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THE JOURNALIST TURNS UP AT TEN O’CLOCK. They told me 10.30, the Maybe he’s already decided how he’s going to write about me,
publicity people, and I’m waking up slowly this morning, so when the how to explain me. Maybe he hopes it will be like the time my writer
buzzer sounds I ask him to come through and wait for me in the garden. friend Hervé Guibert interviewed me, and asked me if I was born in
I’ve just spilled something sticky – I don’t remember what now – on the 1953, and I told my whole life story, spoke for five hours straight, gave
kitchen floor and I spend a minute trying to clean it off the tiles, give him everything. Or perhaps he has in mind a tale, a fiction, in which case
up and go to the door. No sign. I call out: are you there? He appears it will be as though he were never here at all.
from behind a clump of bamboo, and a cat darts away in fright. No, But of course it’s simpler than that: he has come to ask me about
that’s not my cat, I tell him as I close the glass door; my cat is staring at Venice, about my projects for the Biennale. So I tell him about the letter,
you, though. The journalist looks around, a little startled, at the stuffed or rather the email. It was two years ago. An ordinary break-up letter,
animals – maybe he thinks I meant the tiger, glaring down from the in a way, such as men write to women all the time. A woman would
opposite corner – before he spots Souris, totally still on the stairs. not have written this letter; though I can’t say why, can’t defend that
I go to make some coffee, forget to put coffee in the machine, try certainty. Except to say that it was not ordinary at all: it was too written,
again. While the journalist pulls a notebook from his bag I have another too considered, too stylised, as if that were the point of it: its literariness.
go at the kitchen floor. I’m not paranoid, I assure him. Or obsessive- And it ended with a sentence that was violent in its formality, its Pilate-
compulsive, he says. I ask if he intends to write our conversation up as like washing of hands, its brusque dismissal of me. It’s the sentence I’ve
a set of questions and answers. I dislike that style; when I read these used as the title of this new work. Take care of yourself.
interviews, I never know myself: it’s not my language. He says his I had no idea how to answer. I showed the letter to a friend, asked
preference is for a proper narrative, though the magazine sometimes how she would respond. And then it struck me: I would not reply, but
favours the Q&A approach. We can always pretend, I tell him, that I ask others to answer on my behalf. For once – in fact, I’ve done it before,
insisted on a real text, that that was the first rule of the game. He laughs, but not when the subject was so personal – I would withdraw, efface
says it won’t be necessary: he will find a form. myself and let other voices speak for me. I found 107 women – I chose
p067-073 Sophie Calle AR Jun07.i69 69 6/5/07 00:56:16
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