Babouillec Sp, poet out-of-norms

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Since Freud, psychoanalysis has interested itself in writing, in order to teach us about the most intimate and most strange. When literary writing confronts us with otherness, with difference, it touches us to the point that we are no longer the same when we close the book. A “Poet without papers, without literary origins, without social rules”¹, Babouillec Sp is undoubtedly an author of the twenty-first century who teaches us in an unprecedented way, in an unheard-of way, about naming the real, out of the norms of all literature.

Hélène Nicolas, aka Babouillec Sp, pinpoints in her texts our world enclosed by norms which abolish all singularity: “Through social and cultural education, we write decrees of moral implication which position many citizens as socially maladjusted”, and then also by “regulation, voted in decision-making committee, a veritable tentacular cleaner of reason”²; which is not without evoking some hot news.

She chooses not to join the “sleepy heads”³ by interrogating the formatting of our being through the image:

“Is this our essence
life in the format
to be confused with it
to belong to it
to conjugate an identity in this belonging
this making of ourselves as an image of being? “⁴.

Her published text, Thirst for Letters, proposes an “upside down biopic”⁵ by twisting this need of being, this thirst of being, through a thirst for letters: “Why choose God to drive our cultural, social, intellectual lives? This is one of the existential questions posed by Steve, the beautiful camera operator. Is God the spare wheel of the socially misled, the toolkit of cultural faults, the guide of our mental wanderings?” ⁶

The solution she proposes to us operates a twist: “The thirst of being finds its source in slowly writing D.I.E.U (G.O.D) which becomes Thirst for Letters.”⁷

Hélène Nicolas, being diagnosed early as autistic with an 80% deficit, objected to all standard care and learning protocols. She testifies from the pain of silence. Sp means sans parole (without words); she does not speak. Her mother, Veronique Truffert, chose to be guided by her daughter in order to “tame this body, so hermetic, so mute, so foreign and without apparent reflexes”⁸ and discovers by chance that she knows how to write. It is by means of a box of alphabetical letters that she writes, placing them one by one, on a sheet of paper. Julie Bertuccelli’s film, Dernières nouvelles du cosmos (Latest News from the Cosmos), offers us a powerful testimony of a writing and staging of her text Eponymous Algorithm.

                                                                                              Translated by Lorena Hojman Davis

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