Tania de Montaigne: “Art helps me understand the world better”

Tania de Montaigne: “Art helps me understand the world better”

In your latest work, you imagine a society in which literature has become sanitized…

This book was inspired by an unfortunate experience. An English-speaking festival asked me to change the title of one of my works to adapt it into a comic strip. The word “black” had to be removed so as not to offend the sensibilities of black readers. I refused. To explore this theme in my latest book, I created a main character who hopes that by removing offensive words, the world will be a better place…

What does this fiction reveal about you?

When I was a child, people asked me about my origins, even though I am French. What poses a problem are the prejudices hidden behind these injunctions to define oneself with words.

A place that inspires you to write?

Wherever art nestles! The work of other artists helps me get to the bottom of my ideas and my own creations.

Writing helps me understand the world better.

The music that makes you happy in the morning?

Tiny Desk Concert videos on YouTube feature live musical performances. My favorite is that of rapper C. Tangana: musicians gathered around a table covered with food sing, clap their hands and play percussion. There is an almost biblical side to this magnificent moment of sharing.

You have three days, a backpack and no car. Where are you leaving ?

I take the time to be at home, alone in my Parisian “cave”, with musical background, like a hermit. To write, I need these moments of solitude.

The person who meant the most in your family?

Impossible to choose among all the female figures who surrounded me. I grew up without a father, alongside my grandmother, my mother and my little sister. With them, I learned to become independent and to never listen to those who dictated to me who I should be.

Pope Francis grants you an audience, what question is burning on your lips?

I would address the question of the place of women in the Church. I like to question the existing order. I am an atheist, but I had the opportunity to collaborate with Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur. His presence surprises, shakes up, there is something revolutionary in his speeches, it’s exhilarating!

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