Pénélope Bagieu: “‘Les Strates’ is learning about the loss of people or things”, After Culottées and Sacitées Sorcières, the comic book author signs with Les Strates his first autobiographical book. Here it is, between the bubbles, with its life, its ups and downs… And everyone will recognize it.
“I caught small streams in a large river”, tells Pénélope Bagieu about this story learning composed of stories of youth that she had been sleeping in her private notebooks for ten years, without intention to publish them. She will have changed her mind at the dawn of her 22 years. A chance for readers who will invariably identify with his memories evoking the traumas and fantasies of adolescence, the first emotions, but also the essence of an individual and the beings who matter.
Madame Figaro. – You say you had trouble taking on the autobiography. What was the trigger?
Pénélope Bagieu. – I understood that I finally had only bad reasons to refuse it to myself, in particular a certain denigration of the genre. It is sometimes considered to be a sub-form of fiction, even more so when it is written by a woman. We have heard so much that “girl stories” were not universal in scope that I believed them for a long time. When I started with my blog, I tried for example to degenerate to the maximum, as for m ‘apologize for having a woman experience. I had to deconstruct this idea, understand that addressing half of humanity was already great and that the other half could also identify with it.
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In video, Fleur Pellerin evokes the representation of women on the small screen Writing Culottées uninhibited you?
Maybe but age has mostly helped . I couldn’t have done this book ten years ago. I gained confidence and especially I have more perspective on the stories that I tell. These files are closed. The Strates are my reading of events that I have rolled in my head, polished, digested. It’s like cleaning up, putting my memories in order, especially not therapy.
All the stories existed in your private diaries?
Yes, except the last one on the end of my grandmother’s life. If there is one theme that emerges from this book, it is learning about the loss of people or things. This notebook would not have been complete if I had not been able to talk about love infinity that united us and the discussions we had around his disappearance. I was in denial, she in acceptance.
Is drawing only a source of pleasure ?
I did not never recognized in the myth of the painful creation. I’m 6 years old again when I draw, I don’t bored never. And the more it goes, the less I try to twist my desires to fit into boxes. Because, finally, I understood that nothing was expected of me. The only compass that pushes me towards a project is the drunkenness necessary to devote two years to it. I will not do a third Culottées for this reason: without envy, it would necessarily be a bad book.
Have you ever been tempted by the cinema?
Truly not. It’s not my job and I would be frustrated: it’s so much less possibilities than comics, where you can allow yourself everything. More young , I wanted to do animation, I studied it in Decorative Arts, but, from my first internship, I knew it wasn’t for me. We were a link in a huge chain. The author of comics, on the contrary, is God. He controls everything, works alone, at home, if he wants to. Everything I like.
To listen to: the editorial podcast How did you become president of the commission for selective aid in fiction and animation of the CNC, the National Cinema Center?
They wanted an exterior, different look, so that other representations emerge on television. It’s time consuming but exciting. I discover other forms of writing there and I find it exciting to give a boost to projects that we really want to see as a spectator.
The Strata, by Pénélope Bagieu, Éditions Gallimard, 40 p., 22 € .