In 2001, faced with creating a Comparative Canadian Literature course from scratch, I chose to add How to Make Love to a Negro by Dany Laferrière to my syllabus. This decision changed my life. Or at least the direction of my academic work.
Ten years later, I received a grant for the summer to devote my time to developing my book-length study of Laferrière’s practice of rewriting, revising, adapting, and expanding his work. I created this blog as a more informal space where I can explore and record my thoughts, hopefully getting feedback along the way.
The title of the blog comes from the fact that I am probably the only scholar seriously studying Dany Laferrière who has yet to meet and/or interview the author. Our paths keep missing each other. I am currently editing a book of essays on his writing. One of the requirements of the collection the book is being published under is to include a new interview with the author. One of my quests for the summer is to finally, if not meet the author, finally ask some questions of him. As I think of the questions, I will post them on the blog. You are invited to do the same.
Finally, the title is also in reference to how challenging it has been to write about Laferrière, as he is continually adapting and expanding his existing body of work. I just read that Laferrière sees his rewriting as a cancer (Douglas, “Rewriting America/Dany Laferrière’s Rewriting”), ever expanding until it consumes and kills him. I’m trying to understand that cancer. Seems like I will always and forever be chasing him and his work, at least until it kills him.