Factory you shall never have my soul I am here And I count for so much more than you And I count so much more because of you Thanks to you Unable to find work in his field, Joseph Ponthus enlists with a temp agency and starts to pick up casual shifts in the fish processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany. Day after day he records, with infinite precision, the nature of work on the production line- the noise, the weariness, the dreams stolen by the repetitive nature of exhausting rituals and physical suffering. But he finds solace in a life previously lived. Shelling prawns, he dreams of Alexandre Dumas. Pushing cattle carcasses, he recalls Apollinaire. And, in the grace of the blank spaces created by his insistent return to a new line of text - mirroring his continued return to the production line - we discover the woman he loves, the happiness of a Sunday, Pok Pok the dog, the smell of the sea. In this celebrated French bestseller, translated by Stephanie Smee, Ponthus captures the mundane, the beautiful and the strange, writing with an elegance and humour that sit in poignant contrast with the blood and sweat of the factory floor. On the Line is a poet's ode to manual labour, and to the human spirit that makes it bearable.



ISBN: 9781760642334
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2021
Publisher: Black Inc.
Publication City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Dimensions (cm): 20.8(H) x 13.5(L) x 2.2(W)
Weight (gm): 282


Author Biography

After studying literature and social work, Joseph Ponthus worked for over ten years as a social worker and special needs teacher in the suburbs of Paris. In 2012 he co-authored Nous ... La Cite (The Suburbs Are Ours). His most recent work is A la Ligne (On the Line). He lives and works in Brittany, France. Stephanie Smee left a career in law to work as a literary translator. Recent translations include Hannelore Cayre's The Inheritors and The Godmother (winner of the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger award), and Fran oise Frenkel's rediscovered World War II memoir, No Place to Lay One's Head, which was awarded the JQ-Wingate Prize. Her translation of Pascal Janovjak's The Rome Zoo is forthcoming.
On the Line: Notes from a Factory

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