Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Chris Marker (The Impossible Book) by Maroussia Vossen

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Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by bricoleur

Andrew Castillo has translated Maroussia Vossen's book Chris Marker (Le Livre impossible) into English. Below you can find the PDF of the file. Many thanks to Mr. Castillo for his work on this important book. Vossen's book was highlighted in an earlier post.

Castillo's blog is called “The Fate of Explanations,” and the article “Translation—Chris Marker (The Impossible Book) (2016),” published from June 17, 2020, Below is the text that introduces the translation:

pattes small
pattes small — image from Andrew Castillo, “The Fate of Explanations

For my latest (seemingly) random act of translation, I humbly present you with my 2020 quarantine project: an English translation of Maroussia Vossen's lovely memoir Chris Marker (The Impossible Book). Marker is, of course, the enigmatic filmmaker and media polymath best known for his twin masterworks, La Jetée (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). Vossen (pictured above), a dancer and choreographer, is his adopted daughter. This slim edition from 2016, published by Éditions Le Tripode, is an unprecedentedly intimate look at the relationship the two shared from her birth to his death.

The French language book, which I greatly enjoyed reading and translating, can and should be purchased here. A first-time author, Vossen proves to be a deft guide to Marker's idiosyncratic world. More than a catalogue of obscure factoids (what he ate for breakfast every day, what his family life was like) or an inside look at his films (which she consciously avoids considering at length), hers is a personal story built from rich, diffuse connections, the same sorts of connections Marker illuminated across his varied body of work.

French speakers can watch an interview with Ms. Vossen here in which she discusses the book. English readers can click the cover image below to download a PDF of my translation. It was made in a piecemeal fashion in between work and parental duties, and, due to my excitement to post it, only edited lightly. Feedback is certainly welcome, but please be kind!

More importantly, enjoy!

Fate of Explanations


chris marker le livre impossible
Maroussia Vossn, Chris Marker (Le livre impossible)

Entretien Avec Maroussia Vossen

We also found an interview with Maroussia Vossen published by Potemkine Films on Vimeo, entitled “Rencontre avec Maroussia Vossen pour son ouvrage Chris Marker – le livre impossible (16 juin 2016).”


Potemkine Films Chris Marker Boutique

If you are looking to purchase Chris Marker films in the original French, Potemkine now offers the following Chris Marker DVDs: Sans soleil; Planète Chris Marker; Le Joli mai; Le Fond de l'air est rouge; Mémoires pour Simone + La solitude du chanteur de fond; Chris Marker – La trilogie des Balkans : Le 20 heures dans les camps + Casque bleu + Un maire au Kosovo; Si j'avais 4 dromadaires; L'Héritage de la chouette; Level Five; Description d'un combat; and Loin du Vietnam.

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Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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