François Ayroles trans. by Edward Gauvin
from Notes Mésopotamiennes
Notes Mésopotamiennes, which consists of 44 independent six-panel comics, is more a collection of graphic poems than a graphic novel. In these pieces, Ayroles delivers observations on features of contemporary life as though it were a distant and puzzling civilization. His subjects range from the mundane to the fanciful, and in their preoccupation with neglect and nostalgia recall the work of Ben Katchor.
These and other excerpts from Edward Gauvin's translations of François Ayroles' Notes Mésopotamiennes can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 2.
François Ayroles is a French comic book writer and a member of Oubapo. His graphic novels include Incertain Silence, a paean to Buster Keaton, and Le Jeu de dames, an initiation story with surreal touches. The pieces in this issue are from his Notes Mésopotamiennes, a collection of self-contained one-page strips.
Edward Gauvin translates prose and graphic novels from the French and has received awards from PEN America, the NEA, the Fulbright program, the Lannan Foundation, and the French Embassy. Recent translations include Peplum by Blutch, The Cathedral of Mist by Paul Willems, and Moving the Palace by Charif Majdalani.