Alix's Journal

Alix's Journal
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June 8th 2010 by Dalkey Archive Press

Alix’s Journal is a collection of private notebooks kept by Canadian photographer Alix Cleo Roubaud during the last four years of her life, before her death at the age of 31. Written, in a sense, for her husband—acclaimed novelist, poet, and mathematician Jacques Roubaud—Alix’s Journal straddles the gap between French and English, poetry and prose, the tragic and the comic, the profound and the quotidian. Alix’s idiosyncratic and revealing work gives us access to a singular consciousness, one that was profoundly influential on her husband’s subsequent works, in style as well as content. The notebooks center on themes of love, marriage, photography, addiction, and death, and include examples of Alix’s photographic work, whose strangeness and poignancy is enhanced by its juxtaposition with her plans for and interpretations of it. From Alix’s Journal: You left yesterday morning, and last night I got drunk by nine. I didn’t walk straight on the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, where I went to post my first letter. At ten o’clock I collapsed dead drunk. I woke at three and read what Nigel Nicholson wrote his parents, and read Jacques Roubaud in Change (a poem about water similar to Hockney’s distortions). I asked myself why I abuse myself in this manner when I am loved and really must keep alive; why do I get drunk on an empty stomach? why do I drug myself with sleeping pills? why do I smoke?      looking after oneself. I had things to do today. To fall asleep like everyone else, etc., to lead a simple regular life. To fall asleep like everyone else, that is what I want.

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