2017), Les Noues (Verdier, forthcoming).

[1]Translator’s Note: Paul Valéry’s phrase “the handling of language” appears in “Asides” published in Analects, from The Collected Works of Paul Valéry, vol. 14, ed. Jackson Mathews, trans. W. H. Auden (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1970), p. 15. The original French is, rather, a plural noun: manœuvres de langage. See:

Arts & Societies - Marielle Macé


Marielle Macé, "Enlargement of Poems", Arts & Societies #108, 09 janv. 2019

At a time when people are asking themselves about the status of living and nonliving beings, of the human and the nonhuman, things are of concern to us as active agents of the world that act upon us as much as we act upon them.

Marielle Macé restores to poets the freshness of their endeavor, that of treating things otherwise, of gazing at them, of listening to them, of hearing them as we ought to. In the parliament of things Bruno Latour has called for, she summons to the bar things that may serve as witnesses as well as those things that will lodge accusations: the Mediterranean Sea, to take one example. Her poetic path requires not that things be made to speak as we would speak but that we might take them into consideration, standing, with tact and imagination, “at the edge” of an exchange.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac