French Book Week: From IN THE REALM OF MOTES by Baptiste Gaillard, translated by Aditi Machado

In the realm of motes


In the same body of water the elements

are less detached, the minnows drift

everywhere. Wrack floats in the rippling

wake of creatures. Bodies transform in

the absence of light, in the sluggish grip

of pressures. In sludge, secretly, fish

swim a space in which every gesture is a

risk; motionless for an oblivion,

sometimes suddenly they move. Scarred,

mutilated, bumping into one another in

the circle.

Mangroves harbor interlaced structures

in their waters. Twigs and protuberances

multiply and draw together; roots stray

away from these aquatic knots and sink

into a mixture denser than mud.

The things of the darkness are into

themselves rushed.

By Baptiste Gaillard

Translated by Aditi Machado

Writer and artist, Baptiste Gaillard has exhibited installations and objects in galleries and art spaces in Geneva, Berlin, Lucerne, Basel and Lausanne. Language has gradually become the subject of his work. His texts are regularly published in reviews (notably in larevue*, the magazine of beautiful letters, rehaut, fabric, watts). He has published the collections Le Chemin de Lennie (Héros-Limite/HEAD, 2013), r a z (Contre-mur, 2017), Un domaine des corpuscules (Hippocampe, 2017) and Bonsaï (Hippocampe, 2018). He has received several prizes and scholarships, including a writing grant from the Commission consultative de mise en valeur du livre du Canton de Genève (2013), a Swiss Literature Award (2018), a Pro Helvetia creative-writing scholarship (2020) and a creative-writing scholarship from the Centre national du livre (2020). For further information visit:

Aditi Machado is a poet and translator who lives in the United States. She has published two collections of poetry: Some Beheadings (2017) and Emporium (2020). For more information visit

Photo of Baptiste Gaillard by OFC Ladina Bishof

Category: TranslationsLiterally SwissLS ExtractsFrench Book Week


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