Bénédicte Vilgrain: A Tibetan Grammar


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“For the past several years, Vilgrain has been working on an open-ended project titled A Tibetan Grammar, which explores language from an almost architectural perspective, using the structure of Tibetan to examine how a language creates categories—and then immediately overflows them. In the attempt to construct a concise map, she deftly demonstrates the inability of language to remain sufficiently static for any cartographical system. Her balance of analytic query, sharp imagery, and radical juxtaposition creates a varied and vivid surface that gives the reader an uncanny sense of experiencing the familiar through foreign means.”

–Cole Swensen

Bénédicte Vilgrain, born in Lille in 1959, translates from German, English, and Tibetan into French. She also founded and directs Théâtre Typographique with Bernard Rival. Based just outside of Paris, the press has published collections of oral literature from Asia and Africa as well as contemporary French and American poets, including Frédéric Forte, Sabine Macher, and Marie-Louise Chapelle, Susan Howe, Charles Olson, George Oppen and Keith Waldrop.