As mentioned earlier in this space, it is really sad that Fabrice Neaud’s comics have failed to generate translations. Now, however, publisher Ego comme X and Travis Leland-Maplesden present an online translation into English of the short story “Ã‰mile”, which was first published in the anthology Ego comme X #7 (2000) and is also available online in the original, French-language version.
While perhaps not the ideal introduction to Neaud’s both ground- and heartbreaking autobiographical work, it’s as good as it gets for his short stories. Written at a time when he was experiencing a draining personal blowback, including lost friendships and threats of violence, from having portrayed the people around him as honestly as he could in his masterwork Journal III (1999, recently released in an ‘augmented’ edition), it aspires toward emotional distancing by the non-portrayal of the people about which it nevertheless hovers attentively and analytically. An understated, powerful piece — personal and political — that I can only urge you to read, or re-read.