École des filles

Their path goes elsewhere: from Victor Segalen to Anne Quéméré: Jean-Luc Coatalem, Anne Quéméré and

Their path goes elsewhere: from Victor Segalen to Anne Quéméré: Jean-Luc Coatalem, Anne Quéméré and


Summer of 13 Sundays

« My steps go elsewhere », « The Passenger of the Arctic »

Meeting 3 September at 15:00

May 1919. Victor Segalen is found dead, lying in a small wood, in the heart of Finistère. Starting from the mystery surrounding Segalen's death, suicide? accident?, Jean-Luc Coatalem follows the footprints of the writer-traveler, Breton like him, and Brestois, too. Military man, sailor and poet, author of a labyrinthic work that no one expected during his lifetime.
In 1903, Segalen traveled in the footsteps of Gauguin, to the Marquesas Islands. In 1905, in Djibouti, on those of Rimbaud. In 1909, he crossed China, in a  junk, by train and on a horse, and he then he would  start all over again. In 1910 he ventured into the labyrinth of the Forbidden City of Beijing, behind a seductive young man, a spy and a lover of the Empress. Then he lived alone in Hanoi, dreamt in Tibet, and bought his opium. He died at the age of forty-one, in the legendary forest of Huelgoat, with a Shakespeare in his hand, his leg notched, above a Chasm, far from his wife and that other woman he loved.
Revisiting the work of Segalen, the letters to his two lovers, his numerous voyages, Coatalem reveals  numerous resonances, literary complicity and a companion writer, and by combining these mixed prisms, he writes the novel of the life of a lively and vibrant Segalen.

Jean-Luc Coatalem is a journalist and writer, novelist and essayist for whom "all travelling ends in books and everything starts from reading". Passionate about art and graphic design, he also participates in production or catalogs around the sculptor Denis Monfleur, editions of the Round Table, painter François Dilasser for editions La Navire.

"The Passenger of the Arctic"

The Northwest Passage continually draws new routes, as the seasons go by and the ice melts. The itinerary is not traced on any map, the route is risky and ventures there are ambitious. "Portrait of a mythical route, linking the Pacific to the Atlantic, in the footsteps of Amundsen. Following the "Grande Dérive" whose mission is scientific and the objective of raising awareness of the fragility of the pack ice. Anne Quéméré recounts her journey in the summer 2015 by kayaking through the Northwest Passage which borders the Arctic, where all regular navigation was until recently impossible. Due to the global warming this territory was a future target for conquest for the great powers. Besides these aspects of a burning relevance, the author describes in short and captivating chapters the magic of her encounters with the ocean, the elements (even the bears ...), but especially with the Inuits, whose vision fascinates . This territory is as big as Europe, and it is much more than oated desert and ice, far from it. Along the  border there are also golden cliffs, white sandy beaches or countless lakes with turquoise waters ...

Anne Quéméré was born and raised in Brittany. In 2002, she made a first journey of 56 days: the transatlantic boat trip alone and without any assistance. Then in 2004, she crossed the North Atlantic, she  traveled 6450 kilometers between Cape Cod and Brittany. A formidable test, surrounded by the mists, gusts of wind, swells and surges. She accomplished this journey in 87 days, under particularly difficult weather conditions, and set a new female record. 2006 was the year of her transatlantic journey in "kiteboat", alone and without assistance

In 2016, she published, at Locus Solus, the account of her polar expedition in kayak: The Passenger of the Arctic.