Responding to the appalling violence that the machineries of war and economics unleashed during the twentieth century, Marcel Cohen concurs with Samuel Beckett’s mid-century remark: “To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now”. Based on a speech first delivered in 1998, Cohen’s essay remains hugely relevant today.
was born in 1937 in Asnières-sur-Seine and lives today in Paris. He is the author of numerous books. In 2013, Cohen received the Prix Jean Arp de littérature francophone in recognition of his life’s work. The same year, he received the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste for Sur la scène intérieure: faits(Gallimard, 2013), a work translated into German by Richard Gross as Raum der Erinnerung: Tatsachen (Edition Tiamat, 2014). Cohen’s trilogy – Faits, lecture courante à l’usage des grands débutants (2002); Faits II, 2007); and Faits, III. Suite et fin (2010) – is published by Gallimard.