cover image Alix's Journal

Alix's Journal

Alix Cleo Roubaud, trans. from the French by Jan Steyn, Dalkey Archive, $13.95 paper (238p) ISBN 9781564785541

Alix Cleo Roubaud was a photographer on the cusp of a great career before a pulmonary embolism caused her death at 31. She had battled with depression, addiction, and suicidal tendencies all her life and had carefully chronicled her thoughts on these and other subjects from the age of 18 on. The carefully translated text of the last four years of Roubaud's life is presented here as a chronicle of a woman struggling with depression and complex feelings about art and God. While Roubaud may be recognized within the art world, she is largely unknown to the average reader. Unfortunately, disjointed and sometimes incoherent diary entries may not be the best introduction for anyone not already familiar with her work; large sections of the journal read like the diary entries of an adolescent girl trying on the styles of better writers (Nabokov immediately comes to mind). Had Roubaud lived, she may well have developed a more unique voice. (June)