THE BLOG
09/24/2014 07:29 am ET Updated Nov 24, 2014

Lydia Davis: Reading 'Goodbye Louise'

"Linda, Lyidia, Lindon, Lyda..." The acclaimed American short story writer Lydia Davis reads an ongoing piece of writing -- 'a false autobiography' -- of mistakes made about her name and profession. It's funny!

In this video Lydia Davis (b. 1947) reads "Goodbye Louise, Or Who I Am," a self-invented genre, which has not yet been included in any book. It is an ongoing piece of writing which Davis calls "a false autobiography" because it is supposed to collect information about her, but the information is wrong. The piece takes it's title from a conversation Lydia Davis had with a person who were supposed to know her name, but at the end of the conversation the person said: "Goodbye Louise", the writer explains.

Lydia Davis is regarded as "the master of form largely of her own invention." She has written a number of collections of short stories and one novel. When Lydia Davis received the Man Booker International Prize in 2013 the chairman of the judges said her "writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind. Just how to categorise them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers or simply observations."

Besides being a writer Lydia Davis is also an acclaimed translator of writers like Proust, Flaubert and Maurice Blanchot.

American writer Jonathan Franzen has characterized Lydia Davis in this way:

"She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition."

Lydia Davis read 'Goodbye Louise, Or Who I Am' at the Louisiana Literature festival 22. August 2014, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Cameras: Klaus Elmer & Nikolaj Jungersen

Edit: Kamilla Bruus.

Produced by Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Supported by Nordea-fonden