Today we’d like to introduce you to Fanny Daubigny.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in France and moved in 2000 to one of the most southern points in the US as a Ph.D. program student. My plan was ‘to test the (warm) waters’ for a year and decide if I would return or not to my homeland. Literary love struck me unannounced during my first Proust graduate seminar, and I never left.
18 years later, I am a tenured professor at an American University on the West Coast, teaching French Literature, writing essays and translating poetry. Crossing walls, borders and genres. A permanent resident contemplating to become a US citizen if walls fall down and doors open.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth and bumpy. I would not trade any of the accidental and incidental on the road for anything else. This is how you come to learn, appreciate and share interesting stories.
Some of my struggles were definitely attached to the fact that I have been an immigrant most of my adult life either in the US, Chile or Canada where I also lived for a short time.
Being an immigrant is both a struggle and a reward; a struggle as you never cease to learn a foreign language and culture you need to adapt to in order to survive; a reward for the position of the observer/flâneur it gives you: for a writer like myself there is always a great discovery to be made around the block of language; a new word, a new sound, a new metaphor!
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am an author, translator, and educator. I write essays and translates poetry. My latest essay, Proust in Black (SDSU press coming March 2019) unveils unchartered poetic territories of the city of Los Angeles, a city of noir cinema, noir desire and noir representations.
I think I am most proud of my role as an educator as education is present in every aspect of my life from the mundane of every day to the magic of the metaphor. I am also most proud of my close circle of family and friends who every day reminded of the importance of compassion, listening and sharing. All contribute greatly to the intellectual and spiritual richness of my life.
What sets me apart, If there is such a thing, is that in a world of high tech, commodities, and post-modernities, I feel often pre-industrial, a sort of 19th-century aesthete, admirer of the arts and crafts movement, symbolist art, Odilon Redon pastels, and Marcel Proust.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
An old soul and a kind heart.
- Proust au Noir (15 Euros)