1994 – The Itch

(Under the name of Lorette Nobécourt)
The Itch, Sortilèges, 1994
J’ai lu, 1998, Grasset, 2009.


There you go, I was born paralized. Half-impaired, let’s say. Half and half. It was medicine that failed to put me to the ground. Half paralyzed then. Hardly surprising they wanted to suppress me. When I was born I already knew everything. I was going to see everything, and to tell everything. It was quite simple: either they would kill me or I would talk. Such a deadly struggle. They pushed me towards windows, rivers and causeways. They stuck weird illnesses on my skin as if they besmeared me with parasitic excrements of madness. They wanted me dead or mad!

From the start, from the first hour, have I wished to regularly turn the world topsy-turvy to rectify the geometry of my veins. I soon realised I evolved in the territory of the idea that one must give it a twist.

Back cover

Irene has always scratched herself. A chronic and causeless disease. One’s skin gets inflamed, One’s fingers agitated, and one’s heart panics. Nothing else remains, save from that monstrosity. The body becomes a wound. Every thought turns into a plague. There is no more thought. And this is how you are being looked at: as a child, a kid, a teenager, a young woman.

Irene never complains about anything. Struggling against the disease, she becomes Word. For her there are only words, that wild inoculation of words. One finishes reading her quite embarrassed, pierced, rubbing one’s forearm, palm and cheek. Literature won.

Traduction de Narjisse Moumna