© Carl Pierrecq
Overview of my family tree (version en français): My mother is a descendant of Faustin Soulouque (1782-1867), a former slave of Saint-Domingue who participated in the Haitian War of Independence, a military man, President of Haiti (1947-1949) and Emperor of Haiti (1849-1859) under the name Faustin I. On the other hand, my father is from the lineage of a midwife from Saint-Domingue before the Haitian Revolution in the 1750s, who caused the death of newborns (as an act of rebellion) so they would not be enslaved.
Interestingly, they met for the first time in 1982 on Faustin I street, a few steps from the remains of the emperor, at the small cemetery of Petit-Goâve.
1982-1782: In that year, which marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Faustin I, my parents got married twice. Coincidence? Meeting? Appointment? In any case, it’s one of the mysteries of love and life for me.
As for me, like my parents, I was born in Petit-Goâve in 1994. It is the city where writer Dany Laferrière is from and where he spent his childhood. He has sung this city in several novels, including L’odeur du café.
My father is a man who knew all the repertoire of French songs from the 1970s. Every day, he sings and dances alone. My mother, on the other hand, never stopped singing Haitian folklore pieces, but she also told stories every night. So I grew up in this universe of song, half Francophone, half Creolophone. French was for me the language of song and music for a long time. I am passionate about this language. My first talent, in fact, relates to singing. I sang and played the guitar awkwardly at a very young age.
I grew up in a house filled with books. Reading, during my early childhood, was the only thing I loved. I didn’t like the company of people. I didn’t talk to them. It wasn’t xenophobia since I didn’t even communicate with my brothers and sisters. In the neighborhood where I grew up, many people didn’t know me. And when, by chance, they became aware of my existence, they were surprised by my silence and my solitude. In short, I am a hardened loner. Today, thinking back to that time, I conclude that I was autistic. Well, I’m not a specialist in any mental or emotional disorders. A friend once came to the house with a book by Arthur Schopenhauer. We were both 13 years old. Since that day, Schopenhauer and I have been in love. He is my favorite philosopher. With age, I will read “The World as Will and Representation.” I believe my first real reflection was on time. I am fascinated by this thing in an almost ridiculous way.
As a child, I always told my mother that I would die young. She didn’t want me to say such things. After that, I got into the habit of saying that I would end my life myself. She was getting more and more angry with me. So I am a writer haunted by death.
At 16, writer Dominique Batraville, who was dazzled by one of my collections of poems, wanted to publish me, but I refused. My first poem was published in Cahier du Jeudi Soir, edited by writer Lyonel Trouillot, around the term “Apocalypse of John.” In that sense, I am fascinated by human catastrophes and everything related to the unveiling of the end times.
I am a rather problematic individual. I sometimes sleep for more than 48 hours without waking up. Silent. Like dead. And if in my early childhood, I seemed a little autistic, my memory always impressed people. Jokingly, I can recite the entire Cahier du retour au pays natal or Le commissaire est bon enfant by Georges Courteline. I played tennis, did drawing, and then theater (2008-2014) with a director from the Petit Conservatoire.
At 19, I wrote an essay about the most enigmatic writer in Haitian literature entitled “Frankétienne, corps sans repères”. Part of this work was published in 2014 as an article in Haiti’s oldest daily newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, and two other parts were published in the daily newspaper Le National in 2016. Frankétienne (who was on the Nobel Prize for Literature list), often considered a visionary, predicted in November 2014 that I would become a world-renowned writer. I wrote about Frankétienne in 2013 after a surgical operation. I thought I was going to die. Strangely, for a long time, Frankétienne’s prediction kept me alive, along with a high-altitude love story. In 2015, I conducted a long comparative study between L’Ange de Charbon by Dominique Batraville and Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval, but Le Nouvelliste cut 70% of my work because the vocabulary used in the study was sexual. They did not know that this was exactly my intellectual work: to think about literature through sexuality. Anyway, “Dominique Batraville takes language with Gérard de Nerval” was my first censorship.
In 2015, I joined Le National as a critical journalist. I wrote about visual arts and theater. By frequenting all the exhibitions, I ended up writing an essay on the movements of contemporary art in Haiti titled “Haiti: The Aesthetics of Death”; part of this essay was shared with the general public in the form of a conference in 2016 at Café-Philo Haïti. In the meantime, I studied seriously: Modern Literature (ENS), History of Art and Archaeology (IERRAH-ISERSS), and Law (EDSEG). I was a finalist for a few literary prizes: the young French-language writer prize (2019) for “La collectionneuse” and the New Stories Literary Prize of the Iram (2018) for “L’autre-Soi”.
I have mainly collaborated with contemporary literature magazines such as Trois-Cent-Soixante, Do-Kre-I-S, Legs, and Littérature (where I was responsible for the “Regards” section). I have worked in collaboration with cultural and legal institutions, such as law firms, the Ministry of Culture, and organizations working in art, especially contemporary art.
Between novel, theater, short story, poetry, and essay, my literature is traversed, among other things, by terms such as Love, Death, Time, Trace, Body, and Childhood.
When I am in a serious literary project, I am afraid. When I am about to finish a writing project, I don’t even cross the street. For me, writing is the absolute place of fear, the servitude of the body, the mise en abime of the body.
I, Carl Pierrecq, dandy and aesthete, go through life with a long smile, but I am nevertheless a pessimistic writer who believes that life is a tasteless placebo, as it is written in A Chinese Novel.