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Prosa der Verhältnisse #10: Sphinx

Anne Garréta‘s novel Sphinx was published in France back in 1986, anticipating political questions of gender identity that are being debated today with its unique literary form.  The author works with a formal restriction: throughout the narrative, the personal pronouns "he" and "she" are never mentioned.
Parisian nightlife: A bar, in which the dancing crowd lets itself be carried by the rhythms until morning. In this dark, twilight world, je and A***, two completely contrasting people, fall in love. je is intellectual, white, young – A*** is black, from New York, ten years older. Their story develops like many others, with the peculiarity, however, that the gender of the two main characters remains unclear.

Deniz Utlu speaks with Anne Garréta about her narrative experiment, recently published in German, which attempts the supposedly impossible: to tell a story between two people without gender.


In Kooperation mit dem Forum Berlin der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Curated and presented by
Denİz Utlu
Text samples read by
Elena Schmidt